Goldsmiths / Trafford Centre 31st March 2017
Surprisingly perhaps, given the close proximity of the Trafford Centre to 'Old Trafford' itself, Goldsmiths was the only jeweller who had this particular watch in stock. I must admit, when I saw the first pictures of this I thought it looked pretty awful, but in actual fact, it's not too bad at all. The case/bezel is just the right finish, neither shiny nor completely matted, it does tend towards the matte end of things, but stays away from looking like a Footballers Bentley*.
The logo isn't too bad either, I mean it's a football club logo at the end of the day and there's only so much you can do to make it tasteful, but the colour scheme here makes it look decent and the strap is a unique idea which suggests both the 'Link' bracelet and possibly the Devil's pitchfork (although that may just be me reading to much into it?). I'm not too sure how I feel about the raised central section on the strap, it's a bit odd, but sort of interesting at the same time.
The guy in the shop told me they are selling like hot cakes in Manchester (which you would imagine is true given the location) and really this is the perfect watch to approach this market. 42mm is a good chunky size and at £1300 this represents a cool entry level TAG Heuer. I enquired as to the level of interest in the forthcoming Heuer 01 Man Utd SE, and was told (rather honestly) that there wasn't any as yet. Which to be honest I'm not really all that surprised to hear... expect those to hit the outlet stores sometime in 2019.
Needless to say, TAG have done a nice job with the packaging as well, with the box lid underside sporting a Manchester United logo, in much the same vein as the Premiership Aquaracer box released last year. The back of the watch is also marked with the United logo, and as you would expect this model is water resistant to 200m.
Overall, I have to say I was quite impressed with this really, and I can see this model as a good base for some other black F1 models. The first thing that springs to mind would be a Singapore Grand Prix Limited Edition, just imagine all that red replaced with green, now that I might consider purchasing. It's a tough one, the colour scheme makes it quite different and striking, but I suppose making a non-Man Utd version would detract from the overall appeal. Perhaps when demand tails off they can relaunch with a plain dial and caseback for the non fans?
*Incidentally, I saw the new Tudor Black Bay Dark in the same shop and it's horrible, it looks like they've gone for the 'vinyl silk' black, which is too shiny... or not shiny enough to be actually shiny, if that makes sense... It's a shame because I really liked the sound of it, but the reality is a disaster.