Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Among Tag Heuer's mainstay watch collections is the Link. I believe it was originally introduced in the late 1980s, and has been a major part of the brand's image since then. The Link's DNA has always been linked to its bracelet - offering a special look that many have tried to replicate (but not very well). For 2011 Tag Heuer updates and refines the entire link watch collection. I sat down with Tag Heuer's CEO Mr. Babin to talk all about it.

I previously wrote about a Link watch here when doing a review a few years ago. Owning a previous Link model helped me to see the differences that Tag Heuer was able to give the new collection. For the time being the collection is a bit more formal and dressy than its sportier parents. Tag Heuer will likely move into a sport direction later, but have been really focused on a good mature look with their recent mainstream models.

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Going first to the bracelet, Tag Heuer streamlined the iconic look a lot. Making the links a bit more flush and less rounded. The distance between the parts is much less. I recall with previous bracelet, sizing it was a pain. I did manage to size it myself, but it was a very involved process. Tag Heuer designed the bracelet to have no exposed pins on the sides, so it was a tricky - but cleverly engineered bracelet. Not sure how that concept plays in with the new bracelet. Save for the two-tone models in steel and gold, the links are brushed. If you've felts the links of a Link bracelet before, you know that Tag Heuer's process results in some of the nicest brushed surfaces around.

As the core case and bracelet of the watch are softer looking and brushed, Tag Heuer wanted to create a contrast when it came to the dial and bezel. Here you see much of the design of the new Link. For now, gone is the rotating bezel replaced with a fixed polished bezel that hints to the piece's dressy soul. While the designs are varied, you can see how the bezel's are richly polished with either Roman or Arabic numerals. For a dress watch they are very nice. The finishing is excellent, and there is a new feature that Tag Heuer hopes will add to the distinctiveness of the entire Link family. You likely won't notice this at first, but look at the polished outer bezel ring. See how it isn't actually round? This element slopes downward and is actually more  cushion shaped - offering little corner bulges. Clearly a very subtle feature, this element does a lot to enhance the look of the case.

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Link case sizes are going to be between 40 - 43mm wide for now. At launch, there will be a lot of models with either Swiss quartz or mechanical movements. The basic quartz model will be 40mm wide with a three-hand movement (called the Link Watch with Quartz Movement). There will also be a 43mm wide quartz chronograph model with Tag Heuer's popular Calibre S movement. Up from there are at least three automatic watches. These contain either the Tag Heuer Calibre 5, 6, or 16 movements (base ETA). Basically, as far as I can tell, the 2011 Link will have five product subranges, each with its own range of colors and styles. The differences between certain models is extremely subtle - such as the difference between Arabic or Roman numerals on the bezel.

The Calibre 6 model will be 40mm wide with a subsidiary seconds hand - and probably the most elegant Link look. The Calibre 5 automatic on the other hand is 42mm wide and is the day/date model. I like the integration of the day/date information. The windows are symmetrically stacked on the bottom of the dial, and the day of the week window has the entire day spelled out as is common on Rolex President watches.

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases Tag Heuer Link Watch Collection For 2011 Watch Releases

The Link automatic chronograph will have the Calibre 16 and is 43mm wide. This movement is a base ETA Valjoux 7750. All the watches have sapphire crystals and are pretty darn comfortable on the wrist. Tag Heuer's reputation for comfort and refinement in recent times really comes from watches like the Carrera and Link.

A few years ago Tag Heuer really wanted to "class up" the dials of the Link by adding thinner hands and textured dial. They dials are attractive but less bold than some of the earlier Link models. I would like to see this new case style with bolder, more sporty dial in the future. For now, the new Link collection is a very refined looking, conservative men's watch with a lot of universal appeal. Prices again start at about $2,000. The quartz models start at $2,100, while the automatic models start at $2,700 for the Calibre 6. The Calibre 5 based Link is $2,800 in steel, and $3,800 in steel with gold (some solid and some plated gold elements). The Calibre 16 based automatic chronograph Links are also $3,800. Look for them very soon - and please note that while there are a lot of the models displayed in this article, it isn't all of them!

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  • Fabio Ferreira

    Honestly, most of them look awful


    These seem like good price/value ratios, & a capable overhaul for the line. The tachy bezels are painfully overdone & superfluous. Better options include telemeter, pulseometer, & even a 100 gauge scale, splitting the hour into 100 even components.

  • Dangeruss

    Vanilla. The chrono looks nice. I do like the overlapping sub-dials. I prefer a sportier watch, or a dressier watch. This middle ground styling just doesn’t inspire.

  • Sean

    There’s something about these that just doesn’t sit right with me?? The roman numeral execution, while probably sounding like a good idea in concept, is an absolute shocker. And I’m afraid the two-tone is even worse.


    • lol. Aren’t you a bit biased Sean?

      • Sean

        At work… yes 🙂 Out of business hours though I’m very open minded.

        Very happy to admit that one of my favourite watches of all time is the Tag Heuer Carrera CV2010.BA0794. But for that money, you could buy three great Tissot’s 😉

        (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

  • Mike

    They’ve gone insane with the vertical ridges, every model shown has them. They look awful on the dials of the calibre S and 16. The previous models had a much cleaner look.

    I’d love to see some side shots of the cases and bracelets. I have a feeling the new shape with harder angles probably looks great, but its hard to tell in these flat looking images.

    I guess its too much to ask for a calibre 1887 model at this time. They probably don’t have the production capacity yet. But if I was in the market for a Link I would hold out for that because it must happen eventually.

  • Ulysses

    The chrono is nice, but a Certina DS1 is nicer.

  • kris c

    Hands-down, the best ‘link’ rendition TAG has – the old link bracelet, with the highly rounded links, probably has my vote for the worst bracelet of all time.
    Calibre S is certainly the most attractive of thos shown here, although the chrono pushers/crown guard design looks quite apart from the rest of the watch.
    I know we are not seeing everything in htis range here, I hope they have a clean bezel option for the Calibre 5 and 6 watches – those markers are gaudy and ill conceived.

    TAG has been busy lately.

  • john steppling

    Id have to agree: Fail. Not awful, not even really bad. Just not worth having done — I mean they arent original looking. They arent special looking. They arent the sort of “tool” watch that suggests genuine work. I mean they fall between the cracks in all catagories. I can think of a lot of watches I would pick before these. Again, I dont think theyre awful…though whoever pointed out the vertical thing is right on. Enough already.

  • paul

    I recently saw in person the new link quartz, and the day/date. I was a bit underwhelmed with the quartz link due to the fact that the tag heuer logo was barely legible. It did have a nice date window enclosed by a square border, but no longer does the dial say 200 meters. The day/date dial was dull even under jewelry store lights. The good thing about the quartz version bezel is that it is not highly polished, therefore I presume it will be less prone to scratches.

  • jt_pmd

    Calibre S, nice watch when it works ! De synchronised hands when only 1 year old on the Tachymeter. 2.5 years on and now it no longer works ( No not the batt and now out of warranty with no offer to rectify). This is 3.5 k watch not a 2 bit department store piece which would prob still be working mind you so next watch will not be a TAG, I see TAG now use a modified Seiko movement on some models too, please. Quality & reliability I think not !

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  • Barney Frank

    The Link 16 is a tough watch to beat when you factor in versatility and overall value. This is one of the few watches around you can wear with a suit or a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and not feel out of place. Once you hold it in your hand the quality shows through immediately and with a solid ETA 7750 movement, it’ll last you forever. Overall great watch!