Tag Heuer is based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland and is led by President and CEO Jean-Claude Biver. The company maintains a watchmaking workshops in Cornol, Switzerland and a watchmaking factory in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
We can trace the history of this amazing company back in 1860 when Edouard Heuer founded his first workshop, Uhrenmanufacktur Heuer AG, in St-Imer, Switzerland. It gave birth to some of the most reliable, durable, and renowned sports watches. After many years of non-stop work, Heuer’s hard work and dedication have paid off when he invented and patented his first keyless, crown-operated winding system for pocket watches in 1869. His work never stops, and in 1833, Tag Heuer wins a silver medal at the International Exhibition in Amsterdam.
Tag Heuer has many contributions in the watchmaking industry. It invented a major improvement in the chronograph industry – the famous ‘oscillating pinion’ for mechanical watches. It was patented in 1887 and still used to this day by leading manufacturers of a mechanical chronograph. On the same year, Edouard Heuer’s son becomes part of the management. Under his management, the company awarded a patent for a repeater watch with automatic chiming and receives a silver medal for its collection of pocket chronographs at The Paris World Fair in 1889.
The death of Edouard Heuer never weakens the company, in fact, the company continues to prosper and receives a lot of recognition. Tag Heuer receives its patent for one of the first water-resistant cases for pocket watches in 1895 and obtains a patent for Pulsometer dial in 1908. When Henri Freund & Bros. takes on the distribution, Heuer products have been in introduced in American Market. The ‘Time of Trip’ came in 1911, it is the first dashboard chronograph patented by Tag Heuer and was designed for aircraft and automobiles. Tag Heuer also begins the production of women’s watches in 1912 and later launched the first wrist chronograph in 1914. The wrist chronograph has a silver case with enameled dial and luminous hand and powered by a pocket watch movement.
In 1916, Tag Heuer invents the world’s first sports stopwatches with a precision of 1/1000th of a second – the ‘Mikrograph’ and the ‘Microsplit’. With these new developments, Tag Heuer later became the natural source as the official supplier of timing instrument for the 1920 Olympic Games. On the same year, the company also introduced the ‘Semikrograph’ and the ‘Semicrosplit’.
In 1923, the youngest son of Charles-Auguste Heuer joins the company as U.S commercial director. 1930’s is the yeas when the company started producing chronographs specially designed for pilots. There came a time when Tag Heuer introduces one button and two button versions. These chronographs later inspired the Targa Florio Chronograph which reissued in 1996. The company also introduced the first dashboard instrument for automobile and aviation – the ‘Autavia’, contraction of automobile and aviation. The company also launched its water-resistant wrist chronograph in 1939 and followed by ‘Auto-Graph’ model in 1948, Solunar in 1948 and Mareograph in 1950. Auto-Graph is a wristwatch chronograph with a tachometer scale and manual reference hand, Solunar is the first watch with tide indicator and Mareograph is world’s first chronograph with a tide level indicator and dial for regattas. Mareograph is called the ‘Seafarer’ in the U.S.
In 1955, the brand introduced the ‘Twin-Time’ model, a self-winding wristwatch with a second time-zone indicator and the ‘Ring Master’ in 1957, a stopwatch and a world first interchangeable ring of scale for timing various sports with readings down to 1/5th of a second, central minute hand. The following year, Jack Heuer joins the company, he is the son of Charles-Edouard Heuer. During his time he sets up the Heuer Timer Corporation as a subsidiary in the USA.
1960’s and 70’s is the big year for the company. They launched the ‘Sebring’, a split-second stopwatch, the ‘Carrera’ chronograph, a tribute to the exciting race ‘Carrera Panamericana Rally’ of the 50’s. It is the first with a pure and functional dial design featuring a wide dial opening and a 1/5th of a second scale on the flange. This model rapidly becomes the watch of the champions and a best seller worldwide and eventually improves with a major innovation. It became the world’s very first wrist chronograph with a digital date display printed on a disc. The company also introduces the first miniaturized electronic timing instrument with a precision of 1/1,000th of a second, a worldwide first – the ‘Mikrotimer’. Tag Heuer also launched the chronograph ‘Camaro’, the name refers to the popular sports car, Chevrolet Camaro. The introduction of the ‘Autavia’ and the ‘Carrera’ chronographs fitted with the ‘Chromatic’ happened in 1969. Tag Heuer became one of the most famous and powerful sports watch brand. One of its unique timepieces – the ‘Silverstone’ has worn by the famed team Ferrari driver Clay Regazzoni and he also wears the brand’s logo on his driving suit. The brand becomes a reference for Steve McQueen. He wore the ‘Monaco’ chronograph during the making of the film Le Mans in 1970and became the brand’s official worldwide ambassador. From 1971 to 1979, Tag Heuer becomes the sponsor and official timekeeper of Team Ferrari.
