Tag Heuer Swiss Luxury Watches Full Guide-Review
Today Tag Heuer is probably the most widely advertised Swiss luxury watchmaking brand that focuses on sports watches and chronographs.
Aggressive and ubiquitous marketing campaigns made Tag Heuer a familiar name in circles usually unfamiliar with luxury products. During the last two decades Tag Heuer became the Rolex of sports watches – many can't afford to own one, but everyone is supposed to want one.
It must be said that some connoisseurs resent this mass consumption marketing approach, and opine that the broad appeal devalues the brand, and mechanical watchmaking in general. But, regardless of what some fanatics and aficionados think, it's universally accepted that Tag Heuer make very fine watches.
Tag Heuer aim to balance stylish design of the highest order with latest technological achievements in the field of micro engineering. What distinguishes the brand from others who try to achieve the same is the strong tendency to keep things cool and unremarkable, almost intentionally so. This philosophy of design and manufacture is reflected in the faces of two great sportsmen: Steve McQueen and Tiger Woods.
Cool, collected, unperturbed, they project ease of style as a veritable facade – which conceals a core of pure focus and energy. Though golf and racing are relatively exclusive sports, these guys make it appear mainstream. And this is what Tag Heuer is all about: luxury products appealing to the mainstream crowd. Their marketing strategy boils down to finding the right sports person who can get this message across; a simple but brilliant strategy that works.
Tag Heuer website features a black and dark blue backdrop, and a conventional navigation scheme of a main upper menu bar with more options appearing on the left bar. The dark colors project seriousness while the navigation links guarantee an effortless browsing experience. With some minor changes, the online catalogs share these characteristics.
Strangely though, what seems to be lacking is a clear sense of order: that's because the central window is governed by an array of constantly alternating images. It's a visually rather than textually guided website. Photographs and videos of changing format, colors, borders, and backgrounds determine its atmosphere. The three dimensional virtual museum is the highlight of this refreshing approach.
The majority of Tag Heuer watches were designed for land or sea racing sports. Monaco, Carrera, Grand Carrera, SLR, Aquaracer, Microtimer, and Formula 1 – these seven collections are either inspired by or intended for racing that relies on motored vehicles of varying specifications. Other two collections include the Link and the Professional Sports/Golf watch, designed mostly for tennis (represented by Maria Sharapova) and golf (Tiger Woods). Importantly, these relatively “slow” sports nevertheless involve extremely fast speeds at which the balls are travelling and the clubs and rackets are wielded.
Monaco is the classic square racing watch, Tag Heuer's link to the legendary Steve McQueen. Monaco consists of several lines, including one for the Ladies, and employs an array of calibers, colors, and complications. The Monaco Sixty Nine is outfitted with a digital chronograph and a reversal mechanism similar to Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso watches. The fact that Tag Heuer Monaco can come with digital, hand-wound, quartz, or automatic movements and complications testifies to the company's abandonment of elitism for its own sake.
Carrera watches feature a more conventional round shape and encase automatic movements, equipped with a chronograph complication in men's models. Carrera ladies watches deviate significantly from the gents' aesthetic: white dials instead of black, and no chronograph function – essentially a casual watch that contrasts with the clear sports orientation of Carrera men's.
Grand Carrera takes the automatic chronograph function of the Carrera to an unprecedented extreme. A Grand Carrera watch can measure time with the precision of a 1/1000th of a second, a specification that makes it a true Grand Prix racing instrument. The high-precision chronograph entails a matchable dial that displays two large apertures, shaped as truncated semicircles. Strictly mechanical calibers.
Tag Heuer SLR Laptimer gives the chronograph utility yet another spin, allowing not only to measure 1/100 of a second relying on a pure mechanical movement, but also to count laps. The watch can memorize the result for each lap, and allows you to consult the time of previous laps and access the best result. I think that this exotic elaboration gives Tag Heuer the depth a luxury brand needs to establish itself as unique and genuinely different. Try the demo at the dedicated SLR Laptimer website.
In many ways, the Link collection epitomizes Tag Heuer's ambition to balance style with function – the sports watchmaker's Holy Grail. Stylistically, Link watches are notable for their dials, where the crystal expands and appears to push out the unusually delicate bezels, and for the trademark bracelets with the bidental links. Link collection is also a caliber laboratory, harboring automatic, quartz, and recently electro-magnetic movements.
Professional Golf Watch, also known as Professional Sports Watch, is a light timer designed especially for golfers, based on Tiger Woods' (probably the best golfer of all time) preferences and recommendations. The Golf Watch is a curious amalgam of Monaco and Link: it possesses a square shape similar to the former, and less obvious stylistic allusions to the latter. Quartz movement.
Aquaracer is both a racing and a diving watch with such safety measures as a screw-in crown, extra water resistance, and uni-rotational bezel – all compiled into one tough and tight package. The Aquaracer is a collection of versatile and durable watches notable for their use of bright colors, which may be seen deep underwater, where light conditions are poor. Design and style may render a watch from strictly sporty to more dress oriented.
Formula 1 presents a singular purity of design: no distractions, no excesses; the watches are only intended for measuring time on the track. Interestingly, the uncompromising design of Formula 1 watches (extremely bright colors, aggressive bezel with large numerals) became popular for its own sake, the collection eventually scoring in the casual as well as the racing niche.
Microtimer – ultra-modern, futuristic, and digital in its entirety – a conceptual watch that signals Tag Heuer's readiness to try new things, and take risks no other Swiss brand seems to be willing to take.