Beaverbrooks / Chester 17th October 2016
I wasn't particularly looking to test this watch out, but the selection on offer in this particular Beaverbrooks was less than completely exciting and this watch stood out a mile. Well actually that's not strictly true because I thought I was looking at this watch in the window and that turned out to be a different model!
Still, never mind, I asked to try the Red Bull Formula One watch and they dutifully fetched one from the store room, though how anyone was actually supposed to know they had it is beyond me. It's like in Goldsmiths in Leicester they keep the Steve McQueen Monacos 'under the counter' for some reason...?
Anyway, first impression was that it came in a rather funky blue box, with printing all over it (can't find a photo of it closed, sorry).
I must admit my heart sank a little when they opened it and I realised it was on the 'technical strap', I did enquire as to the availability of the bracelet version but was told it was sold out throughout the company, actually I'm not surprised.
Well let's address the strap first, as I said, I'm not a fan, but I must admit it was comfortable. Personally I find all that red stitching a bit tacky and off-putting, but that's a matter of personal opinion I suppose. What I wasn't impressed with was that the strap is very short, very short indeed! I have a 7" wrist, which I think is pretty standard for a guy, and the leftover strap didn't reach the second retainer, and they don't move (sewn in place) so on me at least it's completely pointless having it there. I think if you have bigger wrists than me you would probably not want to buy this watch on this strap.
The watch itself though is very attractive, the blue is a very nice shade. I kind of expected the blue to be more like the Red Bull blue, but it is much lighter in fact and complements the off white on the dial very nicely. The small red touches are very nice as well, and until I tried out the chronograph I didn't realise that this watch had a 1/10th of a second dial at the 6 O'Clock position, that's a very cool addition I think.
When TAG announced they were sponsoring Red Bull F1 I imagined the horrific watch that might come out of it, Red Bull's logo isn't exactly a work of art and I'm not keen on logos on the face of TAG's in general. Sensibly, TAG have kept the front of the watch completely free of Red Bull branding and it's only when you turn it over that you find the Red Bull logo carved into the back of the case.. A very, very good move in my opinion, as it keeps the watch looking classic and gives it universal appeal. I'm not a big fan of Red Bull but I would still wear this watch no problem.
Though I haven't seen the bracelet, I am pretty confident that it would be well worth the extra £150. This is a really nice watch but the 'technical strap' is definitely not my cup of tea, and if I was in the market for another quartz watch the bracelet version would be right at the top of my list.
Power reserve N/A (Quartz)