tag heuer

TAG Heuer watches: history, models and innovations

TAG Heuer, once Heuer, was founded in 1860. In the early days, Heuer was just a workshop where Edouard Heuer used to manufacture silver pocket watches. The workshop quickly turned into a company; Edouard opened its headquarters in Brugg in 1864. Later, in 1867, Edouard Heuer again moved its headquarters to Bienne, where it was based until it finally moved to its current location.

Heuer's first-ever patent

In 1869, Edouard Heuer patented the crown-based winding system, thus replacing the key-operated system. This achievement proved that technical innovation was, as still is, a pillar; since 1882, TAG Heuer focused on manufacturing pocket chronographs to meet the growing request of precise timing instruments to support sports competitions.

1869-heuer-patentIn 1887 the brand improved the "oscillating pinion" system by introducing an improvement that guaranteed no chronograph hand jump during start and stops. The aforementioned confirms why the first in-house chronograph movement released in the 2000s carries the 1887 name.

In 1908 Heuer introduced the perfect chronometer for doctors.

During a visit to his doctor, Charles Auguste Heuer's ingenuity was instrumental to Heuer making a perfect doctor's chronometer. By adding a colored scale to a pocket chronograph with a sphygmomanometer, whose patent was filed in 1908, Heuer allowed any doctor to determine the patient's heart rhythm in just 20 seconds.

1911: here is the Time of Trip

At the beginning of the last century, traveling by either car or plane skyrocketed. Heuer's cutting-edge approach ended up with introducing a dashboard chronograph to apply to a vehicle or an airplane easily. Its name was "Time of Trip," thus visualizing central time, whereas two smaller hands placed in a register at six measured the elapsed journey's duration. The Heuer Time of Trip was the forerunner of chronographs then adopted in Rally and endurance racing moving forward.

1916: Heuer introduces two milestones in watchmaking: the Mikrotimer and the Microsplit.

After launching its first wrist chronograph in 1914, Heuer increasingly became a reference for timekeeping precision by introducing two landmark timepieces: the Mikrotimer and the Microsplit. They were the outcome of a very ambitious project geared towards increasing the measurement accuracy from 1/5 of a second to 1/50 and 1/100 of a second, respectively.

1916-heuer-microsplitNext in the pipeline was the split-second chronograph, thus allowing the measurement of intermediate times. Heuer dramatically increased its popularity, holding as a leader in manufacturing refined timing systems and becoming an official timekeeper to many International events, like the Olympics and plenty of world championships across different sports.

heuer-mikrograph-limited-edition-watchTAG Heuer celebrated the Mikrotimer and Microsplit's 100th anniversary by launching an exquisite and mechanically refined commemorative model in 2016: the beautiful Heuer Mikrograph 100th Anniversary, a collector's item you can see pictured here.

1933: the legendary Heuer Autavia

The name Autavia derives from the words AUTomotive and AVIAtion, thus indicating an on-board device adaptable to both machines. The Autavia was used initially as a single counter or combined with an Hervue watch boasting an 8-day power reserve on a striking plate but subsequently become one of the brand's most famous and coveted wrist chronographs, produced in many variations.

1940: a new era begins, the age of the Heuer chronograph

From 1940 TAG Heuer began to sign all its chronographs' dials with the Heuer logo and increased the production of chronograph-based variants housing various complications geared towards sailors, explorers, travelers. That's the case of Heuer Solunar presented in 1949, for instance.

heuer-solunar-ad-1949The Solunar used to provide useful information about the sea tides at a glance. Jack Heuer worked hand-in-hand with his professor to make a watch that could display solar and lunar time. Today this information is mainstream on digital devices; back then, it was a stunning innovation among mechanical timepieces.

heuer-solunar-1949The Heuer Solunar was followed by other products like the Mareograph, which combined a Heuer three-counter chronograph layout with the Solunar complication. By doing so, Heuer allowed professionals to measure high and low tides or moon phases thanks to a chronograph boasting a 12-hour counter. The most coveted pieces are the highly-collectible Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer and the Mareograph for Orvis.

1958: Jack Heuer is appointed President of Heuer

With the Heuer family's fourth-generation leading the company, TAG Heuer experiences growth, and further development. Jack Heuer has an unparalleled passion for motor racing and soon understands that leading among motor-racing-inspired sports chronographs were paramount to success: the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula One championship were the pinnacle of racing, and their popularity was growing at a fast pace. Heuer released various chronographs and investing on sports chronometry by becoming the official timing partner to Scuderia Ferrari, for example. You might often see Jack Heuer walking in the paddock or the pit lane. Meanwhile, the brand introduced the Rally Master, while in 1960, it renewed its offering of chronometers by launching the Century collection.

1962: a Heuer chronograph is the first Swiss watch to travel to space

The race to space exploration was a fierce one, and two were officially the contenders on and off the wrist: Omega and Bulova. However, a few people are aware that a Heuer timepiece was the first-ever Swiss watch to go into space. John Glenn, the first American to orbit around the earth, had a Heuer chronometer secured on his wrist to time his flight duration.

1962-heuer-chronometer-john-glenn-stopwatchThis story was officially uncovered and advertised in 2012 when TAG Heuer unveiled the TAG Heuer Carrera SpaceX 1887 to commemorate that endeavor's 50th anniversary.

1963: please welcome the TAG Heuer Carrera

Today, we call it the TAG Heuer Carrera, but it was the Heuer Carrera when it first came out. The timepiece was named after the legendary Carrera Panamericana, a very demanding endurance race, whose story ended in 1954.

carrera-panamericanaThe Heuer Carrera first, and its modern sibling, the TAG Heuer Carrera, is possibly the most popular TAG Heuer watch, along with the TAG Heuer Monaco, and comes in many color and size options as its forerunner.

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