10 Things to Know About TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer is one of the world’s leading luxury Breitling replica watches brands, offering a strong history of innovation, deep connections with sports timing and automobile racing, and more recently, a series of groundbreaking developments in the field of ultra-fast mechanical chronographs. Here are ten things you should know about TAG Heuer.

Sporting Roots

Heuer Watch Company was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer. His first watchmaking workshop was located in St-Imier, in the Swiss Jura region. The company soon built a reputation for quality workmanship and precision timekeeping. That, coupled with a series of technical innovations dating to the 1880s, led the company to become a specialist in the field of timing sporting events. During the 1920s, Heuer watches were used at the Antwerp, Paris and Amsterdam Olympics. In 1933, the brand launched the Autavia, the first dashboard stopwatch for race cars. Other more famous developments receive individual attention below. The affinity with precision timekeeping in sports, and with automobile racing in particular, continues to this day.

In 1985, Heuer was acquired by TAG Group (Holdings) S.A. TAG is an abbreviation for Techniques d’Avant Garde. TAG Group combined the TAG and Heuer brands to create the TAG Heuer company we know today. LVMH purchased the TAG Heuer subsidiary in 1999.

10 Things to Know About TAG Heuer

Simplifying the Chronograph

Back in the days when good engineering trumped marketing concerns, movement designers sought to develop calibers with fewer moving parts, to make them more reliable and easier to service. In 1887, Edouard Heuer developed and patented the oscillating pinion, which simplified the chronograph. This construction is still used by major movement manufacturers today.

In a nutshell, the pinion couples and decouples the chronograph, or stopwatch, mechanism and the regular timekeeping gear train that powers it. The pinion replaced a more complex system, simplifying manufacturing, assembly, adjustment, and service, all while delivering excellent timekeeping and reliability. This development allowed more mechanical chronographs to be produced at a lower cost, which sounds like a win all the way around.

tag heuer oscillating pinion

Faster and Faster

Another major technical achievement came in 1916, when Charles-Auguste Heuer launched the original Mikrograph. It was the first mechanical stopwatch able to measure 1/100th of a second. To accomplish this, the movement’s rate was 360,000 vph – ten times faster than the 36,000 vph chronographs that we usually think of as “fast.” The original Mikrograph revolutionized sports timekeeping and served as the official stopwatch for the 1920 Olympics.

TAG Heuer original Mikrograph stopwatch

First Swiss Watch in Space

When you think of mechanical watches in space, you think of, well, not TAG Heuer. But you should, because as it turns out, Heuer was the first Swiss replica watches in space.

In May, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced his goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. The first step toward that goal was to put a man into orbit. That man was John Glenn, flying the Mercury “Friendship 7” mission on February 20, 1962. Glenn orbited the Earth three times wearing a Heuer 2915A stopwatch on his wrist, on top of his spacesuit, held in place by a custom-made elastic strap. The watch served as the mission back-up timer, and it was used in space. Today, the watch is kept at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Heuer first Swiss watch in space

The Carrera

TAG Heuer’s most iconic models are associated with automobile racing, and one of the most famous is the Carrera. Jack Heuer suggested the name shortly after taking control of the company from his uncle (more on this below). The name comes from the Carrera Panamericana, a dangerous race run on public roads in Mexico from 1950 to 1954.

Jack Heuer wanted to create a watch for race car drivers. It had to be perfectly legible and tough enough to withstand the vibrations drivers experience during a race. The result is a best Cartier replica watches that has achieved cult status.

original Heuer carrera

The Chronograph Race

When automatic winding wristwatches reached the market, they sold like hotcakes, leaving manual winders languishing on retailers’ shelves. Recognizing the need for an auto-wind chronograph, three companies and consortiums undertook to develop such a movement, none apparently aware of the others’ efforts. This set up a competition to see which company would reach the market first.

