TAG Heuer is one of the most famous luxury watch brands in the world. It is also one of the most important watch brands in watchmaking history and has its roots deeply connected to the world of motorsport.
While TAG Heuer is one of the most famous watch brands in the world, TAG Heuer isn’t like other watch brands – in many different aspects. Through the larger parts of its history, the brand has been focused on the motorsport niche and creating truly helpful tools, especially in the form of steel-cased chronographs. Through innovation, precision, and ingenuity, TAG Heuer differentiated itself and found its horological niche within the watchmaking industry.
The history of TAG Heuer is long, and through its innovations and many years in the watchmaking industry, it has been able to establish itself as one of the most powerful luxury watch companies today.
In this article, we’re listing the top most interesting facts about TAG Heuer, including innovations, its history, and interesting events that made TAG Heuer into the company it is today.
32 facts about Tag Heuer
1. Heuer Watch Company was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer
2. The first watchmaking shop of Edouard Heuer was situated in the Jura region in Switzerland
This can technically be referred to as the first TAG Heuer factory.
3. TAG Heuer is based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
4. In the 1920s, Heuer watches were used during the Olympics in Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Paris
5. TAG Heuer was the official timekeeper for three Olympics due to its high precision timepieces. As a result, TAG Heuer gained a great reputation and established itself as an industry expert in timing sporting events.
6. Heuer introduced its first wrist chronograph in 1914
Before this time, Heuer had just like all the brands, been all about pocket watches.
7. Edouard Heuer developed and patented the oscillating pinion in 1887
This is one of the most significant facts about TAG Heuer as it is an event of great importance for the whole watch industry, nonetheless for the Heuer brand.
The oscillating pinion is a movable shaft which is mounted with two sprockets. The first pinion is in constant engagement with the second wheel of the watch movement, while, at the same, time, the opposite pinion, after a short swing grips into the chronograph center wheel. Through this, the connection is established and the chronograph starts running.
Pressing the other chronograph button causes the oscillating pinion to move away from the center wheel, and thus the Chronograph stops.
This invention simplified the chronograph significantly, and still to this very day, the construction of the oscillating pinion is used by major movement manufacturers. Most importantly, this event made TAG Heuer synonymous high-quality and precise chronograph watches – something that is, to a large extent still true today.
8. Heuer launched its Autavia model in 1933
This wasn’t the wristwatch you know as the Autavia, today, though. Instead, the first Autavia model was a dashboard stopwatch for race cars. Upon its launch, it was also the first dashboard stopwatch for race cars in the world.
8. Fact about TAG Heuer: the derivation of the Autavia name?
The Autavia collection is one of the most famous and important for the TAG Heuer brand, but where does the name derive from?
The name Autavia actually comes from “AUTos” and “AVIAtion”). Put these two together and you have Autavia.
9. Heuer received a patent for the first dashboard chronograph in 1911
Heuer received the patent for its “Time of Trip” dashboard chronograph.
10. TAG Heuer made the first watch able to measure 1/100th of a second
In 1916, TAG Heuer released the original Mikrograph. This timepiece was so precise and accurate that it was able to measure 1/100th of a second. In order to create such a watch, the movement used was beating at a rate of 360,000 vph. This is ten times faster than the 36,000 vph chronographs that are normally referred to as fast
It was also thanks to the extreme precision of the original Mikrograph that TAG Heuer became the official timekeeper during the Olympics as no other watchmaking competitor had produced a watch of such high precision.
11. Heuer was actually the first Swiss watch in space
TAG Heuer is not the first watch that comes to mind when you think about watches that have been to space.
But one of the most interesting facts about TAG Heuer which most people don’t know is that it was actually the first Swiss watch in space.
This event took place on February 20th, 1962 when John Glenn flew the Mercury “Friendship 7” mission.
Glenn orbited the Earth three times, a with him, he wore a Heuer 2915A stopwatch on his wrist. The watch was placed on top of his spacesuit and fastened by a custom-made elastic strap.
The watch is today found at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
12. Heuer was acquired in 1985 by TAG Group Holdings S.A
13. The name TAG Heuer didn’t come about until 1985
As Heuer watch company was acquired by TAG Group, TAG Group combined the names TAG and Heuer to create the TAG Heuer company we know today. This is the reason why the name TAG Heuer didn’t start appearing until at this time, and why you’ll only see the name Heuer on older watches.
14. TAG is an abbreviation for Techniques d’Avant Garde
Avant Garde means pushing the boundaries of what is ”accepted as the norm or the status quo”, and this is something that was very true to the Heuer as it was acquired by TAG. It is also something that remains true to TAG Heuer today, and still, to this very day, TAG Heuer uses this as part of their marketing with their ”motto” ”Swiss Avant-garde since 1860”.
