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TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT Watch With Black & Blue Bezel

TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT Watch With Black & Blue Bezel Watch Releases

Toward the end of 2014, TAG Heuer will release one final new Formula 1 watch as part of its recent design overhaul of the Formula 1 collection. I recently discussed the new automatic three-hand and chronograph models in the 2014 TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection here. The final mechanical model is the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT ref. WAZ211A.BA0875. Attractive and of course familiar in design, the question still remains whether or not TAG Heuer should even be focusing on automatic watches in the Formula 1 product family.

In a sense, the Formula 1 GMT lives next to the TAG Heuer Carrera Dual Time which is a dressier GMT watch that will probably be priced a bit more than the Formula 1 GMT. They each share the same movement and are both 41mm wide in size. Consumers really just need to decide whether or not they are more comfortable with a sportier timepiece or something a bit more elegant (as is the case with that particular Carrera model). Allow me to broach the obvious issue that TAG Heuer was clearly influenced by the 2013 Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR (hands-on here), with its two-tone blue and black ceramic bezel. Rolex is the subject of a lot of homaging, so I don’t think they will mind. TAG Heuer did it gracefully and retained the Formula 1 DNA, as well as that Autavia-style case that the new Formula 1 watches have.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT Watch With Black & Blue Bezel Watch Releases

While the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT doesn’t have the fancy two-tone ceramic bezel as the Rolex GMT-Master II Day/Night, it does cost about $7,000 less. Let’s just say that the two watches aren’t exactly neck-in-neck competitors, but it is a good idea to know how and when watchmakers “give design compliments” to one another. The bezel of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT happens to be aluminum. As mentioned above, the steel case is 41mm wide but wears large, given the tonneau-style (barrel-shaped) case. Mostly brushed, the case and bracelet have a decidedly sober and sporty theme to them.

TAG Heuer did a good job with the dial that mixes Formula 1 and TAG Heuer brand identity with legibility. The applied hour markers are painted with lume, and the hands are well-sized. Like the Rolex, the GMT hand is mostly blue and is legible, but does not overpower the dial. An interesting detail that most people will miss is the fact that the TAG Heuer brand logo is done in black and white, whereas it is often fully colored (green and red) on many (but not all) of the Formula 1 watch dials. Also note the new crown design that the GMT and chronograph versions of the new Formula 1 models have.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT Watch With Black & Blue Bezel Watch Releases

Inside of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT watch is their Calibre 7 automatic movement. This GMT movement is essentially a base ETA 2893-2 automatic with a TAG Heuer custom automatic rotor. The case should be rather durable, with is 200 meters of water resistance and sapphire crystal. One important point to note is that the 24 hour scale bezel is fixed, meaning that it does not rotate. This is so that it can be properly read with the GMT hand (which does not have an independent 24 hour scale on the dial).

Once again, I want to bring up the fact that I am not sure a mechanical Formula 1 is what people should be looking for in the Formula 1 collection. TAG Heuer does offer a full set of three-hand and chronograph quartz Formula 1 models that feel as though they make a lot more sense for the collection. We further know that TAG Heuer is going to be refocusing on the slightly more affordable luxury watch market in the future, which will be part of their updated “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” brand message campaign. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT WAZ211A.BA0875 watch is an attractive mechanical two-time zone watch with some nice character, and that will be enough for many. Price is $2,200, and availability is said to begin in November 2014. tagheuer.com

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  • Henry-L

    Sorry if I have offended Tag fans, but this looks really like an ugly imitation of the Rolex GMT-Mater II.

  • marbstiu

    Toward the end of 2014, TAG Heuer will release one final new Formula 1 watch as part of its recent design overhaul of the Formula 1 collection…..

    THANK GOD

  • hautejalapeno

    When does Homaging become down right copying?

  • marbstiu

    hautejalapeno when the homage is worth two grand

  • 5803822

    At the price it has to be the best deal on the market – as the “low end” of the LVMH group it provides a very   sound base.

  • bowlclogger

    There’s a fine line between a homage and a cheap knockoff.  This is the latter.

  • Lkcons

    bowlclogger I THOUGHT when I just saw this  “….that bezel looks familiar….” but couldn’t for the life of me place the little known brand I saw it on first.. LOL

  • Colourway aside, I don;t really see all that much similar to the Rolex, but I still don’t like it. That Autavia case is awful.

  • OmniRak

    SuperStrapper I have to agree with you.  Personally I don’t see this Tag as either a knockoff nor a homage.  The only thing I see as similar is it’s blue & black and a GMT.  The markers, hands, fonts, minute markings, bezel shape, crown and case shape appear very different to me.  That said, none of it appeals to me over the Rolex GMT.  And I am not a Rolex guy. (not a Tag guy either in all honesty)

  • OmniRak I tip my glass to you then, I feel the same. 

    Oddly enough, in terms of the comparison shot posted above, i believe this is the first time i have said/thought “I prefer the Rolex”.

  • 5803822

    So in terms of potential sales, the TAG takes it on price and looks over the clunky, old hat Rolex – with it’s 1950’s crown, hands etc.

  • MikeinFrankfurt

    I honestly don’t think it looks so bad…eye-catching actually and the price isn’t objectionable.

    My only beef is that with the obvious aping of the GMTII, it brings me back to a time in the 80’s when Tag was making a lot of divers that looked exactly like Subs.  I hope that the decision by TH to go more downmarket is not going to lead to more me-too models.

  • GBD

    I’m generally lukewarm on Tag, but I really like what they’re doing with the F1 line. Other than the bezel colors I don’t see the slightest resemblance to the BLNR – different case, bracelet, dial, handset, etc, but I think since the bezel colors are the same that’s what jumps out. Aluminum bezel, but I suppose that’s what you get from Tag at this price point.

