I’ll take this watch please. Literally I want to sign for it right now. I’ve always been a big fan of Tag Heuer Formula 1 watches, and this latest iteration goes right back to the simplistic good looks that made this line of timepieces so incredibly desirable for me. While the watch is considered part of Tag Heuer’s entry level line, the quality of the watch has been going up – to the point where, yes, it is more expensive, but all that much more desirable (still under $1000 though). For instance, the classic plastic bezel has been replaced with a titanium carbide-coated steel bezel. Nice! The major functional improvement here is that the prominent bezel is not scratch resistant, while with the old plastic bezel it was basically guaranteed that you had to replace it every once in a while. The new steel bezel has raised minute indicators, which are more than just “painted on.”
What is really nice about this version of the new Formula 1 is the clean but attractive face that is very pleasing to look at and use. See the image of another new for 2009 Tag Heuer Formula 1 watch, the Grande Date Chronograph. This watch just feels so cluttered and contradictory to the point of this timepiece. Sure it looks cool, but I wouldn’t want to live with it each day. The Formula 1 Grande Date has a large subsidiary seconds dial with an integrated big date. It is hard to see the big date in the images (how ironic), but it is at the 6 o’clock position. The hands on the face are totally new for the watch line, and I think I like them. The best part of the dial are the raised hour numerals and indexes. They have a rich amount of Superluminova so that they will glow. This of course is on the black faced model. The white faced model is basically all lume, with the numerals and markers being in black.
The 44mm wide watch case has the same soft look that made the original Formula 1 watch so popular. This is the poster-child of why a lug-less look works. The satin finished steel case works nicely against the black colored bezel, and the Tag Heuer “Easy Grip” crown looks like a breeze to operate (screw-down of course). The crystal is sapphire, while the watch is water resistant to 200 meters.
Two strap options are available for this watch. A textured rubber strap or the classic looking metal bracelet which is a great hybrid between a jubilee bracelet, and what you’d find on a Rolex Submariner. See what I mean? Inside the watch is quartz movement, which this series has always had. Yea, I prefer mechanical movements, but for some reason this watch just seems more suited to having a high quality quartz, so I am not disappointed there – and again, for the price it will be a good deal. My choice is going to be the black dial with the metal bracelet, and I will likely end up getting one when they are released soon. Image update: Jason Pitsch has some images of the Tag Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date watch taken from Baselworld posted here.
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