What started as a small family business is now a well-known, prominent brand. Not knowing TAG Heuer translates to “Have you been living under a rock?” While its iconic, sturdy and flawless timepieces are proudly showcased by some of the world’s most famous personalities today, the story behind the brand is equally marked by admirable events of victories over trials—a tale of continuous growth, perseverance and innovation, making anyone who owns a TAG Heuer truly feel special and prestigious.
“Swiss Avant-Garde Since 1860”
TAG Heuer’s slogan is an ode to its rich history. Boasting 150+ years of experience, the founder of the brand was Edouard Heuer, who in 1887 invented and patented the “oscillating pinion” which was a mechanism still being used in mechanical watches to this day. Since establishing in St-Imier, Switzerland as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG (trans: Heuer Watchmaking Inc.), Edouard’s sons and grandsons joined the business, and made timepieces for automobiles, aircraft and boats.
It was in the Heuer family tradition that one must go to America “to learn about the world” and by the 1950s, it was the founder’s great grandson turn, Jack Heuer. Seeing that the entire American market was untapped, the business established a sales office in New York and in a few years, the venture was deemed successful.
TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Full Black Matt Ceramic. Monochrome Watches
The marriage between the watch and racing industry
The next pivotal moment in the TAG Heuer brand was in the 1970s when Steve McQueen wore Heuer Monaco on his wrist and a Heuer brand crest on his suit on the film Le Mans, as he imitated his driving coach, Swiss racing driver, Jo Siffert. Siffert won the 1968 British Grand Prix, and with Heuer as his sponsor, both shot to fame.
It was the Siffert-Heuer partnership that formally married the company with the world of racing for the first time. From the Heuer brand crest plastered on the racers’ overalls to a deal with Ferrari, the company attracted attention and prestige.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Watch, Calibre 16
Amid challenges, always look into the future
Released in 1963, the Heuer Carrera was in its time the epitome of innovation and design, and is today considered one of most iconic and quintessential examples of Swiss watchmaking. However, even with its success, the business was struggling against advancement in technology and rising costs.
With the challenge of the quartz and digital watches, Heuer wasn’t able to keep up and was bought by Saudi business group TAG (Techniques d’Avant Garde) in 1985. Because of the upsurge in advertising and marketing, the business, now known as TAG Heuer bounced back and in 1999 was bought by LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE), a French luxury business conglomerate for 900 million francs.
Now producing watches and fashion accessories, operating in 120 countries, and boasting a Swiss watchmaking history-rich museum, the TAG Heuer brand remains one of the most influential and authoritative figures in the industry. Proud of its long, even turbulent tradition one might say, owning a TAG Heuer is a reminder that even at the most difficult times, you “Don’t crack under pressure.”
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TAG Heuer Special Edition (Manchester United)