03 September, 2018

Tag Heuer - Over 150 Years of innovation

Tag Heuer started life as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG when their founder Edouard Heuer opened his first workshop in 1860.

The inspiration behind the company concerned chronographs. Edouard strived to simplify their inner workings but he didn't experience his first breakthrough until 1869 when he invented the winding system for pocket watches. 

This milestone became a precursor for future achievements that defied time-honoured traditions. Take a closer look at the history of Tag Heuer.

Don't Push Boundaries, Smash them

Tag Heuer do more than push boundaries, they break them.

One of their biggest success stories was the Mikrograph/Microsplit (1916). These stopwatches were accurate to 1/100th of a second and could time simultaneous events. This feat secured timekeeping rights for the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics.  

Expanding their expertise, Heuer would take to the skies with AUTAVIA, a dashboard time instrument with an 8-day movement for pilots.

Wrist-worn watches would soon be Heuer's next challenge. Buoyed by their success with pocket watches, their first wristwatch chronograph was released in 1914. 

It was here where Heuer started to take watchmaking to new heights with a series of creations that surprised few and astounded many. Take a look at some of their most famous watches.

Famous Tag Heuer Watches

Buoyed by their success with pocket watches, their first wristwatch featured similar mechanics right down to its movement. Their scope for development prompted Heuer to continue iterating them which inspired iconic pieces. 

1) Tag Heuer Carrera (1963)

The Carrera is one of their most known products. The collection takes inspiration from the Carrera Panamericana Rally held in the 50s.

Examples of famous Carreras is the Carrera Calibre 360 which produces 360,000 beats per hour! This is due to the modular movement made up of 230 components.

2) Tag Heuer Monaco (1969)

Their most famous watch? The King of Cool (Steve Mcqueen) wore one during his performance in Le Mans (1971). The watch received enough exposure to inspiring its own fan base. 

With its unusual square dial, it became unique among watches at the time and was named after the famous Monaco race to position it as a sports watch. 

Trivia - in July 2012, a Monaco watch worn by McQueen sold in auction for $799,500.

3) Diamond Fiction (2005)

This watch is unique. Not only its red satin finish but the Tom Wesselton diamonds show the time!  

4) Tag Heuer Pendulum (2010)

The inner working of this watch made it groundbreaker. The oscillator is magnetic so a hairspring is not needed because it generates its own torque.

The benefit of not having a hairspring means there's a greater scope for higher frequencies and thus, accuracy.

5) Carrera Mikrotimer Flying 1000 (2012)

If you thought the Mikrotimer Flying 1000 was incredible for its 3.6m beats per hour then you're not wrong. It was 125x faster than the average Swiss chronograph.

The fascinating thing about this watch was its scope for development and this is where Tag Heuer entered new realms.

6) The Mikrogirder 10,000 (2012)

Accurate to 5/10,000th, The Mikrogirder became the fastest mechanical regulator ever tested.

Creating this watch required Tag Heuer to throw away 300 years of watchmaking wisdom by changing the way energy is generated and processed.

The result? It beats 7.2m times an hour! The Mikrogirder 10000 is in a league of its own, it's Olympian. 

Final Words

Summarising Tag Heuer is difficult. Their disregard for convention and endeavour to always improve is a testament to their founder.

Their illustrious history can be seen at their museum at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Opened in 2008, attendees receive an audiovisual experience of Tag Heuer's history and how their milestones pushed Swiss watchmaking to new heights.

Among their fans include a host of celebrities, sports and movie stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth and Bella Hadid who became brand ambassadors for the luxury watchmaker.

Next up in our series is Cartier. Take a look at our blog post: Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier

If you enjoy the story of Tag Heuer, take a look at their watches available in auciton.

 
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Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tag Heuer