Start your engines, we’re talking about TAG Heuer today. The brand was founded by Edouard Heuer around the year 1860, and made a name for itself with its stopwatches and other racing-ready instruments. In 1916, the company created the Microsplit, which could time events to one hundredth of a second.
Then known as Heuer, the brand helped create what is arguably the first self-winding chronograph movement in 1969 with their Calibre 11. The debate continues to this day as to whether the Zenith El Primero or the Seiko 6139 are the actual holders of this honor.
In the late 1970s, Heuer faltered as it merged with Leonidas before selling to Lemania. A Luxembourg-based private holding company, the Techniques d’Avant Garde Group (known as TAG) then acquired the company, and it would be known as TAG Heuer from then on. The brand has been owned by the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH since 1999.
TAG Heuer: The Most Popular Watch Models
There are three main models that the brand is known for, and they’re all chronographs. We have the Carrera, a sleek and compact option. Then there’s the Autavia whose name is a combination of “automotive” and “aviation;” this watch is designed to service both passions. Finally, we have the Monaco, an instantly recognizable square chronograph that was worn by the “King of Cool” Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans.
TAG Heuer – A respected watch brand?
TAG Heuer is most loved among racing fans thanks to their heritage and focus on motorsports. Prices for their watches typically hover in the $1,000–$5,000 range. In recent years, TAG Heuer has expanded beyond their iconic models to include the first smartwatch from a Swiss luxury brand, as well as highly technical chronographs using things like belt-driven movements and magnetic oscillators. In the collector community, there’s a growing appreciation for the brand’s chronographs from the golden age of Heuer in the 1960s and 70s, which are earning increasingly higher prices at auction.