November 14, 2009
by Ariel Adams
Here is a really nifty new Tag Heuer model I just came by. I haven’t seen it anywhere else but at The Watch Gallery who always has the most recent Tag Heuer watches. In the not so distant past I praised the good looks of the new Tag Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date watch. It wasn’t too tough to predict that a chronograph version was right around the corner, and here it is. But it seems to have dispensed with the “big date” part. The watch still shows the date though. Instead of the previous Swiss quartz movement, Tag Heuer has given the new Formula 1 Chronograph watches is newer Calibre S movement. The movement is a sophisticated quartz movement that transforms the watch dial totally into a chronograph. Operating it has the watch hands alter position to be used for counting the chronograph hours, seconds and minute. The two retrograde dials are used to measure 1/10 and 1/100 of a second times for the ultra precise chronograph mechanism. This is probably the best way to have such a precise chronograph complication without getting a digital watch. Once you are over with using the chronograph function, the watch reverts to “telling the time mode.” In time telling mode the chronograph retrograde dials are used to indicate the date (cool right?)
I think the look of the movement layout has been well integrated into this watch. One of the cooler things that you can do with a Swiss quartz movement that would be impossible or impractical with a mechanical movement. Everything about the new Tag Heuer Formula 1 watches has been upgraded from the previous models. Size is up to 44mm wide, there is no plastic on the case anymore (the bezel is new metal in black), and it just feels better in your hands. The case is about 11mm thick and water resistant to 200 meters. Crystal is sapphire. On the side of the watch there is a cool looking “Tag Heuer” label. The watch comes with a rubber or metal bracelet. Ive always been quite fond of this style bracelet. The dial of the watch is ludicrously clear and easy to read. The Chronograph version isn’t as easy to read given the addition of the retrograde dials at the bottom, but the hour markers are still there. The bold looks are actually refreshingly simple, which is a nice change of face from all the “busy” watches out there.
Not sure if the watch will arrive in a white dial version, but it may. As you can see you can also get the watch on a rubber strap. Prices are higher than the Grande Date, but still acceptable given the look and brand. At The Watch Gallery, prices are 1,195 British pounds for the steel bracelet version. Less of the rubber bracelet. Not sure about what US prices are going to be like – but a nice looker that will first a home on many happy wrists.
See this Tag Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph (metal bracelet ) on The Watch Gallery here.