Ever Wondered What Tag Heuer Was Before TAG
Tag Heuer has been in the watchmaking industry for quite some time now. Its presence in the business is undeniable and despite the heat it gets from horology enthusiasts and collectors around the world, it can be safe to say that the brand has delivered some of the most memorable timepieces in history. But to think of it, most of its glory was from the time when TAG did not come into the picture at all. Long before Techniques d'Avant Garde came into the picture, it was Heuer watches that drove the world of motorsport centric timepieces crazy.
Birth Of Heuer Watches
It all started when Edouard Heuer started the 'Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG' in 1860 in St. Imier, Switzerland. Heuer watches was an initiative that focused solely on the avant-garde and in all honesty, it worked. The brand patented its first chronograph in 1882 and then 1887, it patented the oscillating pinion, the very technology on which all initial chronographs were based on.
When it comes to innovation, Heuer watches simply excelled at it. Soon after it was established, Heuer AG established its dominance in terms of accuracy and also got recognized for it. The massive amount of craftsmanship and precision in its watches earned it a reputation as well as a permanent position at motor sporting events.
Heuer watches very quickly picked up the hint and found their niche. Needless to say, the watchmaker produced dashboard watches and stopwatches for the purposes of timing competitive sports like F1 races, Ski World Championships, and other major automobile racing events.
At The Turn Of The Century
As the 19th century came to a close, newer doors opened up for Heuer watches. In the year 1911, the watchmaker delivered the 'Time of Trip', its first dashboard chronograph patent. The device showed the time of the travel up to a duration of 12 hours. As time went by, the brand paved the way for more innovative inventions.
The Autavia was a marvellous creation that was launched in 1933. It was made for drivers and aviators. The device was accompanied by the 'Hervue', which was essentially a clock that could work for 8 back to back days without being wound.
The 'Flieger', meaning pilot in German, was launched in the early 1940s for the German Airforce, the Luftwaffe. This line of chronographs expanded even further and Heuer kept releasing watches with 2 and 3 registers. Some models in the mid-1940s consisted of three date displays (day, date, and month).
First Swiss Watch In Space
Heuer became the first Swiss watch brand to be in space when its stopwatch was taken for the Mercury-Atlas 6 space mission. The mission was aimed at orbiting the Earth. It was also the first manned space mission for the United States.
In the early days of the quartz crisis when the crisis was not as big as it would become in the coming years, Tag Heuer, then known as only Heuer partnered with Hamilton and Breitling and created its first fully automatic chronographs. The watches that got automatic upgrades were Tag Heuer Carrera, Autavia, and Monaco.
The Digital Chronograph
Heuer released the 'Chronosplit' in 1975. It was a digital chronograph that consisted of a dual LCD and LED display. This was also the time when Tag Heuer started using the Valjoux 7750 automatic movements in its chronographs. However, the brand also used the Lemania 5100 movement in some of its watches. The Lemania 5100 stood out because unlike the Valjoux 7750, it had a central chronograph hand instead of the chronograph hand being in one of the smaller registers.
Almost a decade later, in 1985, Heuer was purchased by TAG, which was at the time making engine components for F1 cars. The enterprise bought Heuer AG and this led to the formation of Tag Heuer as we know it. Another decade later in 1999, the LVMH group bought a 50.1 per cent stake in Tag Heuer.
Tag Heuer watches always manage to surprise you no matter what. Be it their quartz powered Formula 1 watches or old.kam-pod.gov.ua the classic range of Autavia timepieces. This is especially true for Tag Heuer Carrera . And just to bust rumours, Tag Heuer watches for women do exist.