The Marlboro McLaren-TAG years cover some truly great history for McLaren, marking the beginning of their dominant run through the 80s and into the early 90s. After a slow first season in 1983, McLaren-TAG had developed the perfect storm for ’84. In one corner of the garage, two-time Austrian world champion Niki Lauda brought years of expertise and a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails approach to driving and team management (for more information on this incredible personality, please, go check out Ron Howard’s critically-acclaimed film “Rush”, it’s well worth a swiss cheap replica watch).
A deep professional partnership soon grew between the TAG and McLaren, and when TAG purchased Heuer in 1985, the newly created TAG Heuer brand quickly became McLaren’s secondary sponsor behind Marlboro. To market this partnership, the first new release for the TAG Heuer brand in 1985 was the Formula 1- a budget-minded quartz that looked to extend the TAG Heuer name to a younger, sportier market. All of this is relatively common knowledge, however, and I never really paid any mind or took a liking to the Formula 1 until I did a little more digging, both about the watch itself and the McLaren partnership.
When talking cheap fake watches and Formula 1, one name comes up again and again- Heuer, or in more recent times TAG Heuer, and this series would be remiss without at least touching on the contributions TAG has made to both fields. TAG, short for Techniques d’Avant-Garde, made its F1 debut in 1980 as a sponsor for Williams GP, but their involvement in the sport grew soon afterward in 1983 when they co-developed the TAG-Porsche V6 power plant for the McLaren team.
It’s completely cut together from period footage, and much of that is race coverage. Taking a closer look during McLaren pit stops, I noticed something I hadn’t before: on the wrist of every pit crew member was a bright red TAG Formula 1, matching the colors of the Marlboro livery perfectly. Suddenly, this best replica watch made sense to me. It wasn’t a cynical cash-grab tie-in product made to leverage the brand’s racing connections, it was a tough, functional piece of engineering.
It wasn’t plasticky and cheap, it was rugged, with scratch proof fiberglass covering the case to protect against the hazards of pit lane. It didn’t seem gaudy anymore, it was bold, certainly, but in a fun, youthful way. Even the quartz movement began to make sense, providing more protection against the shocks of an wheel nut gun or speed jack. It may not be my absolute favorite TAG replica, but it’s definitely grown on me. That said, it’s a bit on the small side, even for today’s trend towards smaller watches at either 28 or 34mm, but the bold color gives it a presence to offset this somewhat. In a t-shirt and jeans style casual atmosphere, or perhaps in a more streetwear oriented wardrobe, it works perfectly. It’s loud, fun, and a historic little splash of color for the right look. It’s also quite affordable, generally ranging from about $250-600, and very abundant, so don’t be afraid to wait for just the right one to turn up.