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Watch & Learn: Patrick Dempsey’s Carrera Heuer

Up close with the actor’s dreamy watch

Normally, we do our watch spotting at red carpet events, but last weekend we were in horological heaven at the VIP Opening Night party for TimeCrafters—America’s premier luxury watch show.  Presented by DuJour and hosted by our May cover star Michael Strahan (an avid watch collector himself), the reception was packed with watch aficionados such as New York Giant Rashad Jennings, writer George Wayne and actor Patrick Dempsey.


The theme of the 2016 edition of TimeCrafters was “Every Watch Has A Story.” Strahan and Dempsey held court with an animated conversation about their shared interest in cars—which carries neatly into the story behind the Grey’s Anatomy star’s own passion for TAG Heuer Carreras.


To celebrate the 100th running of the iconic Indianapolis 500 race, TAG Heuer was at TimeCrafters to introduce the Carrera Heuer 01 Chronograph Indy 500 Special Edition.


Dempsey is a driver himself, competing in such prestigious events as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Porsche Supercup. And as a TAG Heuer ambassador, Dempsey was the lucky fellow who got to wear one of these striking limited edition pieces.


We know what we like about the watch: with its skeletonized dial and stainless steel and titanium carbide coated 45mm steel case, it’s as handsome as Dempsey himself. And for the automotive enthusiasts, the mechanics of the new Heuer 01 automatic chronograph caliber are attractive as well.

Carrera Heuer 01 Chronograph Indy 500 Special Edition watch


Since we were standing so close, we had to ask him what he thought of the timepiece. “I love that there’s such a direct connection to racing,” he says.


Just as the first races at the brickyard were driven in such six-cylinder contraptions as the Marmon Wasp, more enduring makers like Mercedes were also represented. And as a racer, he loves that both the Indy 500 and the Carrera (originally launched in 1963) continue to honor tradition while staying on top of the curve with evolving technology.


And although TAG Heuer has a long history as an official timer for the Indy 500, this is the first time they’ve made a commemorative Carrera model. The connection is fairly discreet; the Indy 500 logo is present on the case, dial and bezel as well as the movement, which can be viewed through the transparent case-back.


The bezel is in black titanium carbide coated steel with a racing style tachymeter function. The case-back is transparent to display a striking skeleton chronograph bridge, black weight, red column wheel and the rest of the fantastic mechanics of the movement.


And just as the Indy races into its second century, with all of its upgrades, the Carrera Heuer 01 Indy 500 limited edition is relevant and alluring to the next generation of watch enthusiasts. “I believe that this is a piece that will still exist well into the future,” says Dempsey.