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What was the first TAG Heuer model?

  1. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 19, 2014

    I've always wondered when first watch wholly made by TAG Heuer happened after TAG became a part of the Heuer watch company, I remember when I bought this F1 I was quite surprised that while my early 90s Gen 2 TAG Heuer F1 Chronograph had a TAG Heuer crown, this earlier (though post composite case) model still had a Heuer signed crown even though the dial and caseback were TAG Heuer signed. So it looks like some of these on that border between two companies were signed both ways?

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    automobilia42 likes this.
  2. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Dec 19, 2014

    That is correct, there are also a bunch of of so called "Transitional" watches made with both Heuer and TAG Heuer signed parts during the change from Heuer to TAG Heuer (1984-1985 era). Like a 2000 chronograph with a TAG Heuer dial and a Heuer bracelet and caseback plate.
    I think the 1500 series was the first watch build by TAG Heuer itself.
  3. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Staff Member Dec 19, 2014

    Good question. Let's go through the timeline:
    - 29 June 1985: TAG announces the acquisition of Heuer from Piaget/ Nouvelle Lemania
    - 1 January 1986: Deal is completed and the name changes to TAG-Heuer (later TAG Heuer)
    - March 1986: TAG Heuer show the Formula 1 series at the Basel show

    So the question is whether the Formula 1 was developed under Heuer or TAG Heuer. Seeing the "Heuer" crown on your watch means that it's possible that it was developed by Heuer...after all, 9 months is not much time to commission, design and launch a new watch.

    To counter this, the reality is that Piaget never put any money into developing Heuer, so it would be a surprise that they invested in the idea.

    This Heuer/ TAG Heuer confusion lasted well into the 1990s. Take a look at this ad from 1990:

    The watch is called the "Heuer Formula 1" despite the name having changed four years earlier. Bizarre.

    Given development time, my guess (and it's a guess) is that at least some of the work on the Formula 1 was done before TAG arrived.

    If that's right, then the first "pure" TAG Heuer would be the S/el from 1987.

    And yes, you did see combinations of Heuer and TAG Heuer branded parts on watches for some years- rather than scrapping the parts with the old brand, they used them until stock was exhausted.
  4. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 20, 2014

    The other funny thing with these F1s is the strap keeper has a Heuer shaped shield on it and of the two straps, up near the lugs one has the short Heuer proportioned shield, with the word Heuer crammed down so far you can barely read it and TAG written in small letters above it while the second has a larger shield that almost looks normal, like they'd made the moulds already and changed the stamp at the last minute.