15. In 1999, LVMH group purchased the TAG Heuer subsidiary for US$740 million
Carrera name was suggested by Jack Heuer shortly after taking control of the company from his uncle
The Carrera model is one of the most iconic and famous watch models from TAG Heuer. It is closely associated with the world of racing. The reason is that both the watch model and the name has an automotive racing connection. The Carrera name comes from the Carrera Panamericana which was an extremely dangerous race which ran on public roads in Mexico from 1950 to 1954.
16. Heuer established itself as the developer of the first automatic winding chronograph caliber
In 1969, Heuer launched the Caliber 11 movement. With its launch, Heuer claimed itself as the developer of the first automatic winding chronograph caliber.
At this time, Heuer had enough working prototypes to enable the brand to demonstrate serial-production capability.
17. Steve McQueen made the TAG Heuer Monaco watch famous when he wore it in the film Le Mans
The TAG Heuer Monaco is closely associated with Steve McQueen, and it was actually McQueen that made the watch a huge success.
The film was launched in 1971, and in the film, McQueen was chosen to play the role of the driver Michael Delaney
In the film, McQueen wore the driving suit of his friend Jo Siffert in the movie, and on the suit was a “Chronograph Heuer” badge.
McQueen was going to select a watch for the role, and appropriately, he chose the Heuer Monaco.
17. Edouard Heuer launched his first chronograph In 1882
This is the first chronograph of the Heuer brand.
18. Jack retired on November 18, 2013. This was one day before his 81st birthday
He was asked by he chose that particular date, and he said that he had promised himself not to work beyond the age of 80.
19. Heuer manufactured timepieces to be mounted on the dashboards of automobiles, aircraft, and boats from 1911 onwards
20. Heuer produced chronographs for pilots in the Luftwaffe
Between the periods of 1935 to the early 1940s, Heuer manufactured chronographs for pilots in the Luftwaffe, the aerial warfare branch of forces during World War II.
21. Heuer expanded its line of chronographs to include both two- and three-register models in the mid-1940s
Heuer also expanded its line of chronographs with a three-register chronograph the had a full calendar function with day, date, and month.
22. TAG Heuer has been in the Heuer family for four generations
Edouard Heuer was the founder of HEUER watch company, and the great-grandson of the brand’s original founder Edouard Heuer, Jack Heuer gave the torch to Jean-Claude Biver as the head of TAG Heuer team as he retired the day before his 81st birthday.
23. Heuer introduced the Carrera Chronograph in 1963
The Carrera chronograph was designed by Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of Edouard.
24. The first automatic chronographs of Heuer were the Autavia, Carrera, and Monaco
25. Heuer made the Carrera 510.543 for the A.M.I. – the Italian Air Force
26. TAG Heuer celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Carrera model in 2013
This was the racing-inspired chronograph which has played a significant role in TAG Heuer’s history.
27. TAG Heuer won the iF product design award in 2007
The watch company won the product design award for its Monaco Calibre 360 LS Concept Chronograph. The award was held in Hanover, Germany and TAG received the award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category.
In the competition was more than 2,2000 watches competing.
28. TAG Heuer received the iF product design award in 2006 for its Professional Golf Watch
TAG Heuer won the iF design award in 2006 which meant winning it the second time in two years.
The golf watch was developed together with Tiger Woods.
29. TAG Heuer developed a chronograph that can measure time down to 1/2,000th of a second
As if developing a chronograph that could measure time down to 1/100th of a second in 1916 – the Mikgraph was enough, this is maybe one of the most impressive TAG Heuer facts.
The chronograph which TAG Heuer designed was so precise and has an incredible accuracy which proves the incredible skills, craftsmanship skills, and avant-garde mentality the watch company has.
30. TAG Heuer released the first ever water-resistant automatic chronograph in 1969
More specifically at Basel world on March 3rd in 1969.
When it was launched, it was the first ever water-resistant automatic chronograph. The watch was powered by the Chronomatic Caliber 11 movement which took four years to develop.
31. TAG Heuer released their most ground-breaking timepiece in 2004
TAG Heuer showed that it was a watch company with great skill, innovation, and craftsmanship in 2004 when it released the groundbreaking Monaco V4 at Baselworld in 2004.
This new timepiece was meant to be a manifestation of the brand’s avant-garde design, racing heritage, and its willingness to always push boundaries.
The general director of the watch company, Guy Sémon has received the credit for being the driving force behind many of the brand’s technical achievements, especially the V4 timepiece. In fact, in 2017, Guy Simon received the honorary and prestigious ”Watchmaker of the Year” in 2017 – despite the fact that he is not a watchmaker.
What was so revolutionary about the V4 timepiece was that its movement was belt-driven.
32. The TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 model won the La Petite Aiguille at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève
The watch received the award as it was a watch competing in the category of ”watches retailing for less than CHF5,000”.
Tag Heuer is one of the largest luxury watch companies in the world. The history of TAG Heuer is long and rich, and these facts about TAG Heuer prove, and this goes to show that the road to perfection, becoming an established watch company, and mastering fine watchmaking is a long and challenging journey.