That is a bit of a sensationalist headline but, for one day at least, it was absolutely true. Tag Heuer chose Mall of the Emirates’ Ski Dubai to launch its 2016 collection on the 30th of May, and we were in attendance to check out the new timepieces.
Ski Dubai maintains a temperature of negative four degree Celsius, which makes it one of the coldest places in Dubai throughout the year (some of our friends say their offices are colder but we’ll take their word with a bag of salt). We’ve been to the venue several times in the past, so we were never in any fear of cracking under (cold) pressure, and were further spurred on by the opportunity to talk to the Tag Heuer Middle East team.
For 2016, the brand has updated its Formula 1, Aquaracer, and Carrera collections. But, as we saw at BaselWorld this year, there’s also a reissue of the Monza, which is just in time for the original watch’s 40th anniversary. A prototype was on hand at the event, which we’ll get back to later in the article.
2016 Formula 1 collection
Tag Heuer was the official timekeeper for Formula 1 races for over 10-years, and was also the first brand to sponsor a professional racing driver. Today, the brand continues to serve as timekeeper for several world class racing events, and works with actor and racecar driver Patrick Dempsey, along with several other personalities in the motoring world.
The Formula 1 collection is now 20-years old and features watches that are inspired by Formula 1, which means the timepieces are sporty and casual. In our view this collection is best sampled in chronograph form, though time-only pieces are also offered. We caught up with a very cold Nour El Dakdouki for a quick presentation of the Formula 1 watches on display. Check out the video below.
2016 Aquaracer collection
This collection was first unveiled in 2003, and is the go-to for those interested in waterproof watches for everyday use. Although the collection itself is relatively new, the brand is no stranger to waterproof pieces, in fact in 1892, Edouard Heuer (founder of the then named Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG) was the first person in the history of watchmaking to file a patent for a watertight case.
The collection has watches for both men and women, with both quartz and mechanical calibres on offer. For 2016, the brand has introduced the 43mm Aquaracer 300M Ceramic Automatic Calibre 5, and 35mm Aquaracer Lady 300M Quartz, which is also in full ceramic. Hisham Al Jamaan took us through some of the timepieces at the event, check out the video below.
2016 Carrera collection
Within collector circles and beyond, the Carrera collection is easily the most well known and respected of all the Tag Heuer families. The collection was the brainchild of Jack Heuer, the great grandson of Edouard Heuer, and was first launched in 1963. The collection disappeared a while after Jack Heuer left the company in 1982 but, thankfully, was re-launched in 1996 with none other than Jack Heuer himself.
Today, Carrera watches from the 60s and 70s are in high-demand by collectors and connoisseurs. Of course you don’t have to go hunting for a vintage Carrera timepiece if you want to enter the world of Tag Heuer today, but we do recommend that your first piece be from the Carrera collection. In terms of pricing, Carrera timepieces aren’t as accessible as pieces from some of the other collections but, trust us on this, this is the collection to start with.
For 2016, Tag Heuer has a couple of new references of its bold Heuer-01 chronograph, which was first launched at BaselWorld 2015. This watch packs an in-house automatic movement based on the 1887 calibre, and boasts a chunky, modular case design with no less than 12 elements.
We spoke to Nicolas Pic about these pieces, and managed to get a few tasty morsels of information about the forthcoming Heuer-02 Tourbillon. Check out the video below.
Tag Heuer’s Connected Watch was also on hand at the event. We’ve written about this smartwatch before (click here to read) but you can also find out about the piece by watching the video below.
The original Monza was released 40-years ago, and just as certain vintage Carrera timepieces are in demand by well-learned collectors, vintage Monzas that are in good condition, and offered with box and papers can incite a lot of interest.
Tag Heuer has reissued the Monza a couple of times in the past but, in terms of design and aesthetics, the 2016 reissue is perhaps the most faithful to the ref. 150.501 Monza (picture below). The 150.501 is arguably the most famous Monza, and the watch most people mean, when they talk about vintage Monzas.
The new Monza features a 42mm cushion shape case made from grade 5 titanium, but rather than rely on PVD to give the case its black finish (below), the titanium is blackened with titanium carbide.
The 2016 Monza has a two-register chronograph dial layout, and has its crown and two pushers on the right side of its case. The piece is powered by the Calibre 17 movement, which was also used on earlier Monza reissues.
To learn more about Tag Heuer, click here.
Update June 2, 2016
We’ve got our hands on the Monza prototype for a few days, and will have our thoughts on this piece as soon as possible. Until then, you can follow this piece via our social channels for the next few days, just look for @HorologyME on both Instagram and Snapchat.