Edouard Heuer founded Tag Heuer in St. Imier in Switzerland in 1860. Originally named the Uhrenmanufactur Heuer AG, or Heuer Watchmaking Inc., the company patented its chronograph in 1882 and the oscillating pinion in 1887. The latter is still used in mechanical chronographs by the major watchmakers until now. In 1991, it was able to patent the first dashboard chronograph in the world. It was used for automobiles, aircrafts and boats.
The brand introduced the use of timing devices for ski races and motor racing events, including Formula One. This accounted for its popularity among professional and amateur racers from the 50s to the 70s. It was also the first to introduce the automatic chronograph, in partnership with Breitling and Hamilton. It was also responsible for the Chronosplit, a digital chronograph watch with LED and LCD displays.
In 1985, the Techniques d’ Avant Garde, or TAG, acquired Heuer. TAG was previously known for items such as the high tech ceramic turbochargers used in Formula One. LVMH, or Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, then bought Tag Heuer in 1999 for $739 million.
Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive Tag Heuer watches. Some of the watches are still in its conceptual stage, so its prices are just estimates.
10. Tag Heuer Carrera MP4-12C Watch – $14,000
The Tag Heuer Carrera MP4-12C Watch was created for McLaren. Frank Stephenson, the head designer of McLaren Automotive and who also designed the Maserati Quattroporte, was involved in the creation of this watch. In honor of McLaren’s original color, orange detailing can be found in the dial, hands, bezel and strap stitches. The dial is made of carbon fiber with a sapphire window at the center. The design of the dial resembles that of the car’s dashboard. The pushers are designed like the piston of an engine. The watch has a rally-style design. The back has a transparent sapphire window so that the user can see the movement. This watch is only available in McLaren showrooms.
9. Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 360 Watch – $18,000
The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 360 Watch features the Calibre 360 movement that is the first automatic chronograph watch in the world capable of 1/100th second accuracy. Its modular movement features 230 components capable of 360,000 beats per hour. Four versions of this were made, with the Rose Gold Carrera 360 retailing for $18,000. Other versions were stainless steel, white gold and black PVD.
8. Tag Heuer Link Watch – $22,600
The Tag Heuer Link Watch features a dial with 11 diamonds in a polished river stone shaped case. There are also 12 engraved and lacquered Roman numerals on the bezel. The watch has anti-reflective treatment and central lugs. Date display is at 6. The polished and faceted hours and minute hands have white luminescent markers. It also has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It is water resistant up to 100 meters.
7. Tag Heuer Vanquish Watch – $25,000
The Tag Heuer Vanquish Watch was produced in 2005. Only 11 pieces of this model were ever made. The watch is made of polished titanium and all the pieces were sold in Switzerland. It features a metal bridge on the dial. This is a production version of the Carrera Calibre 360 Concept watch introduced in 2005. It measures 41 millimeters and features the double window used in the current Grand Carreras. One was auctioned off by Antiquorum for $25,000, while the other 10 were sold at $15,000.
6. Tag Heuer Carrera Mikrograph Watch – $50,000
The Tag Heuer Carrera Mikrograph Watch features an integrated movement especially designed, developed and manufactured for this model by the company. The watch has 62 jewels, up to 42 hours of power reserve and two balance wheels that are able to have 28,800 vibrations per hour for the watch and 36,000 vibrations per hour for the chronograph. It has a central blue chrono hand that revolves fully every second.
5. Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum – $65,000 to $75,000
The Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum is a concept watch and has not gone into production yet, so the price quoted is just an estimate. The watch is unique in that it makes use of magnets to regulate its movements rather than the usual hairspring. The watch is being done in collaboration with Tesla. It is PVD-coated and measures 47 millimeters. The window is see-through to allow the user to see the movement. It beats at six Hz.
4. Tag Heuer Monaco V4 Watch – $80,000
The Tag Heuer Monaco V4 Watch is the first watch in the world that makes use of transmission belts instead of pinion wheels in the movement. It also has micro ball bearings and quad mainspring barrels at the rear of the watch. It also has a special automatic winding system using a solid tungsten rod. Rather than the half circle oscillating weight, the tungsten rod moves up and down in a linear path.
3. Tag Heuer Mikrotimer Watch – $88,850
The Tag Heuer Mikrotimer Watch has speed and high frequency of 500 Hz and 3.6 million beats per hour. The central chrono makes 10 full rotations every second. Its case is made of black titanium carbide and it has titanium horns in contrasting silver. It has two central chronograph hands. The first one provides readings for 1/100th and 1/1,000th of a second. The second shows the elapsed minutes and 1/12th of a minute. It does not have any balance wheel.
2. Tag Heuer Mikrogirder 2000 Watch – over $100,000
Like the Mikrotimer, the Tag Heuer Mikrogirder 2000 does not have a balance wheel. Like the Pendulum, it does not have a hairspring. The watch features a high frequency of 1,000 Hz at 7.2 million vibrations per hour. The central chrono revolves 20 times each second. It is accurate up to 1/2000th of a second. It was the winner of the Aiguille d’Or, the Oscar Awards of the watch world. Price quoted is just an estimate.
1. Tag Heuer Mikrogirder 10000 Watch – over $100,000
The Tag Heuer Mikrogirder 10000 Watch is actually almost the same as the Mikrogirder 2000. It is accurate up to 5/10,000th, which of course is the same as 1/2000th. Instead of 2,000 at the 12 position, this watch shows 10,000. It also has a more industrial design and light grey and silver outer ring, as opposed to the Anthracite dial of the Mikrogirder 2000. The outer scale is also split into five time zones. Price quoted is also just an estimate.