In the 111 years since the first running of the Indianapolis 500, only 10 drivers have ever won the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on their first attempt. This alone puts American racing driver Alexander Rossi in truly prestigious company, alongside names like Graham Hill and Juan Pablo Montoya, but Rossi also holds the distinction of being the last rookie to win the event to date. Since that historic win in 2016, Rossi and his Andretti Autosport team have been a formidable force at the Indy 500, as well as one of the most popular names in the NTT IndyCar Series. TAG Heuer maintains a close partnership with both Rossi and the Indy 500, and for its annual commemorative Indianapolis-themed timepiece design the brand has worked with Rossi to develop a unique take on the Formula 1 chronograph. Styled to match the helmet the driver will wear during the 106th running of the Indy 500 on May 29, 2022, the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition offers a sleek and stylish tribute to one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.
Measuring in at 43mm-wide, the stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition mostly follows the pattern of its standard production counterparts. The continuous curve from lug tip to lug tip, the prominent rounded crown guards, the brightly polished case sides, and the heavy gear-toothed bezel are all series hallmarks, but TAG Heuer tops this familiar design with a newly revised black aluminum bezel insert. This insert offers a more detailed tachymeter scale than recent Indy 500-themed iterations, and TAG Heuer gives this more functional scale a unique character with printed metallic text including a metallic gold shield emblem and “Indy 500” text. Although the Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition certainly isn’t the first model in the brand’s stable to offer a red accent on the 2 o’clock chronograph pusher, TAG Heuer’s singular shade of red here sets this model apart in images. Rather than a traditional, vibrant racing red, the brand instead turns to a decidedly darker and more mature color – brick red. Beyond helping this model to stand out in a collection filled with bright red-accented chronographs, this deeper hue pays subtle tribute to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself and the famous “Yard of Bricks” at the circuit’s start/finish line. The solid caseback features a detailed engraving of the 2022 Indy 500 event logo, complete with the event’s historic winged tire iconography. Like the standard Formula 1, the Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition is a ruggedly built design, with a robust 200 meters of water resistance.
TAG Heuer’s Indy-inspired offerings, particularly in recent years, have a tendency to lean on complex and stylized dial designs. In comparison, the dial of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition offers a cleaner, more focused approach with streamlined nods to the race. Like the recently released Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Special Edition, this model uses a full set of bold, squared-off applied Arabic hours numerals (except at 4 o’clock) for a pleasingly full layout in images. The base dial surface takes on a heavily grained asphalt texture, ringed by a slightly recessed outer minutes track in the same deep brick red as the 2 o’clock pusher. Arguably the most striking use of color on the dial is the heavily flaked metallic gold used for accents on each of the three subdials, as well as the central chronograph seconds hand. While gold is a familiar sight in watchmaking, metallic paints are nearly unheard of, and this darker sparkling gold tone helps to visually link the design with automotive aesthetics in images. TAG Heuer gives this dial its most overt nod to the Indy 500 with the 6 o’clock 1/10-second chronograph subdial. Nearly the entire subdial is given over to an elemental stylized rendition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s instantly recognizable Pagoda tower. Like other models in the series, however, the Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition’s 4 o’clock date window notably unbalances the sense of visual weight distribution across the dial in images.
TAG Heuer powers the Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition with the familiar Ronda 5040D quartz chronograph movement. The 5040D has been the powerplant of choice for the Formula 1 series’ quartz offerings for years, and it remains a remarkably durable, accurate platform with 1/10-second chronograph precision. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition is fitted with a classic three-link oyster-style bracelet in brushed stainless steel.
With a smartly integrated, richly colored tribute to one of racing’s premier events and an exciting tie to one of the NTT IndyCar Series’ most exciting drivers, the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition delivers one of the brand’s most refined and cohesive Indy 500 commemorative models to date. Only 500 examples of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 2022 Limited Edition stands at $2,400 as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.