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How did I get into TAG Heuer Formula 1?
I’ve recently (1.5 years ago), received a piece that was given by my mum. She casually stole a piece from my dad’s watch pile collection and put it in my hands, and she told me: “Wear it with good health, it is the produce of my blood and sweat.” I looked down, it is a TAG Heuer Formula 1 CAH1110.BA0850.
I’ve actually never seen my dad’s stash of watch porn before. Normally its his Seiko that he wears to work lying around the common table in the living room, or his IWC Portugieser that he claims to be a “fake”, or even his recent acquisition, a black ceramic bezel Rolex GMT-Master II. I’ve never wanted any of the piece from him as I don’t usually want stuff from him except an iPod Shuffle back in the days, but today it became my mum who took a timepiece out of dad’s, and put it in my hands.
Of course from there onward, it sparked my curiosity on the Formula 1 line-up.
Why ‘Formula 1’?
What’s unique about the Formula 1 line-up is actually how TAG Heuer markets them as their entry level line-up to their brand, with the association of Motorsport. While the Formula 1 is not something of a novelty as the Carrera, Autavia or Monaco, but it is more of being influenced by the success of these novelties; it is still one of the best selling line-up for TAG Heuer since the 1980s, which is when the Formula 1 line-up began.
Beginning of Formula 1
Shortly after Technical Avant-garde (TAG) had acquired and merged with Heuer, becoming the TAG Heuer that we know of today, the very first piece that TAG did was to go heads-on with the then popular, Swiss watchmaking industry-saving brand, Swatch. It was more of being inspired by them with a plastic built case, and rubber/silicon strap, ETA quartz movement at an affordable price, at least for Swatch.
For TAG Heuer, though not as popular as the Swatch as its price point is widely available and can be easily obtained by a wider customer segment, the Formula 1 still poses as one of the best selling watch with its Ronda quartz movement at first, then to ETA 955.412, a hot topic during that time.
Evolution of Formula 1
It was then until more refinement and effort was poured into the Formula 1, and came the Chronograph models for the Formula 1, making it easily sought after with its dead-accurate quartz accuracy as marketed by TAG Heuer themselves; every seconds matters even if you’re flying over 200 miles per hour. I don’t do miles, you do the conversion to kilometers yourselves, okay?
Continued with more refinement, in the year 2007, came this model of TAG Heuer Formula 1 that I’m holding, the CAH1110.BA0850. With more of trial and error with quartz movements being rejected by people because of its difficulty to service, or even closer to near impossible to service, they created a much better watch for the money, with changes in material such as titanium carbide coated bezel, steel case, and ETA quartz movement.
Since then, the updated Formula 1 series is pretty much what you can see on TAG Heuer’s official website, or what modern day people are wearing.
Fate of Formula 1
The story of TAG Heuer Formula 1 line-up isn’t all as pretty as it is. It was discontinued from year to year because of management decisions, and the longest break ever was on the year 2000 when Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) acquired TAG Heuer and hitting a hard brake to the quartz pieces and focused more on mechanical innovations and production. And guess what? All of the Formula 1 was all quartz movement before that.
Today, you do see the comeback of the Formula 1 series with offerings of their automatic movements Calibre 5, 6, 7, 16, and also ETA quartz movements. Still until today, I believe they are the line-up that people usually opt for if they ever wanted to break into their first luxury Swiss watch, or being a sucker of marketing strategies like me.
Closing this post
With this, I sure hope that readers are learning more of the Formula 1 line-up from TAG Heuer, and I, too, am learning more everyday. So what can you guys expect in our upcoming posts?
Of course, a review on my TAG Heuer Formula 1 CAH1110.BA0850. (God damn it’s hell of a long serial number.)
Shi Kai out, and stay tuned, stay hungry.