At the beginning of the week, TAG Heuer ambassador Patrick Dempsey traveled to La Chaux-de-Fonds to visit the brand’s workshops for the first time and learn more about its rich heritage and strong connection to motor racing. Both actor and racer, Dempsey first met TAG Heuer’s CEO Jean-Claude Biver at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race two years ago, during which they developed a close relationship that led the brand to sponsor his team, Dempsey Motor Racing Team.
Dempsey spent the first part of the afternoon touring TAG Heuer’s museum with Jack Heuer, grandson of the company’s founder, who guided him through the over 150 years of history of the brand. The second half of the afternoon was dedicated to exploring TAG Heuer’s workshops, where the racer got to meet the watchmakers that bring each of the brand’s timepieces to life. Dempsey was impressed by the patience and incredible talent needed to become a watchmaker, something he truly realized once he tried assembling a movement himself. “It’s amazing how precise it all is. It’s like surgery; not that I know anything about being a surgeon,” he joked, alluding to his former decade-long role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd on ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.
To commemorate the end of such a big chapter of his life after recently leaving the TV show, Dempsey bought himself a vintage TAG Heuer Monaco timepiece from the 1970s. “I bought it when I was in Belgium with one of my co-drivers, Patrick,” he explained. “I wanted something special, a watch that would bring closure to a chapter of my life that was profound and liberating.” Dempsey’s visit to La Chaux-de-Fonds turned out to be perfect timing, as he had just recently damaged the watch while racing and brought it with him to be repaired during his stay. “To have the watch get fixed here is very special. My connection to TAG Heuer, to this brand and family, is now much deeper and richer. It was my investment so that I can be part of this company more than just a celebrity name.”