One of the competitors was Seiko, another was Zenith, and the third was a collaboration involving Heuer, Breitling and Buren. The collaboration developed a movement, and planned to announce it at the Basel watch show in March, 1969. By that time, they would have enough working prototypes to demonstrate serial-production capability. Then in January, 1969, Zenith announced its El Primero. Heuer and its partners held to their schedule, making their announcement at Basel in March. As planned, they backed up their claim by presenting hundreds of working top Swiss replica watches, demonstrating serial production, or industrial, capability. At the show, Zenith had only a few prototypes (though, to be fair, the Zenith El Primero caliber was more sophisticated).

Heuer launched the movement as the Caliber 11 and staked its claim to history as a developer of the first automatic winding chronograph caliber.

Heuer Calibre 11

Let’s Go Racing

Several timepieces are closely associated with automobile racing, perhaps none more closely than the Heuer Monaco. Steve McQueen made the watch famous when he wore it in the 1971 film Le Mans. To play the role of driver Michael Delaney, McQueen sought advice from his friend and racing driver, Jo Siffert. In the film, McQueen wore Siffert’s driving suit, which carried the “Chronograph Heuer” logo. When it came time to chose his replica Breitling watches uk for the role, McQueen went with the Monaco, and the rest is history. Today, the model 1133 carries the collector nickname “McQueen Monaco.”

Jack Comes Back

After taking control of the company that bears his name in 1962, Jack Heuer led it until the acquisition by TAG Group in 1985, after which when he left to join the electronic industry. Jack’s stewardship encompassed the years that put the brand on the map. Among other things, he oversaw the Carrera development and launch and the Calibre 11 development program. He was there when Steve McQueen donned the Monaco for the film Le Mans. He presided over Heuer between 1971 to 1979, when the company served as the official timer for Formula 1 racing. (N.B. The Heuer logo is seen often in the recent feature film Rush, which chronicles the epic 1976 battle between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.)

In 2001, Jack Heuer returned to the company bearing his family‘s name as Honorary Chairman, and following his return, TAG Heuer again reached new heights. We’ll discuss a few of the notable achievements below.

Jack Heuer retired from TAG Heuer on November 18, 2013, the day before his 81st birthday. Asked why he chose that date, he replied that he’d promised himself that he would not work beyond the age of 80. Jack is a gentleman, loved by all, and a legend in the industry he helped build.

Monaco V4

The Monaco was famous enough, but in 2004, TAG Heuer took it to a new level with the launch of the Monaco V4 concept watch at Baselworld. CEO Jean-Christophe Babin intended to make a statement with the V4. The statement was that TAG Heuer will climb to new heights, developing cutting edge, avante-garde mechanical movements.

The V4’s birth was not an easy one. It took a few years to perfect the design, but perfect it they did, and the first Monaco V4 sold at the 2009 Only Watch charity auction, appropriately held in Monaco. Since that sale, several limited-edition series have sold out.

The Monaco V4 proved such a challenge because its movement represented a major break from traditional Brietling replica watchmaking. Rather than the usual gear train and wheels with teeth, the V4’s movement is belt-driven, and the design is inspired by an automobile engine. Many people thought it would never work. That TAG Heuer solved the problems is a testament to the brand’s newly developed capabilities, much of which is thanks to a man named Guy Sémon.

TAG Heuer Monaco V4


It used to be that a 36,000 vph movement, capable of measuring tenths of a second, was considered fast. Then an engineer-pilot-physicist named Guy Sémon joined TAG Heuer, and the world changed. After solving the V4’s challenges, his skunkworks inside TAG Heuer has released, in rapid succession, the Mikrograph (360,000 vph measuring 1/1ooth of a second), the Mikrotimer (3,600,000 vph, measuring 1/1000th of a second), and the Mikrogirder (7,200,000 vph measuring 1/ 2,000th of a second).

