Watch collectors love a racy back story, so TAG Heuer timepieces associated with Zef Eisenberg, who rode his Mad Max Turbine bike to a number of land speed records, are likely to attract considerable interest at an upcoming Bonhams auction.
The Bonhams Fine Watch and Wristwatches Sale on June 21, will sell a selection of bespoke watches from the collection of Mr Eisenberg, a man who accelerated to 234 mph in just one mile on his Mad Max Turbine Bike last year.
The Mad Max Racing team was sponsored for years by TAG Heuer, and part of that sponsorship involved the creation of highly advanced timepieces inspired by the bike, several of which will be offered by Bonhams on 21 June.
In 2011, TAG used the turbine bike wrapped in chrome as a promotional tool for the launch TAG Heuer’s most Avant-‐Garde timepiece: the Monaco V4, which showcased the drive mechanism that was used in both bike and watch. The TAG Heuer V4 was built with 4 barrels inter-‐connected with a NASA designed belt drive system, a R&D challenge that took 5 years to complete. It remains one of the most unusual pieces to ever be created by TAG, and is estimated at £35,000-45,000 in this month’s Bonhams sale.
For the 2013, at Goodwood Festival of Speed, TAG once again pushed the limits of watch performance and accuracy. The Mikrotimer Flying 100 was attached to the turbine bike on a ride up the famous Goodwood hill climb using a specially attached mount to track the bike’s progress. The watch proved its ability to measure to an incredible 1,000th of a second, the smallest margin possible for any mechanical chronograph wristwatch thanks to its wildly spinning centre seconds hand. The watch is expected to sell for £30,000-40,000.
A third piece produced from the partnership is the Turbina Carbon. Just 10 pieces were produced of this watch, which incorporated many of the bike’s features such as the glowing red highlights and the matt black carbon bodywork. The design also invokes the traditional motorsport stopwatch of the Heuer era, with its crown and pushers on top of the watch. The pre-sale estimate is £8,000-12,000.