TAG Heuer is a Swiss manufacturer of watches, specialized in sports watches and chronographs, with a strong link with the world of motorsport. It also manufactures accessories, as well as licensed eyewear and smartphones manufactured by other companies using the brand. TAG Heuer started as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG, founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in St-Imier, Switzerland. In 1985 TAG Group bought the majority of the shareholding composition of the company, forming TAG Heuer.
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The company was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in St-Imier, Switzerland. His first chronograph was patented in 1882, and in 1887 Heuer patented the "oscillating pinion", still used in mechanical chronographs. In 1911 Heuer patents the first on-board chronograph for automobiles and aviation, the "Time of Trip". In 1914 he presented his first wrist chronograph and in 1916 he presented the Micrograph, the first chronograph that would measure hundredths of a second. The Olympics of Antwerp, Paris and Amsterdam are chronometran with instruments of the firm. In 1932 presents the "Autavia", a chronograph for AUTOMóviles and AVIAción, which would end up being an important line in the brand. Also between 1935 and 1940 they would make chronographs for Luftwaffe pilots, known as "Flieger". Finished the war, they made models with triple calendar (day, date and month). In 1958 they would make new series of panel clocks, which were in production until the 1980s. They would also make instruments for timing sports events such as skiing or motor tests, including Formula 1.
In the early '60s, John Glenn becomes the third American astronaut, and the first to go into orbit with his Mercury capsule. On his wrist, fixed with ribbons, he wore a chronograph with no signature time. The clock is kept today at the Air and Space Museum in San Diego.
The firm's watches were popular during those years among car brokers, both professional and amateur. Heuer was the leader in the production of chronographs and time measuring equipment. Special versions were made with names of mythical circuits, such as logos of racing teams and sponsors. The "Leonidas" brand, manufacturer, among others, of chronographs for the German Air Force is also acquired.
In 1962 and 1963 the Autavia and the Carrera, two of the most known models of the firm, are presented respectively. Most of the chronographs of this era carried Valjoux movements, but while secretly developing together with Breitling and Hamilton an automatic caliber, the Caliber 11, which would be, together with Zenith's "El Primero", the first automatic loading chronograph caliber, presented in 1969 and that would be mounted on the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco lines. Precisely a blue Monaco would take him in 1971, Steve McQueen in his film "Le Mans", model that is now known as "Monaco McQueen", while the Formula 1 star Jo Siffert wore a white Autavia.
In the mid-'70 Heuer presented a digital chronograph, the Chronosplit, as well as models with Valjoux 7750 and Lémania 5100 mechanisms. The Heuer company was acquired in 1985 by TAG (Techniques d'Avant Garde), manufacturers of high-tech components such as ceramic turbochargers for single-seaters of Formula 1, and belonging to the Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh, owner of the team of F1 McLaren F1 Team. The watchmaker company was renamed TAG Heuer. In 1999, TAG Heuer sold 50.1% of its shares to the luxury goods group LVMH for 1.15 billion Swiss francs, 739 million dollars.
From 2016 to 2018, this brand sponsored the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team, naming the engines that were manufactured by Renault. This contract broke after the announcement that Honda would be the rider in the following season, although he will continue to be a sponsor in the car. Today, it is one of the most popular and popular luxury watch brands. The main lines are Formula One, Kirium, Aquaracer, Link, Autavia, Carrera, Monaco and Grand Carrera. It also manufactures glasses, mobiles and time measuring instruments.
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