TAG Heuer Formula 1 Watches
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The TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection was introduced in 1986. It occupies a dominant place in the history of Tag Heuer as the first watch released after the acquisition of Heuer by Techniques d’Avant Garde (“TAG”). The first generation of Tag Formula 1 watches is the first analog watch housed with quartz-only movements.
You can just relate it from the name as the brand wanted, TAG Heuer Formula 1 is popularly known for its dynamic and colorful motorsports look. For over decades, despite a few years of discontinuing, the Tag Heuer F1 collection has offered so many remarkable sports watches that turn heads.
In the 1970s, the Swiss luxury watch industry was drastically flipped after Seiko introduced its first quartz movements. Quartz watches were essentially much cheaper, more reliable and more accurate. In 1983, when many Swiss manufacturers were facing crises, two major Swiss companies merged together and created a new quartz watch called Swatch. The funky, colourful plastic watch with a quartz movement gained massive success in the market.
Inspired by the success of the Swatch watch, TAG Heuer released the Tag Formula 1 collection as a sort of slightly upmarket alternative. Although it was not pocket-friendly like the Swatch the Tag Heuer Formula 1 watch made use of similar ideological elements including synthetic case, bright colors, inexpensive quartz movements and basic techniques. This packaging had effectively attracted the buyers.
As the pioneer of motorsports watches, Heuer created their mainstay collections with the names related to auto racing. The name of Autavia collection means “AUTomotive + AVIAtion” while the Tag Heuer Carrera was named after the Carrera Panamericana and the Tag Heuer Monaco was named after the Monaco Grand Prix.
Since the 1970s, Heuer has been working with Williams F1 and then McLaren f1. To carry on with their automotive connection and tradition, the new TAG Heuer company named their new watch the TAG Heuer Formula 1.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection has brought an enormous amount of success to the brand. Let's take a deeper look at its early to later models.
First Generation of TAG Heuer Formula 1
The first TAG Formula 1 watches were designed by Eddy Burgener. The case of the model was constructed using a mixture of stainless steel with the Fibreglass coating in the inner case. It was available with variations of two sizes - 28 mm and 34 mm, and several bright color options. The vibrant coloured case featured matching plastic straps that could be adjusted in size. On the dial, Mercedes-style hands were used on its Diver series.
The Fibreglass F1 models were manufactured until 1994 and they are still considered as one of the signature models of TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection. The early models were powered by quartz movements: either a Harley Ronda SA 705 movement or the ESA 965.312 movement, while the latter ones housed the ETA 955.412/ 955.414 movement.
The first chronograph of TAG Heuer Formula 1 reference 470.513 was released in 1989. It was powered by a complicated mechanical quartz movement innovated by Ronda. The early TAG Heuer F1 chronograph watches were equipped with an unusual date display on the 6 o’clock marker, elapsed minutes at 3 o’clock and Chrono. seconds at 9 o’clock.
Second Generation of TAG Heuer Formula 1
In 1991, the updated generation of TAG Heuer Formula 1 chronograph was introduced. It remained the classical dial and featured an upgraded chronograph movement ETA 251.262 1/10th chronograph. One of the special features of this generation is that for the dials manufactured between 1991 - 1995, there would be a “1/10th” marking on the dial under the Tag Heuer logo at 9 o’clock.
Further, in 1998, the brand released again a new TAG Heuer Formula 1 series. It was an upgraded version of the TAG Heuer Chronograph model. The new version used the same case design but it featured dials in different styles. It was refined with more modern looks and had a changed triangular pointing hand for both the time hands as well as Chronograph hands.
Two years after the 1998 updates, in the year 2000, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection was discontinued.
In spite of the success of the TAG F1 watch in the market, The LVMH management team, which owned the TAG brand, decided to stop its production. The decision was made because the low-cost TAG Heuer F1 watches did not fit well with the plans of LVMH for taking the brand to the high-end market.
Yet good designs are unforgettable. After a break of four years, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection was bought back in 2004 with a brand new design, technologies and marketing positioning. The new TAG Formula 1 watch has become more innovative and creative. It has become the icon for a bold and energetic professional watch.
This Series 3 of the TAG Formula One watch featured a titanium-carbide coated steel bezel on the 316L steel case and a sapphire crystal. There are many noticeable models from this collection that are highly admired, such as the TAG Heuer Formula 1 calibre 16 and TAG Heuer Formula 1 calibre 5. These watches are no longer powered by the Quartz movement. They housed its own reliable automatic movement. Such a change also represents a change in the positioning of the Formula 1 collection.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 was the first mechanical TAG F1 watch in the collection. This 44 cm watch was released with 3 line-up variations. There are two stainless steel versions with ceramic bezels and a stainless steel one with titanium carbide coating.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 has offered high-quality watches incorporating bright colors and automotive sporting style. Being through decades of modifications, the collection has established itself as the bold and sporting model in the TAG Heuer sports watch range.
With the fact that TAG Heuer watches have won many awards, the true credibility of the Formula 1 watch was already guaranteed from the moment it was introduced. Along with its wide range of selection, TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection offers a range of sports watches that is ready-to-go for all occasions.