TAG Heuer traces its roots to 1860 when Edouard Heuer founded Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG (English:Heuer Watchmaking Inc.) in St-Imier, Switzerland. Edouard Heuer patented his first chronograph in 1882 and in 1887 patented an “oscillating pinion” still used by major watchmakers of mechanical chronographs.
TAG Heuer is one of the world’s leading luxury watch brands, offering a strong history of innovation, deep connections with sports timing and automobile racing, and more recently, a series of groundbreaking developments in the field of ultra-fast mechanical chronographs. Together with our friends of Watch Time, we wanted to share 10 key points of the history of Heuer and TAG Heuer, how the brand founded by Edouard Heuer became one of the leaders of the sports watches and racing chronographs industry. Here are ten things you should know about TAG Heuer.
Heuer Watch Company was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer. His first watchmaking workshop was located in St-Imier, in the Swiss Jura region. The company soon built a reputation for quality workmanship and precision timekeeping. That, coupled with a series of technical innovations dating to the 1880s, led the company to become a specialist in the field of timing sporting events. During the 1920s, Heuer watches were used at the Antwerp, Paris and Amsterdam Olympics. In 1933, the brand launched the Autavia, the first dashboard stopwatch for race cars. Other more famous developments receive individual attention below. The affinity with precision timekeeping in sports, and with automobile racing in particular, continues to this day.
In 1985, Heuer was acquired by TAG Group (Holdings) S.A. TAG is an abbreviation for Techniques d’Avant Garde. TAG Group combined the TAG and Heuer brands to create the TAG Heuer company we know today. LVMH purchased the TAG Heuer subsidiary in 1999.
Back in the days when good engineering trumped marketing concerns, movement designers sought to develop calibers with fewer moving parts, to make them more reliable and easier to service. In 1887, Edouard Heuer developed and patented the oscillating pinion, which simplified the chronograph. This construction is still used by major movement manufacturers today.
In a nutshell, the pinion couples and decouples the chronograph, or stopwatch, mechanism and the regular timekeeping gear train that powers it. The pinion replaced a more complex system, simplifying manufacturing, assembly, adjustment, and service, all while delivering excellent timekeeping and reliability. This development allowed more mechanical chronographs to be produced at a lower cost, which sounds like a win all the way around.
Another major technical achievement came in 1916, when Charles-Auguste Heuer launched the original Mikrograph. It was the first mechanical stopwatch able to measure 1/100th of a second. To accomplish this, the movement’s rate was 360,000 vph – ten times faster than the 36,000 vph chronographs that we usually think of as “fast.” The original Mikrograph revolutionized sports timekeeping and served as the official stopwatch for the 1920 Olympics.
- 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
TAG Heuer Formula 1, created in a mood of racing as its name stands for, is an unmistakable TAG Heuer collection. This line was developed in cooperation with Fernando Alonso, the two-time Formula 1 World Champion and driver for the McLaren Mercedes.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches come with a quartz movement and are available in three different sizes: men’s, women’s and mid size. Chrono models are equipped with the 1/10th second chronograph.
The men’s TAG Heuer Formula 1 timepieces are quite eye-catching and transmit a temper of competition. Red, black and white are the dominating colors on these watches and highlight every single detail. Some men’s Formula 1 watches come in really garish colors that indicate that they are truly for men with a very strong character and dynamic life style.
The women’s TAG Heuer Formula 1 timepieces have, on the other hand, ultra-feminine style and sporty shapes. Both, the women’s and mid-size Formula 1 timepieces are available with a diamond bezel.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 men’s watches come on steel or rubber bracelets, while the women’s and mid-size ones have a “nizza” strap, which is made of a woven from robust synthetic fibers. The Tag Heuer Formula 1 watches come with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and are water resistant to 200 meters.