Edouard Heuer, a watchmaker from a small village in Switzerland, pushed his innovative designs down a determined path of success. The once small company is now an international corporation that can look back on numerous inventions and technological milestones. Renamed TAG Heuer in 1985, the company is a prominent watch manufacturer that is known for its production of world leading quality watches and its strong connection to the world of motorsports.
Early on, the production of TAG Heuer timepieces caught the attention of the vehicle and aeronautic world. Before long, the company associated itself with motorsports. The connection between TAG Heuer and racing is highly evident in the sporty design of the watches. Some models presented by the company have gained cult status among TAG Heuer enthusiasts – the TAG Heuer Monaco and the TAG Heuer Carrera are a couple of distinctive models just to name a few.
1860 was a great time for aspiring entrepreneurs and a young watchmaker by the name of Edouard Heuer made the most of opportunities that came his way. The young 20-year old watchmaker founded his company in the small mountain village of Saint-Imier. Once he opened his watch workshop, he utilised his expertise and innovative spirit in breaking new watchmaking ground. In 1887, he greatly contributed to the watchmaking world through the creation of his “oscillating pinion”, which is still used by TAG Heuer and other distinguished manufacturers to this day.
In 1911, Heuer patented the “Time of Trip”, which was the first dashboard chronograph created. The innovative technology was used in automobiles and airplanes and allowed users to monitor and measure the duration of their trips.
In 1916, the Heuer brothers highlighted their success with another accomplishment: Charles Auguste Heuer developed the “Micrograph”, which was a stopwatch that was accurate to 1/100th of a second. It comes as no surprise then that TAG Heuer watches are happily utilised in the world of sports. Throughout its history, TAG Heuer has been the official timekeeper of professional athletes and major sporting events.
Jack W. Heuer, the great-grandson of the company founder, drew the attention of the watchmaking industry to the Heuer family in 1969. The reason: the “Chrono-Matic” calibre 11 movement was the first of its kind to embody a self-winding mechanism with a micro rotor. The movement was developed in secrecy and in collaboration with two other companies – Breitling and Hamilton. The movement revolutionised the watchmaking world and further showcased the innovative energies of TAG Heuer.
That same year, Steve McQueen wore the TAG Heuer Monaco in the famous car racing film, “Le Mans”. The Monaco was the world’s first square automatic chronograph and, adorned on the wrist of a famous star, soon became an icon.
When the first quartz watches began to conquer wrists in the 1970s, TAG Heuer was quickly receptive to the new movement. The company introduced the world’s first quartz chronograph in 1975, consequently making watch headlines. With the name “Chronosplit”, the chronograph was presented with dual LED and LCD display, a split-seconds function, and held a precision of 1/100th of a second.
In 1985, the watch manufacturer became “TAG Heuer” when TAG – a producer of high tech instruments for Formula 1 cars – acquired the company. Jack Heuer retired as the CEO of TAG Heuer in 2013, but still serves an honorary role with the company.
TAG Heuer has always maintained a close connection to the world of sports. Between 1992 and 2003, TAG Heuer was the official timekeeper of Formula 1. The close cooperation has been represented in the famous TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch line – a collection that calls out to lovers of both premium watches and dynamic motorsports. A connection with motorsports has also manifested in collaborations with Ferrari and McLaren. TAG Heuer has designed three innovative collections for McLaren Mercedes, which is represented by Formula 1 driver Jenson Button.
Confessed lovers and brand ambassadors of Tag Heuer timepieces include celebrities like world-famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and talented actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Furthermore, the impressive tennis star Maria Sharapova is a TAG Heuer brand ambassador who has worked together with the company to produce a series of distinctive ladies’ watches. One of her professed favourite models is the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Lady Steel & Ceramic Pavee, which relays a feminine touch with a diamond-encrusted bezel.
Tag Heuer has been steadily expanding its iconic watch collections with innovative technologies while keeping the iconic and traditional watch designs of the past in mind. In 2004, the company presented the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 for the motorsports enthusiasts. Inspired by the legendary and timeless 1964 Monaco worn by Steve McQueen, the timepiece is the world’s first watch with a belt-driven transmission. Further features of the watch include a linear oscillating weight and ceramic bearings. The TAG Heuer Monaco V4 heavily draws on the square form of the original Monaco series. The Monaco V4 has been equipped with more power however as the timepiece is now powered by the innovative calibre 12 chronograph.
TAG Heuer has also released the Aquaracer series – a timepiece that caters to the needs of sailors and those who spend countless hours with the aquatic world. The watch provides a high water resistance paired with a confidentially bold style. The Aquaracer 500M celebrates the partnership that TAG Heuer holds with the Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup.
2005 marked the year that the company shook the watchmaking world once again – this time with the Calibre 360 Chronograph – the first mechanical chronograph equipped with a measuring accuracy down to 1/100th of a second. This TAG Heuer masterpiece further represents the connection of the company with automobile racing. The mechanical chronograph is 10 times faster than any other mechanical watch movement known to man.
Looking back on tradition and innovation, TAG Heuer continues to be inspired by the precision required of professional sports. The company continues to break new ground in watchmaking innovations and never ceases to impress its devoted fans and clientele.
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