For decades, TAG Heuer has been inextricably linked with the automobile and racing industries. The SLR collection is the product of their 30-year partnership with the McLaran Mercedes Formula 1 Team. The SLR began as a limited edition but was later added to the brand’s catalog. Known for its modern oversized case, superior accuracy, and sporty aesthetic, the SLR is a particularly unique tool watch in the TAG Heuer family of watches.
TAG Heuer has a longstanding history with the automobile and racing industries. Over the years, this has spurred numerous partnerships. One of the most notable began in 1981 with the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 Team. For years, TAG Heuer sponsored several ambassadors from the racing team and became a known presence on the team’s cars and uniforms. Finally, in 2004, the partnership produced their first, long-anticipated watch collaboration: the TAG Heuer SLR collection.
In the early 2000’s, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren began working on a supercar inspired by the famous Mercedes-Benz 300SLR from the 1950’s. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren debuted in 2004 as the first McLaren car since the iconic McLaren F1. In conjunction, TAG Heuer created the SLR Caliber 36.
At first, the watch was made exclusively for owners of the luxury car. Then, TAG Heuer decided to further develop the watch into a full collection, and the SLR line was born. The initial design of the Caliber 36 was controversial. So, as TAG Heuer expanded the collection, they made some updates. The most notable feature of the SLR collection that has remained consistent from the first Caliber 36 to every subsequent model is the chronograph pushers at the top of the case.
The second watch to be released in the SLR series was the SLR for Mercedes-Benz Limited Edition. It debuted just two years later in 2006 and features a drastically different design from the original Caliber 36. A more traditional round case replaced the tonneau shaped case, and the dial design was completely revamped. The overall look and feel of the watch was much more conservative compared to the avant-garde Caliber 36. Its production was a limited quantity of 3500 pieces.
The third series SLR was an updated version of the second series, released just a year later in 2007. The key differences are mainly aesthetic. One of the most notable is a larger case size, upgrading from 43mm to 45mm. It was also produced in a limited edition of 3500 watches.
TAG Heuer debuted the fourth edition of the SLR series in 2008: the SLR Caliber S. This model is more of a departure from the second and third series. It features a larger case size once again, now measuring 47mm. However, the most important feature of the Caliber S is TAG Heuer’s in-house Caliber S quartz movement, which is accurate to 1/100th of a second. The other distinct difference of this model is that it’s not a limited edition. TAG Heuer officially decided to add the SLR as part of their lineup.
Finally, 2010 brought the fifth edition of the SLR collection. The 300 SLR is another limited edition variation that is yet another departure from the rest of the SLR line. This particular model draws inspiration from the brand’s Carrera Caliber 1887 from the 1970’s.
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