The brand TAG Heuer Watches (as we know it today) is a reincarnation of Swiss-watchmaker UhrenmanufakturHeuer AG. It was renamed when UhrenmanufakturHeuer AG was taken over by Techniques d’AvantGarde in 1985.
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UhrenmanufakturHeuer AG itself was founded by young Edouard Heuer in 1860. He opened a watchmaking workshop in the secluded swiss mountain village of St. Imier. The name TAG Heuer blends an abbreviation for Techniques d’AvantGarde with the surname Heuer.
Right from its inception in 1860 Tag Heuer has been a fountainhead of inventions and innovations in Swiss watchmaking. Heuer earned its first patent for a sophisticated chronograph mechanism in 1882. Just five years later (in 1887), TAG Heuer invented and patented the acclaimed ‘Oscillating Pinion’ for mechanical stopwatches. The device is used even today by leading manufacturers in the production of mechanical chronographs.
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Jules Edouard Heuer and Charles August Heuer, sons of the founding father carried forward this legacy of innovation. They patented ‘Time of Trip’ in 1911. It was the first twelve hour dashboard chronograph for airplanes and automobiles. In 1919, Time of Trip was on board the Zeppelin R34 when it fulfilled the first Transatlantic flight.
In 1916, TAG Heuer revolutionized the concept of precision timekeeping of that era when it developed the”Micrograph”. It was the first stopwatch accurate to within one hundredth of a second. Heuer’s stopwatch far outclassed the field, which at the time could only achieve accuracy to one-fifth of a second.
TAG Heuer Watches have the distinction of being the first Swiss watchmaker to go to space. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn made the first manned American space flight, orbiting the Earth three times in five hours. Every component of the space capsule was purposebuilt for the mission. Except for one – the backup mission timer. During his three historic orbits around the world, Colonel Glenn had strapped to the outside of his spacesuit a TAG Heuer 2915A stopwatch.
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Jack Heuer launched the Carrera – a classic motor-racing inspired Chronograph in 1963. Appropriating its name from the Spanish word for “Race”, the watch has been linked with Motorsports from the very beginning. Carrera was the first chronograph with a pure & functional dial design displaying a wide opening and a one-fifth of a second scale on the flange. The model was an immediate winner and went on to become a best seller worldwide.
TAG Heuer continued to remain at the forefront of cutting edge technology in timekeeping. It led a secret project to build the first automatic chronograph in the world. Move to March 3, 1969. After spending 500,000 Swiss Francs in research and development, the conglomerate of TAG Heuer, Breitling, Buren, Dupois-Dupraz& Hamilton unveiled the Caliber 11 automatic chronograph. The 17-jewel, unadjusted Caliber 11 Chrono-Matic movement with an automatic microrotor beat at steady 19,800 vibrations-per-hour.
The rumble of a racing track and the pong of petrol hardly seems like the likely setting for a fine watch brand. Nevertheless, the name TAG Heuer immediately conjures up visions of Formula 1 races and the great unforgettable champion AyrtonSenna. One cannot deny that TAG Heuer’s bond with motor racing has helped hone its reputation as a watch maker with dynamism.
The brand’s relationship with the 1971 iconic racing film, Le Mans showcased the iconic TAG Heuer Monaco watch. Hollywood heartthrob Steve McQueen stole the show in his Monaco, the first water resistant, square-cased chronograph with an automatic calibre.
Since 1985, TAG Heuer has teamed up with McLaren in one of the most enduring commercial partnerships in international sport. During these years, TAG Heuer watches have been sported by some of the greatest racing drivers in motorsport history – including Alain Prost, AyrtonSenna, MikkaHäkkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, and Fernando Alonso.
The year 2015, marks thirty years of this partnership. Tag Heuer is commemorating it with the launch of its distinctive Formula 1 McLaren Chronograph, along with a series of exciting landmark digital and physical events. As also, Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button follow in the footsteps of a racing legend featuring the most iconic car in the 30 year partnership, the MP4/4.
This long standing partnership has made Tag Heuer the most recognized watchmaker in motorsports.
TAG Heuer broke the mold when it released The Monaco V4 in 2004. The Monaco V4 is the world’s first watch with belt drives, linear mass and ball bearings made of tungsten. It is entirely hand manufactured in TAG Heuer workshops in La Chaux de Fonds. This double patented timepiece is the next step forward in the evolution of TAG Heuer’s iconic squared-faced Monaco — the audacious chronograph first seen on Steve McQueen’s wrist in the 1970 race film classic, Le Mans. The breakthrough innovation redefines the accepted conventions of watch engineering and aesthetics.
The revolutionary Mikrogirder by TAG Heuer won the “Aiguille d’Or” at the 12th Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG). The award recognized the watch as the finest timepiece of the year. Accuracy & elegance stole the show winning the most wanted watchmaking trophy in the world.
TAG Heuer is embracing futuristic technology even further with the ‘TAG Heuer Connected.’ At Baselworld 2015 Tag Heuer announced a partnership with Intel and Google to produce “the world’s first luxury Android Wear smartwatch”. Tradition is meeting innovation, craftsmanship is meeting savoir-faire, and bold style is meeting breakthrough technology. The clock is ticking to the major breakthrough.