An obsession with ultimate precision, innovation and a deep love of prestigious sports have led Swiss luxury watchmaker, the Tag Heuer, throughout the 150 years of stunning history.
Tag Heuer philosophy, symbolized by the motto “Swiss Avant-Garde since 1860”, enabled constant experiments with the impossible and unknown.
Today is possible and well known – the Tag Heuer is the only watch brand that offers instruments that are accurate to 1/10th, 1/100th and 1/1000th of a second for wristwatches, and to 1/10,000th of a second for timekeeping.
The Heuer (today the Tag Heuer) also manufactured the first automatic chronograph with a microrotor (1969), the world’s first chronograph with a water-resistant square case, (1969) the first analog display quartz chronograph (1983); not to mention a revolution in watchmaking circles, with the launch of the new “Monaco V4” concept watch.
The most successful in sport and Hollywood have always been deeply connected with the brand.
That are, without exception, the links of ultimate quality – precision, endurance and technical innovation at one side and great professional achievements on other.
Always the best wore the Tag Heuer watches – from actors Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt and Leonardo de Caprio, F1 drivers Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Kimi Raïkkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya, NBA basketball player Yao Ming, tennis star Maria Sharapova, actresses Uma Turman, Kristen Scott Thomas and Helena Bonham Carter to the legend of golf Tiger Woods.
Tag Heuer has been the official timekeeper of the three Summer Olympic Games, the Skiing World Championships, the Formula One World Championships and having developed a watches for the Ferrari and McLaren F1 team.
The company was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer. His watches, from a village in the Swiss Jura region, soon became recognized by high technology, superb choice of materials and innovative design.
In 1887, Heuer patented an ‘oscillating pinion’ still used by major watchmakers for mechanical chronographs.
Heuer introduced its first wrist chronograph in 1914. Two years latter, Swiss watchmaker presented the “Micrograph“, the first stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second.
The “Semikrograph“, a stopwatch that offered a split-second function (which measures the interval between two contestants or events) came next.
From 1935 through the early 1940s, Heuer manufactured chronographs for pilots in the German air force, known as “Flieger” (pilots) chronographs.
In the mid-1940s, Heuer’s chronograph line was expanded to include models with both two and three registers, as well as a three-register chronograph, with a full calendar function (day / date / month).
In 1950, the Swiss watchmaker introduced the “Mareograph – Seafarer”, a wristwatch with chronograph functions and tide indicator.
The “Seafarers” had special dials that showed the high and low tides and that could be used for tracking the moon phases.
The 60’s were the years of great expansion for the company’s watches inspired by car races and the timepieces designed for both, professional and amateur drivers.
The Autavia chronograph, with a rotating bezel, marked in either hours, minutes, decimal minutes (1/100th minute increments) or with a tachymeter scale, was launched in 1962. All manual-wind Autavias from the 1960s had a black dial, with white registers.
The Carrera chronograph, designed by Jack Heuer, was introduced in 1963. The Carrera had a very simple design, with only the registers and applied markers on the dial. The fixed inner bezel is divided into 1/5 second increments. A three-register, triple calendar version of the Carrera was introduced around 1968.
Most of Heuer chronographs from this period, including the Autavias and Carreras, were using Valjoux movements.
Launch of the legendary “Monaco” model, the world’s first chronograph with a water-resistant square case happened in 1969. Steve McQueen wore a blue Monaco in the 1971 movie, Le Mans.
In 1969, Heuer and partners (Breitling and Hamilton) introduced the “Chronomatic“, the world’s first automatic chronograph with a microrotor.
Heuer’s next automatic chronographs were the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco, powered by the Cal 11 and Cal 12 movements (12-hour chronograph); Cal 14 movement (12-hour chronograph and additional hand for GMT / second time-zone) and the Cal 15 movement (30-minute chronograph).
The Daytona, Montreal, Silverstone, Calculator, Monza and Jarama models, all of them powered by the Caliber 11 movement, entered the Heuer’s automatic chronographs’ line, in the early 1970s.
In 1975, Heuer launched the Chronosplit, a digital chronograph with dual LED and LCD displays (later versions featured two LCD displays). It was the world’s first quartz wrist chronograph.
Swiss watchmaker began to use the Valjoux 7750 movement in its automatic chronographs, with the Kentucky and Pasadena models (both introduced in 1977).
In the mid-1970s, Heuer introduced ten models of Heuer chronographs powered by the Lemania 5100 movement – models with the names Carrera, Silverstone and Cortina.
Launch of the “2000 series”, the original Professional Sports Watch, with the famous 6 features – water resistance 200 meters, screw-in crown, unidirectional turning bezel, sapphire crystal, luminous hands and hours markers and double safety clasp – marked the 1982.
TAG Heuer was established in 1985 when Heuer joined TAG group (Techniques d’Avant Garde), manufacturers of high-tech items such as ceramic turbochargers for Formula One cars.
The company under the new name didn’t change a main principals, but has made a last effort to join the highest level and become a status symbol.
In 1997, the company launched the “Kirium” series, and two years later, the TAG Heuer exclusively presented its first watch dedicated to woman, named Alter Ego.
In 2003, launching Monaco Sixty Nine, TAG Heuer reinvented its icon, witch combines the Monaco’s manual-winding movement with a digital chronograph movement on the reverse side of case.
The same year was introduced the Microtimer, the first Swiss wrist timekeeping instrument accurate to 1/1000th of a second.
After five years of enthusiastic work with unknown, TAG Heuer made a true revolution in watchmaking technology, with the first mechanical movement of the third millennium.
The new concept, presented with “Monaco V4” watch in 2003, is based on use of belts, a linear weight, ceramic ball-races and four V-mounted barrel.