It’s shaping up to be quite a year for LVMH and its watch division. We’re not even a month in and already the luxury giant’s four watch brands are bringing the heat in a very serious way. Though we have more to look forward to at the Watches & Wonders trade show in Geneva at the end of March, we were offered a hands-on preview recently in NYC of the brand’s new novelties. And while two special editions are, sadly, largely sold through, an awesome, light-powered dive watch in titanium can be had by all and sundry. Let’s take a look, shall we?
TAG Heuer has a rich heritage of chronographs to fall back on, though under the tutelage of CEO Frederic Arnault, it’s been focusing more on developing new collections rather than relying on vintage reissues as a crutch. (We approve.) However, there’s always room in the catalog for a few callbacks to old classics, which is why we were so thrilled to see this (slightly upsized) take on the reference 2447SN. Ratchet Buckles
With its triple-register “panda” dial, box-shaped crystal and vintage logo, it’s a clear tribute to a Heuer classic — albeit in 39mm, automatic form. And the movement? It’s a manufacture Calibre 02 with an impressive 80-hour power reserve and 33 jewels. (Plus, it’s visible through a sapphire caseback.) It even ships on a vintage-style, perforated black leather “rallye” strap with a signed, stainless steel buckle.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a regular production watch, but a limited edition of just 600 pieces, most of which are sold out. (You might try your local boutique to see if it has some stock.) At $7,400, it’s also no impulse-buy chronograph, and it’s a good deal pricier than many of the newer, entry-level models in TAG Heuer’s collection. But as a piece to satisfy vintage lovers? It’s perfect.
Here’s a watch we didn’t see coming. While the Monza is a vintage classic that’s received a few modern iterations and updates over the years, these have mostly been fairly conservative in aesthetics and styling. This thing, however, looks like something the Predator would wear while out on a date — and we mean that as a distinct compliment. Made of carbon, it comes in at 42mm and is complemented by colorful blue and red accents, a skeletonized dial and — get this — a flyback complication (i.e., you don’t have to stop the chronograph before restarting it, which makes timing successive events such as laps much easier, and more accurate).
Perhaps the most famous watch complication can be had from well under $1,000 — or for well over $1M.
Powered by Heuer’s in-house Calibre 02, it’s water resistant to 100m and features a black PVD Grade 5 titanium caseback, as well as a matching black sailcloth strap with a folding, push-button clasp. Honestly, this futuristic take on a racing watch classic is exactly the type of thing we’d like to see more of from big heritage brands like TAG Heuer. Balance this type of watch with more conventional vintage reissues and completely new designs, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a strong catalog. And though I’m not sure who the target audience is for this particular watch, clearly it’s been well received, as it’s largely sold through online — even at $13,850.
Alright, enough with all the pricey special editions for a second. How about this: a light-powered dive watch, water resistant to 200m, available in super lightweight titanium or awesome black carbon for $3,050? (Oh, and the forged carbon version is fused with luminous material and glows in the dark — did we mention that? We thought that would pique your interest.) Both are powered by the unique Calibre TH50-00 movement, which makes use of semi-transparent dials in the Solargraph models to recharge via ambient light. This way, you don’t need to worry about battery changes.
These first solar-powered releases are a big deal for TAG Heuer — at the moment, not many luxury brands offer this kind of tech, though Citizen of course pioneered it with its Eco-Drive movement, and Cartier debuted its SolarBeat Tanks to much applause a couple years back. If you’d prefer a more conventional-looking tool watch, the 40mm Grade 2 titanium model comes on a matching bracelet with a push-button clasp. Want something both stealthier and more avant garde? Go for the forged carbon version with its awesome bezel — turn off the lights (or the sun) and the thing glows like a piece of Kryptonite. (That one comes on a black rubber strap with a matching, push-button clasp.)
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