Our Selection of Top TAG Heuer Formula 1 Watches With Watchfinder & Co.
The Rake takes a closer look at the TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches.
Originally launched in 1986, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 was the first watch that marked Heuer’s historic acquisition by Techniques d’Avant Garde (“TAG”). Inspired by the success of the Swatch watch in the quartz era when Japanese watches ruled the market, the Formula 1 was made for the times. It was the first analogue Heuer/ TAG Heuer series to be quartz-only and was available in bright fibreglass and stainless steel cases, priced much lower than the Autavia. Designed by Eddy Burge, the first generation of Formula 1 watches offered three-hand and chronograph models powered by quartz calibres from ETA. The collection’s name had an obvious reference to TAG and Heuer’s illustrious history with motorsports. The Heuer company was not new to chronograph manufacturing. Some of the pieces in the company's catalogue then dated back to 1882. While TAG had sponsored the Williams team from 1979-1981, Heuer supported Ferrari in the 1970s. While most race track heroes—from Bruce McLaren to Mario Andretti to Gilles Villeneuve—sported the Heuer Autavia in the 1960s, Carrera too was a prominent fixture amongst drivers who prefered elegant watches with great legibility.
TAG Heuer has the right to call its watches what it pleases, but it is perfectly legitimate to borrow the name of the world’s most important motor series, as the brand has a long heritage in the sport. As early as 1968, Jack Heuer signed a sponsorship deal with driver Jo SIffert and TAG Heuer is still the official timekeeper of the Monaco Grand Prix and the Automobile Club de Monaco. In fact, TAG also funded the development of the Porsche 1.5 litre turbo engine that powered the McLaren cars at the World Championships in the 1980s. The company sponsored the McLaren team for 30 years until 2015. In 2016, TAG Heuer marked a historic premiere for a watch company in the world of Formula One by taking up the branding rights for Renault engines used by the Red Bull team.
When Jean-Claude Biver took over TAG Heuer as its interim CEO in 2015, the company started focussing on a young product line with emphasis on affordability and 'perceived value'. Anchored in TAG Heuer’s long association with racing and motorsports, the Formula 1 collection was in perfect sync with Biver’s vision for the company. The 2015 models showcased a significant change in the watch design’s, which now looked more like the Heuer Autavia from the 1970s. While the collection still offered quartz models, a good number of mechanical movements were also introduced in the line-up. Last year, TAG Heuer introduced a premium model in this range priced at USD 6500, which costs as much as a Monaco and more than most Carreras. A collaboration with influential Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, the TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Chronograph was released as a limited edition of 500 pieces. This was the first time that a Formula 1 watch was equipped with the in-house Heuer 02 Chronograph movement. For this new collaboration, Fujiwara created a daring reinterpretation of TAG Heuer’s signature motor-racing inspired C-Case models from the 1960s and 1970s (think vintage Heuer “Viceroy”’ Autavia 1163 as its inspiration. For 2021,TAG Heuer introduced new models in tangerine orange and lime yellow inspired by the vibrant colours of the first Formula 1 series introduced in 1986. The novelties include three chronographs and a three-hand model offered on a 43 mm steel case and ceramic bezel. There is also a grey and orange racing chrono that is totally classic and timeless as a colour scheme; it works well on the new Formula 1. This week we have added a couple of cool TAG Heuer Formula 1 pieces to our shop. One of them is a chrono from 2007. Part of the third series of the Formula 1 watches, this timepiece has a distinct quarter Arabic dial in white with a tri-colour register at 6 o’clock. The 41 mm watch in steel is water-resistant up to 200 metres and is offered with its original set of box and papers. The other three Formula 1 models in our shop are from more recent years. There is an example of a 41 mm steel case watch with an all black dial and white baton hour markers that looks quite chic. Powered by a quartz movement, the watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters. It comes with its original box ( issued in 2017) and a two-year warranty from Watchfinder.
Then there is a 43mm steel model from 2019. The watch has a deep blue dial with contrasting white baton hour markers. It comes with its original set of box and papers. Last but not the least, we have a really attractive TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch from 2020. A 43mm chrono with blue dial, the watch has blue sandblasted aluminium tachymeter-scale bezel and a classic 3-6-9 chronograph sub-dial layout. The on-trend NATO strap is in matching blue with a central orange stripe and two small gray stripes. The watch comes with its original set of box and papers.