TAG – With several high-profile sponsorships, including Manchester United, the French Professional Football League, Porsche’s Formula E Electric Racing Team, the Ferrari F1 team, and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, the relationship with sports and timing continues to be lucrative.
As a result, Tag Heuer has become synonymous with rugged, sporty watches – as shown by the promotional slogan “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” – most notably embodied in Monaco, the square watch made popular by the film Le Mans, as well as the Aquaracer and Formula 1 lines.
Tag Heuer is widely regarded for its chronographs, a watch category in which it has excelled to the point that it was making them for many of its storied Swiss rivals, like Rolex, at one point.
Édouard Heuer, the company’s founder, was a maverick inventor and innovator who founded his 19th-century watchmaking business in the village of St-Imier and became a pivotal figure in the history of watchmaking.
In 1882, Heuer received his first chronograph patent, and five years later, he invented the oscillating pinion, which is still used today to stop and start chronographs. The firm went on to create chronographs for aircraft, automobiles, and vessels.
It has recently expanded into the field of smartwatches. Its Connected line of modular watches offers various interchangeable features, including the ability to customize watch faces through a touchscreen interface, swap bands, lugs, and even the watch head itself. It’s innovations like these that hold TAG Heuer on top as one of the most prestigious names in high-end precision watchmaking.
The maverick vision of Édouard Heuer is alive and well in the twenty-first century with promises of even more groundbreaking complications coming soon. However, like with any established watch company, the possibility of revamping existing designs is very slim.
Tag Heuer is best known for its race watches, with a few diving watches thrown in for good measure. The Autavia, on the other hand, demonstrates that the band is equally adept at making fine aviation timepieces, with all the hallmarks of a good pilot’s timepiece: expanded crown for gloved hands, highly legible dial, and even a case back embossed with a propellor.
Films from the 1970s are arguably the most stylish. Steve McQueen is, without a doubt, the most fashionable of the bunch. As a result, when the Hollywood superstar first wore iconic Monaco in 1970’s Le Mans (named after the famous race), the square-faced Tag Heuer watch became an instant classic. It’s now available in black-on-stainless-steel-on-black for a look that’s a bit more dressy (but still very much in a McQueen lane).
The Carrera was the first chronograph developed exclusively for calculating car races, and it was unveiled in 1964 to commemorate the Carrera Panamericana, a famously hair-raising Mexican road race that was ultimately shut down due to a high number of fatalities.
In commemoration of Tag Heuer’s 160th anniversary, numerous versions of the watch were released in 2020.
The Aquaracer’s biggest client base, like most diving watches, consists of people who have no intention of ever leaving dry land. Even so, this tool watch, which was launched in 2003 after its forerunner, the Aquagraph, had been tested by the Navy Seals, remains a professional piece of equipment.
Given that it was a chronograph, it had moving parts that could fail, its suitability as a diving watch was all the more remarkable. Since then, it has become the gold standard in terms of architecture and appearance.
This model’s silver on silver stylings is the last word in “classic men’s watch.” It’s one of a handful of limited-edition Carreras released to commemorate the brand’s 160th anniversary. It may appear to be plucked from the dashboard of a 1960s sports car, but it’s driven by Tag’s in-house automatic Heuer 02 movement, which has a power reserve of more than 80 hours. You do the math – there are only 1860 parts available (s).
Even though the Autavia dates from the 1960s (and the 1930s if you count a stopwatch of the same name), it took two relaunches, one in 1996 and the other is 2017, for it to catch on as demand for vintage relatives grew. The Autavia is a classic pilot’s watch with excellent retro styling (the gradient dial, the numerals), and it now comes with the top-of-the-line Calibre 5 movement.
Tag Heuer has definitely raised the standard for watchmaking in the last few decades and just like how the household has expressed its appreciation with time towards watchmaking; time will only tell of the new heights the company will take its products in the future.
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