Formula 1: TAG Heuer's Entry-Level Collection
The Formula 1 collection of sports watches represents the entry point into the world of TAG Heuer. Precise quartz or automatic movements provide select models with chronographs or GMT functions. There are also special-edition pieces for collectors.
The First TAG Heuer Watch
The Formula 1 collection holds a special position in the history of TAG Heuer. Released in 1986, it was the first series to hit the market following Techniques d’Avant Garde's (TAG) acquisition of Heuer the year before.
When creating the Formula 1, TAG Heuer's designer Eddy Burgener took cues from the era's popular Swatch watches. He crafted the case out of a stainless steel core and covered it in colorful fiberglass. A wide, gear-like bezel with large Arabic numerals for the minutes added an especially sporty touch. The original collection contained various three-hand and chronograph models powered by quartz calibers from Ronda or ETA.
Since its debut, the Formula 1 has undergone some significant changes. The colorful fiberglass cases became a thing of the past in the late 1990s when they were replaced by solid stainless steel. What's more, TAG Heuer has been outfitting these watches with modified automatic calibers from ETA since 2012. Highlights include chronographs powered by the Valjoux 7750-based Calibre 16. However, there are some holdovers from the original design, such as the distinctive bezel and water resistance to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). This means the Formula 1 is at home in the water as it is on the race track.
The manufacturer also offers numerous women's models that measure between 32 and 35 mm in diameter. Versions with gemstone-studded bezels are especially elegant.
Reasons to Buy a TAG Heuer Formula 1
- An affordable introduction to the world of TAG Heuer's racing watches
- The first model after TAG acquired Heuer
- Automatic and quartz calibers with a chronograph or GMT function
- Water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
- A sporty design with connections to motorsport
Prices at a Glance: TAG Heuer Formula 1
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Functions, caliber|
|WA1219||360 USD||Date, ETA 955.412 (quartz)|
|380.513||480 USD||Date, Ronda DA 705 (quartz)|
|CAC1111||710 USD||Chronograph, ETA 251.262 (quartz)|
|CAH1011||830 USD||Chronograph, Ronda 5040B (quartz)|
|WAZ2014||1,500 USD||Small seconds, date, Calibre 6 (automatic)|
|WAZ2011||1,700 USD||Date, Calibre 5 (automatic)|
|WAZ211A||1,800 USD||Date, GMT, Calibre 7 TT (automatic)|
|CAZ2015||2,500 USD||Chronograph, Calibre 16 (automatic)|
How much does a TAG Heuer Formula 1 cost?
Models from the 1980s and 90s serve as the entry point into the TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection. With any luck, you may find a used watch from this era for around 240 USD. Examples of models in this price range include the refs. 380.513, 370.513, WA1211, and WA1213. These older quartz timepieces generally get their power from the quartz Ronda SA 705 or ETA 955.412 movements with a date display at 3 o'clock.
More recent models are only slightly more expensive. For example, you can purchase a pre-owned three-hand watch with a date display and quartz movement for as little as 600 USD. The 43-mm ref. WAZ101A with an orange dial demands roughly 1,400 USD in mint condition. This edition pays tribute to the colorful timepieces of the 1980s and 90s.
Less Color and a Bigger Date
In 2004, TAG Heuer treated the Formula 1 to a facelift. While these models have the same basic design as their predecessors, the bright colors and fiberglass outer case were relegated to history. The manufacturer crafts their larger, 40-mm cases out of solid stainless steel with polyurethane bumpers on the sides – an idea that came from former F1 driver and TAG Heuer brand ambassador Kimi Räikkönen. The bezel contrasts nicely with the case thanks to its black PVD coating. Not even the dial survived the redesign unscathed. Its cleaner design includes applied indices and numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. Sapphire crystal protects the display and only adds to the sense of quality.
Depending on its condition, expect to pay between 470 and 720 USD for a three-hand watch with the quartz ETA caliber F06.111 and a date display at 4:30. Chronographs with the ETA G10.711 sit in the same price range. They have a counter for measuring tenths of a second at 2, a minute counter at 6, and a small seconds at 10 o'clock. Again, a date display appears at 4:30.
Formula 1 Grande Date With a Ronda Movement
TAG Heuer returned to Ronda quartz movements for 2009's Formula 1 Grande Date. As its name suggests, this 44-mm stainless steel watch features a large date display. In the three-hand model, this display shares its position at 6 o'clock with the small seconds dial. Well-maintained timepieces often cost around 890 USD.
The chronograph edition has its date display at 12 o'clock. The subdials at 2, 6, and 10 o'clock function as the two chronograph counters and a small seconds dial. Prices for these watches range from 600 USD for the stainless steel model with a black dial and rubber strap to 950 USD for the version with a panda dial and stainless steel bracelet.
Automatic ETA Calibers Since 2012
TAG Heuer first equipped the Formula 1 with a mechanical chronograph caliber in 2012. More specifically, they chose the Calibre 16, which is based on the legendary Valjoux 7750. These watches have a date display at 3, an hour counter at 6, a small seconds at 9, and a minute counter at 12 o'clock. The design of the first automatic models matches that of the quartz-powered Formula 1 chronographs. However, cases made after the 2015 redesign bear a stronger resemblance to the Heuer Autavia from the 1970s. Older models, such as the ref. CAU2011 with a stainless steel case and matching bracelet, change hands for about 2,400 USD in good condition. The stainless steel ref. CAZ2010 features the newer case design and sells for similar prices.
The Formula 1 collection has also seen the addition of more three-hand automatic models in recent years. One example is the Formula 1 Calibre 5. This sporty three-hand watch has a date display at 3 o'clock and gets its power from the ETA 2824-2. This timepiece is available with a 41 or 43-mm case and demands between 1,400 and 1,700 USD.
The Formula 1 Calibre 6 is yet another three-hand watch with a date display. However, instead of a central second hand, it displays the seconds on a subdial at 6 o'clock. Prices for this 43-mm stainless steel watch sit around 1,400 USD in mint condition.
The Calibre 7, based on the ETA 2893-2, serves as the beating heart of the Formula 1 Calibre 7. It provides this timepiece with its GMT function, meaning it can display the time in two time zones simultaneously. This is made possible by an additional hand that points to the bezel with a 24-hour scale. To make it easier to tell day from night, the lower half of the bezel is blue (day), and the upper half is black (night). Plan to spend around 1,800 USD on a never-worn watch.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Special Editions
TAG Heuer regularly releases special editions of the Formula 1. You'll find models dedicated to Aston Martin, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, the Indy 500, Ayrton Senna, and Gulf Racing. In addition to racing-themed watches, TAG Heuer has also produced some rather unusual timepieces. For example, the Swiss watch manufacturer has a special edition dedicated to the English soccer team Manchester United. The Portuguese striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, has also been honored with his own black and green Formula 1 CR7 watch. These timepieces all have one thing in common: they're quartz-powered chronographs. Even their prices are similar, coming in between 830 and 1,700 USD.
Non-quartz models include the Formula 1 David Guetta and Formula 1 x Senna. The former is dedicated to the world-famous DJ and features the automatic Calibre 7 and a GMT display. Unlike the standard model, the Guetta edition has a black PVD coating and is worn on a black leather strap with a wide cuff. You can purchase a never-worn version for around 2,000 USD. The Formula 1 x Senna Chronograph uses the automatic Calibre 16 and costs roughly 3,000 USD.