TAG Heuer expands Formula 1 watch family

Amidst the backdrop of the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, TAG Heuer called upon CEO Stephane Linder, McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver and brand ambassador Jenson Button, and two Gyrfalcons to take the wraps off its latest timepiece – the Formula 1 Calibre 16 automatic watch.

Stephane Linder, CEO of TAG Heuer (left) and Jenson Button, TAG Heuer brand ambassador (right) were present at the event. Button had just finished participating in qualifying laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Stephane Linder, CEO of TAG Heuer (left) and Jenson Button, TAG Heuer Brand Ambassador (right) were present at the event. Button had just finished participating in qualifying laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Formula 1 Calibre 16 – reference CAZ2011.FT8024 – is a racing inspired sports chronograph that features a 44mm case made from black titanium carbide coated steel. It features three sub dials and is powered by TAG’s Calibre 16 automatic movement, which – on this watch – offers a date complication and 42 hours of power reserve.

Jenson Button, TAG Heuer brand ambassador handles one of the Gyrfalcons. (We could swear he was shaking in his boots.)

Jenson Button, TAG Heuer brand ambassador handles one of the Gyrfalcons. (We could swear he was shaking in his boots.)

The launch event took place last evening at the Yas Marina Circuit and saw attendance by the brand’s VIP customers, as well as celebrities and friends of the brand including Michelle Rodriguez of The Fast and the Furious franchise.

Those in attendance also had the opportunity to watch the two white Gyrfalcons from the Abu Dhabi Falconers’ Club soaring through the skies, after they literally pulled away the cloth covering the new Formula 1 Calibre 16.

Our take

While we were not able to handle or try on the new Formula 1 Calibre 16 at the event, we can say that it looked quite a handsome piece from afar. The watch is predominantly black with prominent red accents on the crown, and the chronograph pusher at the 2 o’clock position. Several red accents are also visible on the watch’s dial, as well as on the chronograph’s hands. The ‘Tachymetre’ text on the watch’s bezel is also finished in red, all of which adds a splash of colour to what is otherwise quite a dark watch.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 is finished in black and sports a 44mm case making it quite a masculine piece.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 is finished in black and sports a 44mm case making it quite a masculine piece.

The watch features a 44mm case and has its chronograph and seconds sub dials at the 6, 9 and 12 positions. The date window meanwhile is visible at the 3 o’clock position; overall this is a clean dial that should be easily legible with even quick glances. The timepiece features what looked like a black leather strap, which coupled with the predominantly black finish of the case and dial makes this quite a masculine looking timepiece.

The watch is powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre 16 automatic movement which has been used in several of TAG’s other watches, including older references of the Formula 1 family. Based on past experience we can say that the Calibre 16 is a workhorse but unlike the Calibre 1887, the Calibre 16 is not an in-house movement – you can trace this movement’s roots back to the ETA 7750. The movement offers a power reserve of 42 hours and beats at 4Hz.

We’ve yet to confirm regional pricing but given the choice of movement and materials, we estimate this to be priced on par with other members of the Formula 1 family that also use the Calibre 16 movement.

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