Most famous for its long relationship with motorsports, TAG Heuer is favored for its racing pedigree. From these F1 roots, TAG Heuer watches typically feature a distinctly sporty aesthetic and purpose-built design powered by ultimately precise chronographs movements. In more recent years, they’ve even expanded their catalog to include a smartwatch option that’s entirely “Swiss Made.” Buying a TAG Heuer watch is an excellent investment. Browse through our collection of exceptional used TAG Heuer watches for sale, and race ahead with style today.
Eduoard Heuer founded the Heuer brand in 1860. In just a few short years, Heuer filed a number of patents. In 1869, the brand secured the patent for a keyless, crown-operated winding system for pocket watches. In 1882, they patented the company’s first chronograph. And in 1887, they received one of their most notable patents for an oscillating pinion mechanism. This important development is still used by major watchmakers today. Later that year, Edouard’s son Jules-Edouard joined the family business. Sadly, founder Edouard Heuer passed away five years later, in 1892.
Jules-Edouard proudly carried on his father’s work. In 1895, the company filed yet another patent for its first water resistant case. Then, in 1911, Heuer patented their first dashboard chronograph called Time of Trip. This patent is particularly notable because it sparked the longstanding relationship between Heuer and the automobile and airline industries. The company’s growth allowed for increased research and development, which ultimately led to their next big breakthrough. In 1916, Heuer released the Micrograph, the most accurate stopwatch at the time.
For the next few decades, the brand continued to focus on their close relationship with the automobile and airline industries. In the 1930s, they began producing chronographs specially designed for pilots. Then, in 1933, Heuer introduced another dashboard instrument for automobiles and planes: the Autavia. This clock featured a timer function and could run for an impressive eight days without being wound.
Into the 1940s, Heuer began to shift their focus. They started making chronographs for the German air force, and they started developing their line of wristwatches. In 1948, they launched the Auto-Graph. This wristwatch featured a chronograph function with a tachometer scale and manual reference hand. Just a year later, the brand introduced the Solunar, the first watch with a tide indicator.
The focus on wristwatches continued into the 1950s with a new partnership. They expanded their focus on developing purpose-built tool watches with the elite outfitter of sporting and excursion goods, Abercrombie & Fitch. They released the first Seafarer in 1950 and sold it exclusively at the retailer. The original model was the world’s first chronograph with a tide level indicator and dial for regattas. In addition to the Seafarer, Heuer also designed a variation of the Auto-Graph for Abercrombie & Fitch. It featured a special dial and unique color patterns.
Heuer’s expansion into new industries continued into the 1960s. In 1962, they made history as the first Swiss watchmaker to enter outer space. On February 20th, John Glenn made the first American space flight with a Heuer stopwatch on his wrist. A year later in 1963, Heuer launched one of its now iconic models: the Carrera. Then, in 1969, the brand made one of its most groundbreaking horological advancements. Heuer had discretely been working on a top-secret effort called Project 99 in tandem with Breitling, Buren, and Dubois-Depraz. Together, they invented the first self-winding chronograph movement, called the Chronomatic. TAG Heuer went on to use the exciting new technology in three models: the Carrera, the Autavia, and the brand new Monaco.
Of the three new models, the Monaco quickly rose in popularity. The prominent actor and racing legend Steve McQueen wore the distinctive chronograph while making the film Le Mans in 1970. Throughout the next decade, Heuer returned to their roots and further strengthened their presence in the automobile industry. They became the leading manufacturer of stopwatches and timing equipment. Some of their chronographs were even specially designed with racing logos, like the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The next decade marked a time of major change for Heuer. In 1985, a group called Techniques d’Avant Garde acquired the company and became the brand we know today, TAG Heuer. Under the new leadership and name, they continued to uphold the Heuer’s original values. TAG Heuer became the official timekeeper for Formula 1, perpetuating their longstanding relationship with the automobile industry. In conjunction, they added a designated Formula 1 collection to their catalog. Just before the new millennium, they released another new collection: the Link.
Into the twenty-first century, TAG Heuer continues to be one of the most innovative and successful watchmakers in the world. In 2004, they launched their first, long-anticipated collaboration with the Formula 1 Team: the SLR collection. A year later in 2005, they introduced another all-new collection: the Aquaracer. More recently in 2015, they unveiled their first smartwatch, the TAG Heuer Connected. Over the past few years, they’ve continued to grow and expand the smartwatch line. In 2017, the brand debuted the second generation of the model, this time entirely “Swiss Made.” With a longstanding reputation for excellence and an increasingly growing popularity, it’s clear that TAG Heuer has secured their place in watchmaking history.
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