TAG Heuer

The History of TAG Heuer Watches


One the most prominent Swiss watch brands, TAG Heuer was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in St. Imier Switzerland. In 1882, Heuer introduced the very first chronograph in the world with a pocket watch model featuring an independent stop-watch function.  Five years later, Heuer presented another chronograph model with an oscillating pinion mechanism…a movement that is still being used today in the production of mechanical chronographs by many watchmakers. 

Heuer received a patent in 1911 the Time Of Trip dashboard chronograph which was the first chronograph used in automobiles and aircrafts to measure the time and duration of a trip. Three years later, the watchmaker presented the first wristwatch chronograph. In 1916 Heuer debuted the “Micrograph,” the very first stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second.

By 1958 the Heuer brand was the leading producer of stopwatches and timing equipment.  It was also the top watch choice for automobile racers and enthusiasts. Special editions of Heuer chronographs were issued for the Formula 1 and Indianapolis 500 competitions. In 1971, automaker Ferrari chose Heuer as the official timekeeper of Team Ferrari.In the 1960’s, Heuer joined with watchmakers Breitling and Hamilton to create the first Swiss-made automatic chronograph. The Heuer Autavia, Carrera and Monaco automatic chronograph models were released later in the decade. 

The Heuer Monaco chronograph went on to gain worldwide acclaim when actor Steve McQueen sported one in the film “Le Mans,” further cementing the brand’s auto racing appeal. McQueen went on to become a brand ambassador, which he posthumously still is today. 

The Heuer brand in 1985 was acquired by Techniques d’Avant Garde, manufacturers of the ceramic turbochargers for Formula 1 cars. The newly formulated company TAG Heuer soon introduced the Formula 1 racing inspired watch collection featuring cases made of the ceramic material used in the turbochargers.

TAG Heuer watches today remain in a driving force in the watch industry. The brand’s Aqauracer, Formula 1, Monaco and Carrera watches are among the most sought-after timepieces in the world. Not to mention entertainers and sports heroes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Maria Sharapova and Christiano Rinaldo have served as TAG Heuer brand ambassadors.

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