Tag Heuer formula 1 Chronograph Review

29th October 2019

Since the earliest age of motorsports, there has been a close connection between watches and racing. Few manufactures have been as involved with driving than Heuer – think of the many icons of racing horology it has created: the Monaco, the Carrera, the Silverstone and more. But perhaps the purest expression of the brand's identification with the sport is the Formula 1 series.

For over 150 years, TAG Heuer – a brand that was previously named just “Heuer” – has been creating first-class pocket watches and wristwatches. Edouard Heuer, the founder of the company, patented his first chronograph in 1882. In 1887, he patented an “oscillating pinion” – a mechanism that is still used today by watchmakers of mechanical chronographs. Since its inception, TAG Heuer has been highly engaged in the sports world. The company supports famous world athletes including members of the acclaimed McLaren Formula 1 team. Steve McQueen sported the TAG Heuer Monaco in the famous racing movie “Le Mans”.

Tag Heuer Formula 1 history begins in 1986. It was a big moment for the company because it was the first new watch family since Heuer was acquired by Techniques d’Avant Garde. A major shift in focus was sought after the trials of the quartz crisis, when the company's premium mechanical timekeepers became very difficult to sell. The new Formula 1 used a bold analogue design with a cutting-edge quartz movement – and it remained quartz-only until very recently. Partly inspired by the Swatch, it found remarkable commercial success with its stylish design, advanced materials and bold colours – not to mention the lower price point.

Some of the watch's appeal was historic: though it was new, both TAG and Heuer had longstanding relationships with Formula 1 racing, working with teams as prestigious as Ferrari and McLaren. But this was a popular watch in its own right. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Series 1 was unlike any previous Heuer, and boasted fibreglass in the case and top ETA movements within. Later models added chronographs and some were more classically styled, earning even more followers. While the Formula 1 was discontinued in 2000 after LVMH acquisition, it was revived with a new design not long after, and continues to represent a key part of the company's core stable.



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