The Choice of Racing Enthusiasts

TAG Heuer partners for the first time with Team Ikuzawa. «The Choice of Racing Enthusiasts» a name that is synonymous with motorsport and represents today a cultural force. The collaboration is embodied within a watch that brings together the unmatched expertise of TAG Heuer and the extraordinaire customizer George Bamford, as well as the bold and artistic vision of Mai Ikuzawa, who carries on the proud Ikuzawa legacy.

The legacy of Tetsu Ikuzawa, a racing driver with an illustrious career defined by pivotal victories through his life and later a famed team owner, forms the cornerstone of this collaboration. Born the son of an artist, Tetsu entered his first motorcycle race at 15 and while he finished last, he was given the «Fighting Spirit Award» for his perseverance, a fitting way for him to commence his career.

In 1963 he would switch from two wheels to four wheels, entering the first Japanese Grand Prix for sports cars at Suzuka having signed with Prince Motor Company to race the Skyline Sport Coupe, and in 1964 he was competing again with the team in a race that would launch the Skyline GT racing legend into the dynasty it is today.

In 1967, Tetsu having no longer a car to race in, he stopped his contract with Nissan and leased a Porsche 906 from the Japanese importer. Tetsu defied the odds and beat the domestic entries to win the race, instantly making Porsche a household name in Japan and beginning a lifelong relationship between Ikuzawa and the marque.

In the late 1960s, Tetsu competed in Europe, drawn by its motor racing prominence. Despite a limited knowledge of English, he raced in the British Formula Three Championship in 1966. In 1967 Stirling Moss introduced Tetsu to Brands Hatch based Motor Racing Stables, and by 1968, he competed for Frank Williams. He then joined Porsche as a works driver, becoming a pioneering Japanese racer at Le Mans and in Formula 2. Tetsu later founded i&i Racing Development, now known as Team Ikuzawa. The team’s iconic red and white livery, featuring a red-crowned crane reflects the family’s artist inclination.

Now, stepping gracefully into the spotlight, Mai seamlessly weaves her heritage and passion for the automotive industry with the sensibilities of fashion and culture acquired during studies at the renown Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design and two decades as a Creative Director across a plethora of disciplines.
She has emerged as a prominent figure in the vibrant Japanese design culture and artistic scene, working closely with influential designers and tastemakers, most famously the legend Hiroshi Fujiwara who has also collaborated with TAG Heuer in the past. At the same time, she is one of the world’s most influential automotive ambassadors and her mission is to inject a creative edge and a fresh perspective into special projects she has executed in the car space. Mai embodies the perfect harmony of her father’s racing provenance, her distinctive sense of style, and her Japanese cultural background. It is this symphony that blends together and brings Mai as the ideal partner for TAG Heuer in the creation of a new timepiece – one that honors her father’s racing legacy while infusing it with her own unique style and cultural influences.

Completing the puzzle with finesse is George Bamford, a revered customizer and design connoisseur renowned for his impeccable skill in harmonizing aesthetics and functionality. George’s profound admiration for TAG Heuer, coupled with his deep-rooted familial love of cars, seamlessly aligns him as the ideal partner for this extraordinary collaboration, and a chance for him to collaborate with Mai, a long-time friend of Bamford.

Together, these visionary forces unite, fusing TAG Heuer’s unparalleled expertise, George Bamford’s boundless creativity, and Mai Ikuzawa’s artistic vision. The outcome is an unparalleled combination of horology, elegance, and racing resonance that will be recognized by those who know.

The centerpiece of this collaboration is an outstandingly crafted watch in red and white – honouring Team Ikuzawa and its culture. The dial features a white opaline finish with a striking red 60-second/minute scale, complemented by two white and red contrasting chronograph counters at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. Rhodium-plated, polished indexes and hands, adorned with white Super-LumiNova® and red lacquer, exude a sporty yet sophisticated essence.

The «Team Ikuzawa Choice of Racing Enthusiasts» and «SWISS MADE» insignia proudly grace the dial, showcasing the exclusivity and Swiss craftsmanship of this limited-edition Japanese racing masterpiece. Encased within a finely brushed and polished 42mm steel case, the watch exudes elegance and durability, powered by the in-house Heuer 02 movement. The beveled, domed sapphire crystal with double anti- reflective treatment ensures optimal legibility and protection. With a water resistance of up to 100 meters, this timepiece is ready to accompany racing enthusiasts on any adventure.

Completing the ensemble is a steel three-row bracelet with a folding clasp, adorned with the iconic TAG Heuer shield. For added versatility, the watch comes with an additional white fabric strap, featuring the distinctive «Team Ikuzawa» marking and a velcro closure. Each timepiece bears a special steel screw-down sapphire case back, proudly displaying the «XXX/100», «Team Ikuzawa» logo, and «BAMFORD WATCH DEPT.» imprint.

