New Tag Heuer Formula One watches come with a new redesigned look that is truly a big step forward for this extremely popular sport collection. Keeping the recognizable style of the origins, the 2012 series brings more elegant, matured and balanced design than some previous models. Experimenting with materials, but keeping the focus on just a few colors, the Swiss watchmaker made the biggest turn in design with new Formula 1 Chronographs that look more attractive than ever before.
Engineered with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and tested in racing conditions by Jenson Button, new Tag Heuer’s Formula One Chronograph watches feature stainless steel cases with fixed bezels that look simpler and more severe than bezels of the last year’s models. They are either made of stainless steel, titanium-carbide coated stainless steel or stainless steel with aluminum/ ceramic inserts. Each of them has the tachymeter scale which replaces minute markers that are the most frequent feature of current versions.
The new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph comes in seven variations, based on different materials and colors. Two models come with stainless steel bezels. One of them (CAU1112) has a black dial and a stainless steel bracelet, while the other one – Indy 500 version ( CAU1113) features a beautiful anthracite sunray brushed dial, with white sub-dials and luminescent markers and hands.
Four Chronograph models incorporate bezels coated with titanium-carbide. There is a choice of a white-dial model (CAU1111) and a watch with a black dial (CAU1110), available with either a rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. A CAU1116 model has a black dial with striking red details, while my favorite – CAU1114 watch comes with an incredible “all in black” design. Available with a rubber strap, this timepiece has a stainless steel case, coated with titanium-carbide, as well as luminescent, hand-applied markers with black-gold finishing.
For the very first time, Tag Heuer used ceramic for a men’s Formula 1 watch. It is a CAU1115 model, with a bezel in diamond-tough brushed black ceramic, with a fetching silver tachymeter scale. It comes with an anthracite dial and a 5-row, steel and ceramic bracelet. Finally, there is a model with another “high performance material”. A striking Black and Red Chronograph (CAU1117) features a red aluminum bezel with the tachymeter scale. This model will be available from April.
Each of these timepieces has a mid-size, 42 mm case, with a screw-in crown and nicely integrated chrono pushers. The contrast between brushed finishes on steel case and bracelet, and polished finishes at the crown and bezel’s edges gives this watch a special value. A new dial also looks better. It features applied hour markers and a large Arabic numeral 12, above the brand’s logo. Three sub-dials preserved their positions: The small seconds counter is at the 3 o’clock position, the 6 0′clock position is reserved for the 1/10th of a second counter, while the 30 minute counter takes the 9 o’clock position.
New Tag Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph watches are protected with sapphire crystals. They are water-resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet). Along with double security folding clasps and screw-in crowns, this makes them suitable for under-water activities. For the first time, instead of ETA quartz movements, the Formula 1 Collection uses Ronda quartz movements. The current price goes from about $1650 US for a chronograph with a stainless steel bezel to around $1950 US for a Black and Red Chronograph.