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TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

We’ve certainly seen no shortage of colorful and bold racing inspired watches this year – some more welcome than others. Continuing on that action comes TAG Heuer with the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition watch to commemorate Gulf Oil’s 1968 victory of Le Mans in France. Unveiled right before the 2018 Le Mans race, the retro-modern inspiration pulls design schemes and colors from the Ford GT 40 that won the race, and marks the 50th anniversary of the victory. And, of course, the color scheme is immediately reminiscent of their Monaco Gulf Special Edition watch, albeit at a considerably lower price point.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

I must admit, I have a soft-spot for TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 line. The CAU1111 (Panda Dial Chronograph) was my first experience with a “Luxury watch” and to this day I’ve never found one at a price I’m willing to pull the trigger on – so I have a bit of a historical emotional connection to the Formula 1 collection. I’ve found the line ideally quirky, practical, and interesting with a unique position of being offered in a number of price points for varying options and calibers. However, the simplistic legibility and straightforward nature of the quartz powered Formula 1s of the 2010 era are still the most appealing. There was an unfortunate dip in the direction of the collection, with it really being re-vamped and nailed down in the last few years. Leaving the dizzying amount of odd partnerships aside (David Guetta, what?), the line has seen a more unified design language, and that’s helped the brand present a more coherent timepiece.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

With that being said, let’s delve into the watch itself. Measuring in at 43mm, the stainless steel case has an electric blue aluminum bezel with a notched tachymeter scale. The pushers are black PVD-coated and provide a neat contrast with the black sub-register hands, though I don’t feel that these actually match the watch or the Gulf Oil design. I think if they wanted the contrast, it wouldn’t have hurt to do them in blue. The back of the watch features an engraved gulf logo. Tying the case together is a blue leather strap with orange stitching that matches the Gulf colors and draws focus to the flashiest part of the watch, the dial.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

This isn’t the first Gulf Oil watch (there have been a few over the years) and most featured some form of the Gulf oil logo on the dial. This watch has a tasteful influence that pulls from previous models, but by way of color and scheme and not a blatant logo. The sunray finished blue dial has light blue and orange racing stripes on the 3 o’clock side of the watch. A date window sits at 4 o’clock, and in a unusual turn of events, I actually like it there on this design. The Super-LumiNova filled applied indices provide a nice contrast to the otherwise busy dial. Though I find some harmony in all the seemingly random dial features, I can definitely see where people will find it to be cluttered – especially when looking at the right side of the dial during times that the hands are on that side. Overall, the dial channels enough Gulf Oil influence without overdoing it.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

Inside the Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition is where the biggest point of contention is going to be in a watch at this price. This is, and historically has been, a collection that contains quartz chronograph movement options. The quartz movement in this watch powers a chronograph function that’s accurate to within 1/10th of a second (which is a big marketing point in their material), a small seconds, and an elapsed minutes function – so a pretty standard chronograph. The watch is water-resistant up to 200m.


TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition Watch Watch Releases

Overall, the Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition is a charming addition to the collection. The watch is equal parts quirky and functional with enough funk to be called anything but “boring.” And with the plethora of other colorful releases in the Formula 1 collection over the last couple of years, the Gulf Special Edition fits comfortably among them. I think this watch will appeal to a specific market of nostalgic collectors and race enthusiasts of a time gone by – or maybe just your average guy with a penchant for some good old-fashioned quirk.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition will come with a price of $1,600. It’s expensive for a quartz movement, but well within the pricing of the Formula 1 Collection over the last ten years.



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  • I’m not a big fan of that strap. You know what this watch would look good on?


  • Nic

    Was there a reason they decided to omit the Gulf Logo? I prefer this over the square shape of the Monaco.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Hmm……this is a very niche market. For the man who wants to give the impression that he’s a man of action a bit of a dare devil…..or maybe not. Of late i have sounded a bit dour ( local colonialism ) but i just haven’t seen anything to make me go Ooooh. The market is playing safe with all their endless homages.
    Always love a driving gloves shot! 🙂

  • Kivas Fajio

    I am waiting for the “Texaco” Special Edition Limited Serie model.
    Will be checking the mall often.

  • SuperStrapper

    Exceptionally ugly.

    And the 69 GT is the only car in gulf livery for me.

  • Lindsay

    There are three things wrong with the tachymeter:
    1) It doesn’t come close to a Formula 1 car’s top speed of 360.
    B) The characters are out of proportion with everything else.
    III) It’s quartz.

    Perhaps this is TH’s way of acknowledging that it’ll never be used anyway.

    • I will just say up front that this will be pedantic, but here goes. A tachymeter scale typically has 60 on the low end but infinity a counter-clock-wise revolution from that. I will give you that on this watch the scale from 240 to infinity is covered up the worthless “TACHYMETRE” text. More to the point, tachymeters measure average speeds, not instantaneous ones. My guess is most F1 tracks don’t allow average speeds over 240 KPH and certainly not over 240 MPH (remember a tachmeter scale is not unit dependent – you have to apply the unit distance yourself). Otherwise, I have no argument with your list. Cheers.

  • I’m not feeling it. Yeah it’s a chronograph but still too much for a quartz and I’m getting burned out seeing Gulf Racing stripes on watches (even though I was a huge race fan 50 years ago). Next…

    • Larry Holmack

      I am still a huge racing fan ( more of a NASCAR enthusiastist though )….but like you…not a fan of this watch….for the same reason.

  • Ulysses31

    Looks like a cheap chrono with a Tag logo on it. No redeeming features, aesthetically speaking.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    If it were a plain blue watch, at around $800, I would have said that it is a good looking watch at a fair price, but because it isn’t, I won’t say that.
    And please, stop all these silly homage watches. Sell the piece by its own merit.