Tag Heuer is one of the most well-known names in horology. Even though they don’t carry the prestige of a brand like Rolex or Patek Philippe, they are a name that people know and recognize, whether they are into horology or not.
Tag Heuer gets most of its brand awareness from their involvement in motorsport. They are a big sponsor in Formula 1, Formula E (electric F1), indie 500, motocross, WTTCC and endurance racing. It’s fair to say that they have dipped their toe and glued their logo on almost every major motorsport event available.
Below, you can find 5 things you didn’t know about Tag Heuer.
Tag And Heuer Used To Be Two Different Companies
Heuer made watches, Tag was (and is) a private holding company. Tag stands for ‘Techniques d'Avant Garde’.
Heuer Watch Company was acquired by the Tag Group in 1985. From that day, Tag decided to merge both brand names and display both names on the dial. This is why you only see the name ‘Heuer’ on watches older than 1985.
The subsidiary was bought by the LVMH group in 1999 for $740 million.
Heuer Used To Be An Olympic Timekeeper.
While Omega currently wears the Olympic crown with pride, Heuer used to be the Olympic timekeeper in the 1920’s. The watches were used during the Antwerp, Amsterdam and Paris Olympics after the first World War. Back then, Heuer made some of the most accurate timepieces available.
First Swiss Watch In Space
If you think about ‘space watches’, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch should be the first name that pops in your head. A little known fact is that Heuer was even earlier to the party. In 1962, the Mercury ‘Friendship 7’ mission left earth. Astronaut on board John Glenn flew around our precious little planet three times, while having a Heuer 2915A stopwatch on his wrist.
Since this was a simple stopwatch, it didn’t have a strap. A custom elastic strap was made especially for this stopwatch, and was placed over his space suit.
Where Does The Name ‘Autavia’ Come From?
The Autavia is one of the most popular and respected models of the brand. It’s a wildly respected watch among collectors and aficionado’s, and the particular model has claimed a whole niche to itself.
But where does this name come from? Autavia comes from a mix of two French words: Auto (car) and aviation (airplanes). Stick them together and you have Autavia. Simple as that!
How Steve McQueen Made The Monaco A Legendary Watch.
The Monaco is one of Tag Heuer’s famous and most recognizable watches. The square case was made famous by non-other than actor and legend Steve McQueen. McQueen wore a Monaco in the 1971 movie ‘Le Mans’. McQueen even picked this watch himself, because he thought it would look the part.
McQueen also wore a ‘Chronograph Heuer’ badge on his racing suit. Any round watch would have gone unnoticed in the movie, but the extravagant square shape of the Monaco made it easy for fans to spot and adore this remarkable timepiece.