Most people know TAG Heuer as a leader in the luxury watch industry, but do you know how the brand transitioned from Heuer to Tag Heuer? Here is a breakdown of Tag Heuer history, a brand of innovation, with groundbreaking developments and the brand of choice in the sports industry.
Founded in 1860, by Edouard Heuer, he named the company the Heuer Watch Company. It was based in the Swiss Jura region of which his shop was well known for precision and quality watchmaking. In 1887, he patented an “oscillating pinion”, a mechanism that is still used today by watchmakers of mechanical chronographs.
In 1911, Heuer launched the”Time of Trip“, the first chronograph to be used in automobiles dashboards. He soon became a specialist in the timing of sports events with his unique innovations with his watches even being used in the Amsterdam, Antwerp and Paris Olympics in the 1920s! This was due to his patented Micrograph which became the world’s first wristwatch with a chronometer function. It could measure a 1/100th of a second which is why it was so useful for the sporting events.
Then is 1933, he introduced the Autavia, which was also another dashboard timer for automobiles but also for aeroplanes, followed by the launch of the Monte Carlo and then the Master-Time. His pieces become utterly popular by the 1950s to the ’70s in the autosport world for their precision.
His watches become so popular that it also became the first Swiss watch in space. John Glenn wore a Heuer 2915A stopwatch on his wrist (held in place by a custom made elastic strap) while flying the Mercury “Friendship 7” mission on February 20, 1962, orbiting the Earth three times. This Heuer timepiece was used as the mission’s back-up timer.
Heuer became the world’s first chronograph to measure a 1/1000th of a second in 1966. Fast forward to 1985, TAG Group (Techniques d’Avant Garde) Holdings took over the Heuer Watch Company to create the brand we are so familiar with today. In 1992, TAG Heuer brand reputation got a huge lift as they became the official timekeeper for the Formula 1 races.
Then in 1999, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy S.A.) bought over the Tag Heuer section. Another world’s first, Tag Heuer became the first chronograph to measure 1/10,000th of a second when they launched their Monaco V4 with a belt-driven type movement. In 2013, Jack Heuer retired from the company.
Here are just 3 of their notable brands:
Formulae 1 Series
This line was the first line released after the acquisition of Heuer by Techniques d’Avant Garde. . It was also the first Heuer/ TAG Heuer series to be quartz-only watch and still to this day there has never been an automatic model. Developed together with Fernando Alonso, a two-time Formula 1 World Champion and driver for the McLaren Mercedes, the F1 watches which come in 3 sizes (men, women and mid-size) also have a quartz movement. The Chrono watches have a little something extra as they are installed with a 1/10th second measurement.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer
This line is made for water sports lovers, and it based on the 2000 series. This line has an easy read dial and can come with an automatic or quartz movement, with our without a chronograph. It is recognisable for not only its precision and comfort but for its rhomboid case design. Two known models are the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Aquagraph and the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Regatta.
TAG Heuer Carrera
Probably one of the most legendary watches of all time, as mentioned before, it has been modified, improved and changed on many occasions to become a very reliable and innovated watch. Coming in various colours, and material (steel or gold), it is a larger watch of 26mm to 41mm, yet the design is in balance with its case and dial.
Tag Heuer 2000
The 2000 series, followed by the 1000 series (the first TAG Heuer diving watch), comes in a wide range of automatic and quartz movements which made the brand and line very popular over 10 years ago. The line came with six main features: water resistance up to 200 meters, screw-in crown, luminous hands and hours markers, sapphire crystal, unidirectional turning bezel, and a double safety clasp.