A Guide to TAG Heuer Watches
TAG Heuer is one of the giants in the world of watchmaking, sitting alongside Swiss peers, including Rolex and Omega. With strong links to motorsports, ranging from the TAG Heuer tachymeter Formula 1 to the TAG Heuer Mario Kart watch, many chronograph collectors include TAG Heuer in their collections. For others, the world of TAG Heuer may yet be unexplored. Our guide will take you through the brand, from how to pronounce TAG Heuer [Tahg Hoyer], to how TAG Heuer stacks up against other brands, like Breitling and Tudor.
History of TAG Heuer
Set up by Edouard Heuer in 1860 in le Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, the Heuer brand began to produce mechanisms that are still used in wrist watches today. However, the brand was best known for its dashboard chronographs and has been closely linked with auto racing from its early days. This is reflected in the names of models, such as TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche and the TAG Heuer Formula 1. Although Heuer struggled during the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s – like so many Swiss brands- Heuer was acquired in 1985 by Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG), and the brand became one of the ‘must-have’ accessories during the affluent 80s.
Acquired by LVMH in 1999, TAG Heuer is both forward-facing and retro-inspired, with its range of connected watches, like the TAG Heuer Porsche Connected, and the vintage feel of the TAG Heuer Monaco.
The Best TAG Heuer Models
While the TAG Heuer range includes the Autavia and Link collections, the brand is best known for watches such as the Carrera TAG Heuer and the TAG Monaco watch. What makes these models so highly sought after?
TAG Heuer Monaco
Launched in 1969 and named after the Monaco Grand Prix, TAG Heuer Monaco watches are instantly identifiable by their square case and chic colour profiles. Although forever linked with the Rolex Daytona, Steve McQueen was also a Monaco TAG Heuer owner. To mark the 50th anniversary of the model, the brand released the titanium TAG Heuer Monaco ‘Dark Lord’.
- Case size: 39mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Movement: Caliber HEUER02, in-house automatic movement
- Power reserve: 80 hours
- Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph & date
TAG Heuer Carrera
Historically, the Carrera collection has had a wide span of different options, from the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 to the TAG Heuer Carrera Twin Time. With a range of limited-edition Carreras and ladies TAG Heuer Carrera watches also popular, TAG Heuer is beginning to focus on creating fewer Carrera models.
- Case size: From 39mm to 45mm
- Movement: Most often Caliber HEUER02, in-house automatic movement
- Features: Ranging from Chronograph and date to tachymeter.
TAG Heuer Formula 1
The Formula 1 watch is sporty, durable and waterproof. They can frequently be quite colourful, with even a Mario Kart TAG Heuer produced. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Mario Kart is just a bit of pop culture. With only a small number of titanium models made, it features a tourbillon – a high end complication- that mitigates gravity’s impact on the movement. A stainless-steel version is offered without tourbillion.
- Case size: 43mm, 45mm
- Case material: Titanium, stainless steel
- Movement: Calibre Heuer 02T, in-house movement or quartz
- Features: Hours, minutes, seconds & chronograph
TAG Heuer Aquaracer
When it comes to the dive watch of TAG Heuer watches, the Aquaracer takes centre stage. Both the TAG Aquaracer women’s and men’s is produced in a range of styles from the TAG Heuer green Aquaracer to the TAG Aquaracers ladies’ diamond. TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer dive watches were launched in 1982 and are known for their underwater durability, with many models reaching depths of up to 300m.
- Case size: 36mm, 41mm, 43mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Depth: 200m, 300m
- Straps: Stainless steel, rubber
- Features: Hours, minutes, seconds & date
When asking ‘Are TAG Heuer watches any good?’, it can be useful to check out the competition to understand how Breitling vs Omega vs TAG plays out, or which brand would triumph in Tudor vs TAG Heuer.
Omega vs TAG Heuer
Omega is the home of the ‘Moon Watch’ and currently graces the wrist of James Bond; Omega’s recent progress in defying the electromagnetic frequencies that are emitted by every device places Omega as the only manufacturer able to pass electromagnetic testing for Master Chronometer designation. However, Omega is firmly rooted in mechanical and quartz watches and has failed to make any moves into the smartwatch market, while the TAG link watch flies the flag for luxury brands in the connected market.
Tudor vs TAG Heuer
Tudor vs TAG Heuer can feel like an unfair comparison as both brands are often considered to live in the shade of some of the luxury high end Swiss watch brands. Rather than offer the buyer less, both TAG Heuer and Tudor deliver in terms of superb timekeeping and horology.
Rolex’s sister brand, Tudor makes watches for military forces around the world, including the US and UK forces – a testament to its reliability and durability. TAG Heuer is the older brand and can also count on solid partnerships in the motor sport world, including the official timekeeper of the Ferrari race team. Both brands produce reliable timepieces which often prove the entry point for new buyers in the luxury watch space, making TAG Heuer and Tudor evenly matched.
Breitling watches vs TAG Heuer
While some collectors always place Breitling over TAG Heuer, it’s highly likely they have a TAG in their collection. More prestigious, perhaps, Breitling’s brand positioning seeks out the higher end of the luxury market; TAG Heuer can count on highly priced watches but also extend its offering to affordable timepieces that are more easily available to the mass market. In terms of accuracy, it’s true to say that there are some TAG Heuer watches that are COSC Certified Chronometers. However, there are only a very small number of Breitling watches that are not certified Chronometers.
Are TAG Heuer watches a good investment?
A luxury watch, TAG Heuer will hold their value, but an investment will always depend on the model invested in and whether or not it was a rare model. TAG Heuer makes robust and durable watches that will continue to work perfectly for many years.
What is important to remember is that the TAG Heuer brand has a heritage that not all Swiss watch brands can enjoy. With over 150 years of timekeeping experience and the backing of Formula 1, TAG Heuer will continue to feature in the world’s top watch brands.
If you have a preowned TAG Heuer and would like a valuation to sell, please contact us to speak with our luxury watch expert. If you’d like to start or add to your TAG Heuer collection, our range of authenticated pre-owned TAG Heuer watches.