  • BIGCHRONO

    This watch: Another feeble entry into the horological snake pit. Tag Heuer is still riding the delusion train, trying to be like Omega, but forging into self parody. Like the worthless, disconnected politicos, Tag & all others must tap into us, accepting advice/suggestions from consumers who deserve better products & prices for their potential, esteemed patronage.

  • Shawnnny

    A car inspired watch, that looks like a dive watch, that looks like other companies dive watches. Ok, I’m no great horological genius, but even I wouldn’t do that. No thanks!

  • Shawnnny

    Same here. And, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a ditch with a mind full of chemicals wearing a Rolex.

  • Ulysses31

    Cheap generic looks – it has to be Tag.

  • JasonDunn

    This is more uninspired than the usual TAG offering, and that’s really saying something.

  • BIGCHRONO

    JasonDunn 
    How will manufacturers know what we want without asking the buying public? Just because they (allegedly) like the items they’re producing, does not mean other consumers will. Since they refuse to directly communicate with us, then we speak with our wallets-CLOSED.

  • BIGCHRONO

    marbstiu hautejalapeno 
    Please be objective. This one is not worth even that much.

  • spiceballs

    OK (for $2200?) but why on earth did TH put crenulations on the bezel if it doesn’t move?  To look good or match the crown or?  I’m not a TH hater but what are their designers smoking?

  • All things considered, it costs twice as much as it should.

  • marbstiu

    emenezes all  because it looks like a rolex.

    zzzzzzz lol

  • DG Cayse

    heh heh heh…a Tag “homage”….heh heh heh

  • emenezes Not a lot of ETA 2893 based GMT watches out there for $1100, especially from a well known brand.

  • Prices aside, I have mixed reactions to the TAG versus Rolex GMT. In many ways, the TAG is more cohesively designed. But the Rolex Sub/GMT Master looks is to iconic, that its hard to not see other designs in those terms. I think the TAG is a more intelligent design, but I can’t say that I prefer it.
    The price seems fair, but the lack of a rotating bezel pisses me off. It clearly looks like it should rotate so you feel cheated (and that they should have discreetly put 24 hours markings on the dial and you would have gotten a 3 timezone watch).
    Not crazy about the case either. I appreciate simple, but this comes off as uninspired.

  • 5803822

    It was “Iconic” a generation ago – time for a rethink  ?  Perhaps not, AP keeps flogging the R Oak  but have had the sense to produce  about 150 variations – only advertising millions maintain  these products in situ…………..but now out of reach of the younger buyer

  • Not if you include the discount for ugliness.

  • emenezes You know that they say. “Beauty is only skin deep. But ugly goes to the bone.” Ha ha

  • “From a well known brand”, as in a brand which spend more in marketing and endorsements than in product development, design and quality, yes?

  • emenezes And  who pays for those full page glossy ads? You the consumer of course!

  • Emperius

    Recent news over Tag losing profits and what not, wonder why…

  • marzzz

    Much prefer the TAG over the clunky, old-fashioned Rolex. The Model T was an iconic design, too…

  • marzzz

    marzzz Uh yeah….so after taking a close look at the Rolex vs the TAG, I ended up with the Rolex. EFF ME.

  • DG Cayse

    marzzz Why did you choose the Rolex over the Tag?

  • marzzz

    The more I looked at the Rolex, the more I realized it was a true classic design. Imitation is imitation..

  • DG Cayse

    marzzz I think I understand. The more I see ‘new’ designs coming out, it looks like one of three categories:
    1) Something out-of-the-ball-park weird
    2) a copy of a successful design
    3) “Retro” (which may fall into cat2.)

    Most new technology is happening on the inside of the case. Which is all well and good. IMO, that is a linear direction for improvement.
    However, case, crystal, bezel and crown design looks to have peaked in the mid-90’s.

    And, honestly, as long as new materials are added in, this may be a good thing.

    Like “Coke” vs “New Coke”. The older designs were successful for very good reasons – They worked and people liked them.

  • John William Salevurakis

    You know, at the $1250 street price, this is a pretty nice little beater/travel watch. I still wish the bezel rotated. 🙁

  • ShaneSperry

    Does anyone know the lug to lug width of this watch?

  • Jason K

    I know this is quite a old article, but I am looking at picking up my first ever Tag Heuer. I know there are many who cannot stand the brand because of what they have been in the past. Personally I’ve always wanted on, I love the motorsport connection and I think their “newer” designs are quite striking in some cases.

    I am a bit torn between this specific Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT or the newer Quartz movement Formula 1 Chronograph also mentioned in the end of this article. To me, I feel spending this kind of money on my first ever “entry level” luxury brand watch and having it be Quartz really isn’t a great idea, although I do really like the Chronograph design. I will go to my local AD and check out both side by side, but I feel that I’ll likely be leaning toward the GMT. The one really disappointing thing across the entire Formula 1 lineup is the clasp. It’s absolutely terrible, and even at the lower price point of the lineup, its not excusable. I’d recommend anyone looking at any Tag in the Formula 1 lineup, try to negotiate a clasp from the newer Aquaracer watches. Such a massive improvement, far more robust, and incorporates the “Tag Heuer” full text rather than a outline of the Tag logo.

    Also, it’s mentioned in the article that the Tag Heuer logo is done in white/black while most are done in color for the Formula 1 lineup. This is true across the majority of their watches. Virtually all of their Quartz movement watches incorporate a colored logo, while the white/black is reserved for automatic movements.

    Thanks for the review! There are not many on the web so it’s nice to see this watch get some coverage.

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