TAG Heuer first joined the World Surf League in May 2015 as the Official Timekeeper of the Big Wave Tour. The brand is no stranger to the prestigious title of Official Timekeeper for a major, global sporting event, but this particular partnership requires them to take their timekeeping skills off dry land. In fact, they’re the first luxury watch brand to enter the world of surfing.
TAG’s famously re-launched, “Don’t crack under pressure,” campaign is the perfect match for the World Surf League and the Big Wave Tour. The ad slogan originally ran from 1991-1994 and was rebooted just three years ago in 2014. Instead of focusing on the physical prowess required to be a professional athlete, the sentiment is inspired by the mental endurance that’s just as necessary – something the world’s top surfers can certainly relate to.
One of the first events sponsored by TAG and the World Surf League was the first ever Pe’ahi Challenge in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii back in December 2015. Swells reached as high as 60-feet and crashed so forcefully that they caused vibrations in the surrounding cliffs. Surfers had to take precautions, like wearing life vests similar to those on airplanes that can inflate quickly with the pull of a tab. Security teams circled the area, ready to rescue surfers in distress. Needless to say, the pressure was on.
Of course the athlete’s skill and mental stamina were key in safely and successfully navigating such extreme conditions, but they were also equipped with the right tools for the job. If you looked to the wrists of many of the surfers, you’d find an Aquaracer as their sole companion while braving the waves. Semi-finalist Kai Lenny sported his 300M Calibre 5 at the event.
Since their epic inaugural event, TAG has continued to make a big splash with the World Surf League and the surfing community. In addition to sponsoring events and athletes, TAG participates in the league’s annual Big Wave Awards by selecting nominees for categories like the Wipeout of the Year and Biggest Wave. The next event in the Big Wave Tour is this year’s Pe’ahi Challenge in Maui this fall. Be sure to check out the competition to see what models this year’s star surfers are sporting on their next ride.