January 26, 2004
TAG Heuer Named Indy Timer
The Indy Racing League named Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer as official timekeeper and scorer of its races, which includes the Indianapolis 500. In addition, the watch company said it is within three years of creating a wristwatch that measures time at 1/10,000th of-a-second intervals. Only the racing group at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway currently uses this measurement interval and its technology. Its use on a watch would be a world first. Currently TAG Heuer and several other manufacturers sell watches that measure time to 1/1,000 of-a-second intervals.
As official timer, TAG Heuer says it will add numerous functions to the high-speed timing technology at the Indy races. Previously, timing at Indy had been handled in-house by IRL, and the official watch since 2001 was made by Swiss watch company Maurice Lacroix.
In addition, the watch firm yesterday signed 2003 Indy Racing League champion Scott Dixon to its roster of international brand "ambassadors." Dixon joins colleague and IRL racer Sarah Fisher, golfer Tiger Woods, track star Marion Jones, diver Tanya Streeter, and Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen. Each work with the firm in advertising and marketing initiatives and assist with creating ideas for timepieces.
TAG Heuer also introduced a new timepiece, the TAG Heuer Indy 500 chronograph, to commemorate the new venture with the IRL. The watch will be at retail stores in April. It is priced at $895 retail.
by Michael Thompson