TAG Heuer and Team Ikuzawa, a name that is synonymous with motorsport, have created a timepiece with artistic input from George Bamford and Mai Ikuzawa.
You might not know this but Tetsu Ikuzawa, a racing driver with an illustrious career defined by pivotal victories through his life, and later a famed team owner, was born the son of an artist, and entered his first motorcycle race at 15. While he finished last, he was given the “Fighting Spirit Award” for his perseverance, a fitting way for him to commence his motorsports career.
In 1963 he would switch from two wheels to four wheels, entering the first Japanese Grand Prix for sports cars at Suzuka, having signed with the Prince Motor Company to race the Skyline Sport Coupe, and in 1964 he was competing again with the team in a race that would launch the Skyline GT racing legend into the dynasty it is today.
In 1967, switched from Nissan to a leased Porsche 906 from the Japanese importer and went on to beat the domestic entries, instantly making Porsche a household name in Japan and beginning a lifelong relationship between Ikuzawa and the marque.
In the late 1960s, Tetsu competed in Europe, and despite a limited knowledge of English, raced in the British Formula Three Championship in 1966. After competing for Frank Williams, he then joined Porsche as a works driver, becoming a pioneering Japanese racer at Le Mans and in Formula 2 befound founding i&i Racing Development, now known as Team Ikuzawa. The team’s iconic red and white livery, featuring a red-crowned crane reflects the family’s artist inclination.
Now, stepping gracefully into the spotlight, Mai, his daughter, seamlessly weaves her heritage and passion for the automotive industry with the sensibilities of fashion and culture acquired during studies at the renown Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design and two decades as a creative director across a plethora of disciplines.
She has emerged as a prominent figure in the vibrant Japanese design culture and artistic scene, working closely with influential designers and tastemakers, most famously the legend Hiroshi Fujiwara who has also collaborated with TAG Heuer in the past. At the same time, she is one of the world’s most influential automotive ambassadors and her mission is to inject a creative edge and a fresh perspective into special projects she has executed in the car space.
Completing the puzzle with finesse is George Bamford, a revered customizer and design connoisseur renowned for his impeccable skill in harmonizing aesthetics and functionality. George’s profound admiration for TAG Heuer, coupled with his deep-rooted familial love of cars, seamlessly aligns him as the ideal partner long-time friend Mai.
The centerpiece of this collaboration is a timepiece in red and white – honouring Team Ikuzawa and its culture. The dial features a white opaline finish with a striking red 60-second/minute scale, complemented by two white and red contrasting chronograph counters at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. Rhodium-plated, polished indexes and hands, adorned with white Super-LumiNova and red lacquer, exude a sporty yet sophisticated essence.
The “Team Ikuzawa Choice of Racing Enthusiasts” and “SWISS MADE” insignia proudly grace the dial of this limited-edition Japanese racing masterpiece. Encased within a finely brushed and polished 42mm steel case, the watch, water resistant to 100m, exudes elegance and durability, and is powered by the in-house Heuer 02 movement. The beveled, domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment ensures optimal legibility and protection.
Completing the ensemble is a steel three-row bracelet with a folding clasp, adorned with the iconic TAG Heuer shield. For added versatility, the watch comes with an additional white fabric strap, featuring the distinctive “Team Ikuzawa” marking and a Velcro closure.
Each timepiece, limited to 100 units, bears a special steel screw-down sapphire case back, proudly displaying the “XXX/100”, “Team Ikuzawa” logo, and “BAMFORD WATCH DEPT.” imprint.
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