Sémon accomplished these ultrafast rates by designing what he calls “dual architecture” movements. Each movement has two separate mainspring barrels powering separate gear trains regulated by separate escapements, each with a different frequency. The slow one handles regular timekeeping, and the fast one controls the chronograph. The Mikrogirder goes a step further, replacing the traditional escapement with a series of three tiny, ever-faster oscillating blades to measure time at rates that would have sounded comical a few years ago. To get an idea of how fast it is, consider that the Mikrogirder’s central chronograph seconds hand spins around the dial 20 times per second, rendering it invisible while in motion. Sémon has ushered in a new era in mechanical chronograph development.

TAG Heuer Mikrograph, Mikrotimer, and Mikrogirder

Watch-Spotting at the Vienna Clock Museum

It’s not that anyone would need another reason to visit Vienna, but should you find yourself in Austria’s capital, and you are a timepiece aficionado, make sure you pay a visit to the Vienna Clock Museum.

The museum is located in an enchanting Viennese house (the “Palais Obizzi”) in the historical city. There are about 1,000 clocks and replica Breitling watches UK on display (only a few wristwatches, though, unfortunately) that “document the measurement of time and the technology of horology from the fifteenth century until the present day.” A visit should take about one hour, and if you are there at the top of the hour, you might even be treated to an acoustic spectacle, since many of the timepieces are running.

Vienna Clock Museum - Astronomical Clock - Frater

Some of the highlights include an astronomical clock made by David Ruetschmann (later known as Frater David a Sancto Cajetano) between 1762 and 1769 (which also displays the orbital phases of the planets; photos below), some “Laterndl” (lantern) Rolex replica watches sale, and a tiny “Zappler” (with pendulum) that fits under a thimble. The largest — and heaviest — piece in the collection is the clock from St Stephen’s Cathedral, dating to 1699.

Vienna Clock Museum - Exhibit 3

The Museum itself was founded in 1917 and mainly consists of two private collections: that of intermediate-school teacher and first director of the museum Rudolf Kaftan, and nearly all the collection of the writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, who has been quoted as saying, “My dear  cheap Breiitling replica watches,they make it hard for me to die.”

The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm, admission is 6 Euros – and taking pictures is allowed. Go to pages 2 and 3 for more photos from the museum.

Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision

With this new creation unveiled in Geneva, Greubel Forsey houses its Tourbillon 24 Secondes in a particularly sophisticated case that exemplifies classic elegance. Its lines have been redefined to reduce its height. The tourbillon appears on the back of the timepiece taking its place under the sapphire crystal dome: a first for Greubel Forsey.


Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey’s primary intention is to present their third invention (the Tourbillon 24 Secondes) in a case that is as slender as possible and yet able to accommodate the unique inclined tourbillon cage.

It was the lateral projections of Greubel Forsey’s asymmetric models that inspired this original solution. By incorporating a dome into the sapphire crystal on the back of the timepiece, they have created enough extra volume to allow the tourbillon cage to overlap the reference surface of the movement bridges.

The dome is a new and intriguing element that draws attention to the lower tourbillon bridge.

This bridge is more than just a simple support; it is a triumph of technology and craftsmanship. Its geometry is like a Romanesque vault and its arched and barrelled surface is delicately polished by hand. Obtaining a perfectly regular reflection over the whole piece requires such expertise and experience that each bridge finished in this way is discretely signed by the craftsman-decorator who executed it.

Completing the exceptional standard of decoration that naturally applies to all 288 parts in the movement, the unique composition of colours and finishes creates a spectacular visual dynamic, with pride of place given to the sectorial 72-hour chronometric power-reserve indicator.


This new creation is also distinguished by its elegant, neoclassical simplicity. The overall aesthetic is highly refined, and pays tribute to the craftsmanship and finesse of each component.

Particular care has been given to the design of the hand-finished blued-steel hands, which immediately and precisely indicate the time. They have been lightened to the maximum degree and their form, in the shape of a lance, leads the eye straight to the indexes that are first engraved and then “oven-fired” enamelled into the solid gold dial.

The fast-rotating 24 second tourbillon is also an integral part of the graphic composition of the entire piece. Set inside a light-well, it creates an animated scene that is an irresistible invitation to explore the movement-side of the timepiece.

