In addition to the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 6 Automatic three-hand models is the Formula 1 Calibre 16 Chronograph models. In my opinion, this is where TAG Heuer brings in internal competition between models as they already have a lot of chronograph offerings (like, a lot). I don’t mind a quartz chronograph in a Formula 1, but I am not sure how I feel about a mechanical one. Again, in the abstract, I don’t mind it, but in the context of the TAG Heuer lineup it feels like an odd decision.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 Chronograph will also come in either a brushed steel (CAZ2010) or black-coated case (CAZ2011). Note that all the models in brushed steel will come on a bracelet while the black models will come on a strap. A bit larger to make room for the movement and subdials, this is also a nice collection but I can’t help but feel that if you are going for a classic TAG Heuer chronograph you should get a Carrera. The Calibre 16 movement is a base Swiss Sellita SW500, I believe.
Where things get dicey, in my opinion, is pricing. TAG Heuer continues to maintain the Formula 1 as an entry level model – which is good. However, the definition of entry-level continues to change. Just a few years ago a fantastic TAG Heuer Formula 1 model with a quartz movement was under $1,000. Now the basic quartz movement retails for $1,300. That puts the Formula 1 quartz chronograph at $1,500 – which for 2014 are actually lowered prices that the year before I believe. So what do you think the mechanical models cost?
The three-hand TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 6 Automatic in brushed steel (WAZ2110.BA0875, WAZ2110.FT8023, WAZ2111.BA0875) retails for $1,800 and in black-coated steel (WAZ2112.FT8023) is priced at a heftier $2,200. The Formula 1 Calibre 16 Chronograph in steel (CAZ2010.BA0876, CAZ2010.FT8024) is slated be to available in September 2014 and similarly priced at $2,900 in steel, and $3,400 in black-coated steel (CAZ2011.FT8024). At these prices, the market is extremely competitive and there is so much available. TAG Heuer has some wonderful mid and upper range models, and my hope is that they will continue to focus on quality designs and attractive prices to secure their place as a brand which offers an excellent entry-level proposition for those interested in Swiss watches. tagheuer.com