Journal / Read

The TAG Heuer Buying Guide: Models, Prices & Everything Else You Need to Know

Everything you need to know when buying a TAG Heuer watch, from models to prices.

By

Isaac Wingold

October 25, 2022

/

8 min read

Everyone’s got that one watch they’ve always coveted, and for many inspired by motorsports, that watch is a TAG Heuer. Seen throughout history on the wrists of Formula 1’s most celebrated names and Hollywood icons of the highest caliber, it’s hard to avoid the undeniable allure of the brand’s watches. But with so many models to choose from, narrowing down which is right for you can get tricky. To help, we’ve put together this guide to everything you need to know when buying a TAG Heuer watch of your own. 

What Makes a TAG Heuer a TAG Heuer?

  • Innovative Movements
  • Continual Reinvention
  • Synonymous with Motorsport

Key TAG Heuer Models to Know

Should You Buy a Modern or Vintage TAG Heuer?

Bezel's TAG Heuer Picks

What Makes a TAG Heuer a TAG Heuer?

A TAG Heuer watchmaker works on one of the brand's latest in-house chronograph calibers.

Innovative Movements

Since the earliest days of the brand, TAG Heuer has been committed to high-brow mechanical innovations, expanding what a watch can do while also simplifying the watch ownership experience. This reputation for mechanical excellence began in 1869 with Edouard Heuer’s patenting of the crown-operated, keyless winding system, a massively important design that’s now found in most modern watches. A century later in 1969, Heuer changed the game again with the development of the now legendary Caliber 11 “Chronomatic,” the world’s first self-winding chronograph movement. This spirit of innovation continues to this day through the production of advanced complications, including but not limited to flying tourbillon chronographs. 

Heuer and TAG Heuer have both always adapted to suit the needs of professionals and desires of collectors.

Continual Reinvention 

Like other manufacturers of Swiss mechanical watches, Heuer struggled throughout the “Quartz Crisis” brought on by the introduction of battery-powered wristwatches. As a result, the Heuer brand was sold in 1985 to Techniques d’Avant Garde, a motorsports-focused holding company better known as TAG. Following the sale, Heuer was reinvented and reintroduced as TAG Heuer, addressing a broader market and more diverse group of watch collectors. Though nearly four decades have passed since the watchmaker’s reinvention, TAG Heuer continues to push the envelope and release the unexpected, all while still respecting the brand’s heritage.   

A series of early Heuer timing devices, commonly used at major motorsports events throughout the 60s and 70s.

Synonymous with Motorsport

TAG Heuer is more closely associated with motorsports than any other watch manufacturer, with countless references visibly inspired by racing. Just about anyone who’s anyone in the history of motor racing has worn a Heuer chronograph at some point, including Jochen Rindt, Jo Siffert, Niki Lauda, Dan Gurney, among others. The watchmaker has also historically produced advanced timing systems for Formula 1 events.

Key TAG Heuer Models to Know 

TAG Heuer Carrera Ref. CBN2011.BA0642.

TAG Heuer Carrera

Shop TAG Heuer Carrera

Dates: 1963-Present

Price range: $1,000-$100,000

Highlights:

  • Introduced in response to the increased popularity of motorsports in the early 1960s. 
  • Characterized by its highly legible dial, traced by scales allowing for calculations to be made with the chronograph.
  • Has always remained in the catalogs of both Heuer and TAG Heuer since its introduction in 1963.
  • Without question, TAG Heuer’s most universally renowned and recognized collection.
  • Now offered with both quartz and mechanical movements.
  • Vintage examples are now highly sought after by collectors.
  • Produced in a wide variety of configurations.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Ref. WBP231B.BA0618.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer

Shop TAG Heuer Aquaracer

Dates: 2004-Present

Price range: $1,000-$6,000

Highlights:

  • TAG Heuer’s dive-focused collection of sports watches.
  • Recalls early Heuer dive watches produced in the early 1980s.
  • Features a highly legible dial and a rotating bezel for use underwater.
  • Now offered with both quartz and mechanical movements. 
  • Produced in a wide variety of configurations.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ref. WAZ101A.FC8305.