Limited to just 100 pieces, this exclusive collaboration holds immense significance. The numbers one and 100 have been reserved for Tetsu and Mai Ikuzawa, respectively. This unique timepiece is presented in specially designed, co-branded TAG Heuer x Team Ikuzawa packaging adorned with vivid white and red colours. As an homage to Tetsu’s racing prowess in Japan, the box also includes a Porsche miniature, encapsulating the spirit of his remarkable achievements with the Porsche 906 at the 1967 Japanese Grand Prix.

Embodying the perfect blend of heritage, style, and craftsmanship, this exceptional collaboration stands as a testament to the unifying power of passion, innovation, and relationships. With the release of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph X Team Ikuzawa by Bamford, TAG Heuer celebrates the fusion of racing, culture, and Swiss watchmaking excellence, creating a truly distinctive and timeless masterpiece.

Available for CHF 6’250.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Tag Heuer
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Slim d’Hermès Minuit au Faubourg

He is heroic and solitary, midway between comic book character and Greek divinity. With Super H, Hermès opens up a new playful and creative interlude of Time as a new object from the House.

Slim d’Hermès Minuit au Faubourg plays on the worlds of pop art and Paris to create a light, offbeat horological miniature, produced in two series of 24 timepieces each. Its theme is derived from a silk scarf designed in 2014 by Dimitri Rybaltchenko.

The Eiffel Tower stands out against a sky streaked with clouds and studded with aventurine stars, majestically overlooking the legendary sloping zinc Parisian roofs that reflect the bluish gleam of the moon and the rosy glow of the setting sun. The dome of the Invalides can be seen in the distance, along with its neighbouring obelisk on Place de la Concorde. A few streets away, the wings of the Moulin Rouge spin in the summer wind. But the essential element lies elsewhere.

Where? 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This is where «Hermès Sellier» – as mentioned on the wall sign – took up residence in 1880.
On the top floor sits a secret garden surrounded by a column-lined terrace. At the call of his name, beamed as an H from the top of the Eiffel Tower, Super H is ready to take flight. His cape flutters in the wind, revealing his initial: an orange-brown «H». A superbly proud and majestic comic-strip Pegasus, he stirs the imagination: what will happen? Why was he called? Where will he fly to?

One thing is for sure: Super H will fly off draped in a soft luminescence, thanks to the artisans at Hermès Horloger. A beam of light made of Super-LumiNova is projected from the Eiffel Tower. At night, it sparkles near the dial surface, tracing the outlines of the Super H banner. All around it, the Parisian scene is hand-drawn in micro-painting. Its multiple layers – particularly the thicker one in Super-LumiNova – give the dial a slightly grainy texture, like a canvas.

Entirely hand-crafted and resulting from more than 50 hours of work, each dial will be unique, framed by a 39.5 mm white gold case and powered by the Manufacture Hermès H1950 self-winding movement. Numbered limited edition of 24.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès / David Marchon
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Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Driver

Street Diver, the latest addition to Louis Vuitton’s Tambour watch range is unveiled in an advertising campaign shot by renowned photographer Mario Sorrenti. Embodied by friends of the House – actors Tahar Rahim, Sophie Turner and Minho Lee – the Tambour Street Diver invites one to Journey Beyond the Surface, to take a metaphorical plunge into an urban odyssey.

British actor and House ambassador Sophie Turner sports the white and navy-blue, Pacific White Tambour Street Diver. With Golden Globe and Bafta nominations for his 2021 film «The Mauritanian», French actor Tahar Rahim wears gradients of blue across his wrist with the Skyline Blue colourway, while multi-award-winning South Korean actor Minho Lee models the Neon Black variation.

Crafted from a single block of metal and larger at the base than at the top, the unique shape of the Tambour was inspired by a drum. With applied horns that seamlessly integrate the case and strap, the position of the hours is indicated on the caseband by the 12 letters «L-O-U-I-S-V-U-I-T-T-O-N».

By looking beyond its stylish surface, the sportier aspects of the Tambour Street Diver are revealed. From the screw-down crowns and 100m of water resistance, to the generous coatings of Super-LumiNova on dial elements and inner rotating bezel, all bear witness to the utilitarian practicality of this Swiss-made timepiece.

Highly artisanal, multi-functional and creatively distinctive, the Tambour Street Diver brings together all the requirements of a traditional dive watch, while retaining the vibrant and unconventional style elements that have always been central to Louis Vuitton. This radical combination of design and purpose bridges the ever-flowing connections between craftmanship and technology, work and play, the lure of adventurous discoveries and everyday city living.

The campaign will be revealed in April 2021 issues of magazines worldwide.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton / Mario Sorrenti