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Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500

The flagship model of the new collection, presented in a 10-piece limited, numbered edition, the new Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph by Vacheron Constantin immediately makes its mark in the field of ultra-thin horology by setting a new world record with its self-winding movement measuring just 5.20 mm thick and its 8.40 mm cushion-shaped case. It took prodigious feats of miniaturisation to develop and ensure the faultless, high-precision operation of this elaborate construction within such a small space. It also required the skills of the most experienced watchmakers in the Manufacture to assemble and adjust to perfection the 459 parts of the new self-winding Vacheron Constantin Caliber 3500 – some of which, such as the tiny springs, measure just 3/100ths of a millimetre.

For the first time in the range of Manufacture Vacheron Constantin calibers, this self-winding movement with its 51-hour power reserve is equipped with a remarkable peripheral oscillating weight. Mounted on ball bearings, this unusual construction provides a perfectly clear view of Caliber 3500, entirely hand-decorated in keeping with the noblest watchmaking traditions. This peripheral structure also serves to preserve the exceptional slimness of the world’s thinnest self-winding split-seconds chronograph movement. To signal its membership of an exclusive series dedicated to the 260th anniversary of the Manufacture, the peripheral oscillating weight of the Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph by Vacheron Constantin bears the dedicated scrolling pattern specifically created by the brand’s designers for this occasion. This unusual motif, also known as “fleurisanne engraving” is inspired by the arabesques adorning the balance-cock of the oldest pocket replica Breitling watches UK from the Maison, signed by Jean-Marc Constantin in 1755.

Equipped with a split-seconds function serving to time phenomena starting at the same time but of different durations, the new Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph by Vacheron Constantin is the slimmest in its category in terms of both its movement and its case. The first self-winding split-seconds Vacheron Constantin chronograph to bear the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, this new Swiss replica watches in-house pays tribute to the aesthetic of the chronographs made for the brand in the 1920s, by reinterpreting the rounded shape and the interior angle bevelling of the bridges – that can only be done by hand – along with gold bushing and drop-shaped jewel surrounds.

Development work on Caliber 3500 began in 2008, aimed at developing a chronograph movement featuring a traditional kind of architecture, while benefiting from cutting-edge technologies in order to offer reliability, user friendliness and perfect visualisation of the movement aesthetic. This caliber benefits from the numerous advanced features designed by the Manufacture’s development team, including the so-called “friction” technique for the lateral coupling clutch, which serves to reduce a potential jerk of the hand when the chronograph starts running. Another particularly notable breakthrough is the blocking of the rotor when the barrel is sufficiently wound, thereby avoiding excessive tension in the winding spring. The creation of cone-shaped wheels improves the meshing of the wheels, thus giving the wearer the impression of softer, gentler winding. Moreover, the micro-technologies used for cutting the wheels have made it possible to create extremely close-set teeth to improve the engagement of the gear trains. The creation of an ultra-thin non-spherical differential has contributed to maintaining the power-reserve indication, without influencing the movement’s thickness. Finally, the development of a “dragging” chronograph minutes indication reduces the loss in amplitude and thus improves precision.

Housed in a precious cushion-shaped case made of 950 platinum, Caliber 3500 deserved an exterior to match its excellence. The “shape-in-a-shape” case combining a curving case, a square waisted case middle and a circular bezel creates a sensation of slenderness, while demonstrating an entirely unique and impressive character. The hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’Clock and power reserve are clearly displayed on a luminous opaline silver-toned dial framed by a deep red tachometric scale. The blue-painted Arabic numerals beautifully match the blued chronograph hands, while elegant leaf-type hands punctuate the hours and minutes.

Inaugurating the Harmony collection in an outstandingly elegant manner, the fake Breitling watches new Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph by Vacheron Constantin expresses the full degree of mastery achieved by the Geneva Manufacture in the art of shapes dedicated to serving horological science successfully blending tradition with modernity.