TAG Heuer Formula 1

Shop TAG Heuer Formula 1

Dates: 1986-Present

Price range: $500-$7,500

Highlights:

  • The first watch to ever be branded with the name TAG Heuer, following Techniques d’Avant Garde’s acquisition of Heuer. 
  • Initially intended to compete with quartz powered Japanese watches of its era.
  • Inspired by the brand’s extensive history and involvement in motorsport.
  • Marketed in collaboration with top Formula 1 drivers sponsored by TAG Heuer.
  • Now offered with both quartz and mechanical movements.
  • Produced in a wide variety of configurations.
TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CBL2113.BA0644.

TAG Heuer Monaco

Shop TAG Heuer Monaco

Dates: 1969-Present

Price range: $2,000-$100,000

Highlights:

  • Introduced in response to the widespread popularity of motorsports throughout the late 1960s. 
  • Characterized by its square case shape, matching square chronograph subdials, and protruding crown and pushers.
  • Notably worn by Steve McQueen in the film “Le Mans” (1971). 
  • Reissued by TAG Heuer several times in the brand’s recent history. 
  • Now offered with both quartz and mechanical movements. 
  • Vintage examples are now highly sought after by collectors.
  • Produced in a wide variety of configurations.

TAG Heuer Autavia Chronometer Flyback Ref. CBE511B.FC8279

TAG Heuer Autavia

Shop TAG Heuer Autavia

Dates: 1962-Present

Price range: $2,000-$100,000

Highlights:

  • Introduced in response to the increased popularity of aviation and motorsports in the early 1960s. 
  • The first Heuer chronograph to be named aside from a reference number.
  • Heuer derived its name through combining the words ‘AUTomotive’ and ‘AVIAtion.’ 
  • Notably worn by race car drivers Jochen Rindt and Jo Siffert. 
  • Reissued by TAG Heuer several times in the brand’s recent history. 
  • Vintage examples are now highly sought after by collectors.
  • Produced in a wide variety of configurations

TAG Heuer Link Ref. WBC131G.BA0649.

TAG Heuer Link

Shop TAG Heuer Link

Dates: 1999-Present

Price range: $500-$10,000

Highlights:

  • Replaced the TAG Heuer S/EL “Sports Elegance” of 1987. 
  • Designed to be versatile enough to be worn comfortably with a wetsuit or a dinner jacket.
  • Features a signature bracelet with unique, double S-shaped links, offered exclusively on references in the Link collection.
  • Now offered with both quartz and mechanical movements. 
  • Produced in a wide variety of configurations.
A vintage Heuer Autavia, notably featuring the brand's Chronomatic movement.

Should You Buy a Modern or Vintage TAG Heuer?

If you’ve decided that a TAG Heuer is what you want, the next step is making a decision between vintage or modern. While there’s no wrong answer here — owning and wearing a vintage watch can be drastically different than owning and wearing a modern reference, given how vintage Heuer watches will usually show their age, and tend to be a little less durable than their modern counterparts. This is in no way due to poor quality or shoddy craftsmanship, but instead the result of both the passage of time, and available technology at the time of manufacturing. This means that unless a water and moisture resistance focused overhaul is performed, swimming with your watch will likely be a no go. 

Having said that, vintage Heuer watches offer up something the modern references cannot: unique patina and charm. Though many watch manufacturers, including TAG Heuer, have introduced heritage-inspired watches in recent years, vintage watches will always be able to fill a void in your collection in ways a modern watch can’t, and vice versa.

Bezel’s TAG Heuer Picks

TAG Heuer Carrera 02 Fragment Limited Edition by Hiroshi Fujiwara Ref. CBK221A.EB0171

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Silver & Orange Ref. CAW211C.FC6241

TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Senna Quartz Chronograph Ref. CAZ201B.FC6487

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAF1313

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY211C.BA0928

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Ref. CAR201U.BA0766

DOWNLOAD THE APP

Start browsing watches now

Bezel is available to download on the App Store now. Please reach out to our concierge team if there is anything we can help you with!

Get the app