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Buying your first Tag Heuer

A TAG Heuer is the starting point of most luxury watch collections but with such a large range on offer, how do you go about picking the right model for you? We asked TAG Heuer expert and founder of independent TAG site Calibre 11 where to start… 

TAG Heuer’s range today blends together heritage inspired models which draw on the brand’s models from the 1960’s and 70’s, as well as bold modern designs that offer new ways of displaying the time. So, where do you start? Perhaps the easiest place is to consider how the watch you’ll choose will fit in with your lifestyle. Let me show you some examples….


Plan on wearing your watch for a range of sports? The TAG Heuer Formula 1 series is a good place to start. The Formula 1 has a lightweight case construction and a rubber strap, meaning that you won’t have to think twice about wearing the watch into the pool. The added benefit of the Formula 1 model is the quartz movement, which offers greater shock-resistance than traditional mechanical movements. It’s easy to underestimate the shock that goes through your arms when you play sport, whether its cycling, golf, Skiing or tennis.

The model shown here is the “stealth” Formula 1, with its all-black dial, case (coated in titanium-carbide), bezel and rubber strap. The Formula 1 series is closely linked with TAG Heuer’s partner in Grand Prix racing- Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and is often worn by its drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.


For the City boys, you may want something a little more formal – something that will look great when worn with a suit. The TAG Heuer Grand Carrera range offers some great options, but

in particular I like the Grand Carrera Calibre 8 GMT. This stainless steel watch has a wonderful open dial, with applied index markers and a second-time zone (“GMT”) window at the bottom of the dial. Rather than using traditional hands, the GMT window employs TAG Heuer’s novel “Rotating Disc” system.

It’s hard to go wrong with a classic watch, bold Black dial and polished stainless steel bracelet- it has that stylish edge and slimmer profile to make sure it can slip comfortably under your shirt cuffs.


For those who love the retro 1960’s feel, it’s hard to beat the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Chronograph. The Chronograph function (effectively, a stopwatch) was originally used by racing car drivers to time their progress in the race. The Carrera takes its name from the famous 1950s Mexican road race called the Carrera Panamericana and was designed to be easy to read.

The Carrera 1887 is a real highlight in the TAG Heuer range, teaming the classic Carrera case (the same design as the 1963 original), with a pure White dial and silver highlights. I prefer the watch on a Black Alligator strap, as it gives a great contrast to the white dial. This watch also boasts a clear sapphire case back so that you can see the mechanical movement- TAG Heuer’s own Calibre 1887- beating.


Sometimes, what you want in a watch is a design that stands out from the crowd – something bold and unique. If that’s what you;re after, it’s hard to go past the TAG Heuer Monaco (pictured centre), the world’s first square water-proof Chronograph, when it was launched in 1969. The Monaco is forever linked with Steve McQueen, who wore a Monaco in the 1971 Movie Le Mans. The iconic image is of McQueen in his White driving suit wearing a bright blue Heuer Monaco with white sub-dials and Red hands. Today, you can buy a re-edition of that 1969 design, but with a modern 2013 movement.

The Monaco is one of those classic designs where watch lovers instantly know the watch from a glance at the square case.

So starting into the world of TAG Heuer need not be as intimidating as it may first appear. In my next article, we’ll take things a step further and look at what to take into account when building a watch collection. Happy hunting!