The brand introduced its Calculator series, an automatic chronograph, 1/5th of a second accuracy, 30-minute counter, date at 6, the ‘Montreal’, the name refers to the Canadian race track and become popular in 1970’s and 1980’s and the ‘Temporada’, a chronograph housed in a plastic case that was painted gold and could only be opened from the dial side in 1972. On the following years, the company introduced the Microsplit 820, the world’s first quartz, pocket-sized sports timer, the ‘Silverstone’ chronograph, Microsplit with LCD display designed by the famous designer Richard Sapper, the ‘Dayton’ automatic chronograph, and the Chronosplit Manhattan GMT.
The launch of the ‘2000 Series’, the original Professional Sports Watch with the famous 6 features created in 1983 and Formula 1 series in 1986, and a combination of sports and elegance timepiece called the ‘S/el series’ in 1987. Another exceptional line was launched in 1997, the ‘Kirium’ series – a unique timepiece embodying a fusion of form and function through a combination of technology and design and the ‘Alter Ego’ in 1999, a watch exclusively dedicated for women. Kirium Ti5, the first ever polished watch with a special alloy of titanium was launched in 2000 and Kirium F1, crafted for the avant-garde and a feast of technical achievements. After two years, the company made a major decision to reinvent the ‘Mikrograph’ and came up with ‘Mikrograph F1’ that later wins the Watch Design at the Geneva Grand Prix d’Horlogerie. The brand also launched the ‘2000 Aquaracer’, the high-tech water sports watch for dive deep, the first ever Professional Golf Watch, and Tag Heuer Diamond Fiction. They also released the Monaco Calibre 360 LS, a limited edition of Carrera Calibre 360 Rose Gold, the new Grand Carrera, Link Calibre S, and Grand Carrera Calibre 36 RS Caliper.
In 2008, Tag Heuer unveils its new exhibition area, the Tag Heuer 360 museum. It is a historical and avant-garde gallery dedicated to the glory of its exceptional heritage. After the successful ceremony of Tag Heuer 360 museum where many personalities attended, the company launch the Monaco Twenty Four Concept Chronograph. It is a high-performance concept watch with extreme shock protection and inspired in the technology of GT racecars.
For Tag Heuer’s 150th anniversary, the brand launched its boldest breakthrough innovation the ‘Monaco V4 Concept Watch’. It is the world’s first watch with belt drives, linear mass, and ball bearings. Monaco V4 is double patented; a 100% tag Heuer made that both exemplifies luxury watchmaking tradition at its finest and completely turns that heritage upside down and inside out. Another technical milestone in mechanical movement is launched in 2010, the Tag Heuer Pendulum Concept. It is the first ever magnetic oscillator without hairspring capable of providing a restoring torque comparable to that of a hairspring.
Also happened in the year 2010, the brand unveils its new generation of Carrera, it is faithful to the original in design and spirit, but its radical new “engine”, the Calibre 1887, turns it into a 3rd Millennium chronograph in terms of size, quality, performance, and accuracy. Jack Heuer reworked an existing 1930’s model in a special limited series. Equipped with a high-speed Calibre 15 movement, the stunning new chronograph sported the name “MONZA” above the HEUER logo on the upper part of the dial. It has become one of the brand’s most coveted watches. The company introduced the New Link Lady Collection, this new range is dedicated to all beautiful and rebellious women and TAG Heuer Carrera Mikropendulum, and an exclusive Tag Heuer patented technology and the first high-frequency chronograph regulated by magnets.
In the course of over 150 years in the watchmaking industry, Tag Heuer never limit its capability in creating unique watches with great technological and aesthetic innovations applied to sports timekeeping as well as to wristwatches. Tag Heuer have represented major milestones in the history of Swiss watchmaking – tradition meets innovation, craftsmanship meets savoir-faire, and bold style meets breakthrough technology.