Watches

Mansour Ojjeh, the TAG in TAG Heuer, Dies at 68

WatchesJun 08, 2021

Mansour Ojjeh, the TAG in TAG Heuer, Dies at 68

Ojjeh was a legend in the world of Formula 1 racing and owned TAG Heuer from 1985 to 1999.

Two shots of the late Mansour Ojjeh provided by McLaren. The Ojjeh family owns Techniques d’Avant Garde, which is the “TAG” in TAG Heuer. Ojjeh owned the watch company from 1985 to 1999 when he sold it to LVMH.
Geneva—Mansour Ojjeh, a legend in the world of Formula 1 racing and the man behind the “TAG” in TAG Heuer, died Sunday in Geneva surrounded by his family.

He was 68.

McLaren shared news of Ojjeh’s death on its website Sunday morning.

According to a full obituary posted on the site later that day, Ojjeh was born on Sept. 25, 1952. 

His father, Akram Ojjeh, was a businessman and industrialist who started Techniques d’Avant Garde—better known by the acronym TAG—in 1975 as a holding company for his myriad investments.

The younger Ojjeh studied at the American School in Paris, earned a bachelor’s in business at Menlo College in Atherton, California and his master’s degree at the University of Santa Clara. 

Through TAG, the Ojjeh family was involved in a number of industries, including motor racing (Mansour Ojjeh had been a main shareholder in McLaren since the early ‘80s), aviation and the watch industry. 

In 1985, Ojjeh bought the watch company that was the timing partner for McLaren, Heuer, a Swiss watchmaker that traces its roots to 1860.  

A new watch brand was born—TAG Heuer.

 
Ojjeh’s company, TAG Gruppe, was the largest single shareholder of TAG Heuer. LVMH Moёt Hennessy Louis Vuitton bought the brand in 1999 for $740 million.   

On Sunday, TAG Heuer said via social media that it was saddened to learn of Ojjeh’s death, calling him “a great friend of the company whose support was key in building us into the brand we are today.” 

Ojjeh suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic, progressive lung disease, and underwent a double lung transplant in 2013. 

He recovered and returned to work, taking on an executive role with McLaren in 2017. 

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and their four children, Lana, Lia, Sara and Sultan.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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