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First Look: 2011 TAG Heuer Link Series

Continuing on the fast pace of new models this year comes perhaps TAG’s most important mainstream release for 2011- the new Link series.  Along with the Carrera, the Link is one of the top-selling TAG Heuer lines and is positioned as the “elegant” sports watch- you won’t see a Gulf-striped, PVD black versions any time soon.

CAT2010.BA0952 SEDUCTION LINK HDFirst introduced in 1987 as the S/el, the range was re-named “Link” in 1999 after the distinctive “Double-S” shaped links in the bracelet. The design of the bracelet was one of the main points of differences of the watch, and the basic shape of the links continues today.

So What’s New?

The 2011 TAG Heuer Link is a relatively gentle update of the last series that was released in 2007. On the left you see the 2011 Calibre S and on the right is the previous model. The case has been updated, with slightly shorter lugs, a shorter crown and re-designed, smaller Chronograph pushers. Moving to the dial itself and you notice that the vertical texturing used on many other TAG models finds its way onto the Link.

Overall, the re-design is aimed at making the dial appear larger and more “open”- notice how the hour markers are a thinner design and that the inner-bezel has been re-designed to also be thinner than the out-going model.

And of course, this wouldn’t be the Link series without that famous bracelet (Fast Fact: This is the sole TAG Heuer series that is only available on a bracelet), which has also received a new design. The “Double-S” links are still there, but they are flatter that the earlier model.

The changes between the old and new Calibre S model can also be seen across the new range- see the 2011 Link Calibre 16 Chronograph on the left and the old model on the right.

TAG Heuer Link Quartz Watch

Kicking off the Link range is the Quartz watch, which uses the ETA F06.111 movement and features a 40mm case.  Like all of the new Links, the Quartz Watch is available with either a black or white dial- no other colours are available for the moment.

I like the simplicity of the Link Quartz- a classic design with a nice mixture of brushed and polished finishes.

TAG Heuer Link Automatic Watch

Next up is the Link Automatic Watch (also 40mm), which is powered by the Calibre 6 movement (ETA 2895/2), the same movement used in the Grand Carrera Calibre 6 RS, but with a conventional second hand replacing the disc.

Again there is a use of different textures here- the vertical ridges on the dial, contrasted by the circular pattern of the sub-dial.

Below is the Calibre 6 Link range where you see two styles of fixed bezel offered- Roman and Arabic Numerals. The Link has been available for some time in markets such as Japan with Roman Numerals, and it’s not clear yet whether all markets will get both options, or whether there will be different bezels for different regions.

A quick word on the two-tone Steel and Gold Calibre 6 Link. Regular readers will know that I am no fan of two-tone watches, but I have to say the bracelet design on this model is beautifully done- rather than having gold links, there are much finer gold inserts, which gives it a much more modern look.

TAG Heuer Link Calibre S Chronograph

CAT7010.BA0952_seduction_LINK_2011HD

The Calibre S Chronograph is my favourite watch in the 2011 Link collection, using TAG Heuer’s in-house electro-mechanical Calibre S movement.

While early versions of the Link Calibre S used blue highlights on the bottom-right sub-dial, the new model switches to monochrome, which fits with the overall look and feel of the watch

The Link Calibre S uses a larger 43mm case and has some great design touches- note the 3D effect of the raised sub-dial.

TAG Heuer Link Day-Date

WAT2011.BA0951_seduction_LINK_2011HDNext in the range is the Link Day-Date (42mm), which moves the Day function from the top of the dial to a position below the date, both of which have an elegant chrome window. Like the Calibre 6, The Calibre 5 Day-Date is available with two different styles of bezel.

For someone who never uses the date function on a watch, Day-Date combinations have always seemed like overkill to me, but it has been a popular complication, which is available now on several watches across the TAG Heuer range.

TAG Heuer Link Calibre 16 Chronograph

Sitting at the top of the range is the Calibre 16 Chronograph (which I suspect will be the Valjoux 7750, but I am interested to see if there are more Sellita movements making their way into TAG’s range)

The changes to the design of the dial are highlighted from this photo below from last year’s series, which used a more complicated pattern.

I like that the new Calibre 16 design removes the border around all but the 9 o’clock sub-dial- it’s a small touch, but it does help differentiate the old and new models.

Interestingly, the 2011 Link range will be available first from the new TH Boutique in Las Vegas until August 2011- and then elsewhere in the US and around the world after that.

I’ll be reviewing the 2011 range over the next few weeks and am looking forward to seeing whether the sum of these small changes gives the new model a distinct look from the previous model. It’s certainly a very gentle re-design, but one that keeps with the more classical, elegant look of the series.

Update

For a detailed review of the 2011 TAG Heuer Link range, click here.

 

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  • wilfreb

    all i can say its that i'm in love! thats why i'm a huge fan of TagHeuer, cuz they make the best combination of quality with excellent designs.

    the new Link collection is gorgeous! i love that kind of dials! thats why i love my Aquaracer 500M, the linear dials are a joy to watch.

    for years the Link was 42mm tops, and now its 43mm [nice imo], also i will like to know the sizes of the cal. 6 and the cal. 5

    ive always been a fan of the link bracelet, for being so iconic, unique and original to Tag, and also its super confortable, and let me say that the new design is superb all aroung, now looks much more refined and elegant, cant wait to see your review.

    thanks cal11

  • Justin Chang

    TAG Heuer have added plenty of fine details on their updated Link series models. Rather looking forwards to seeing the Calibre 16 chrono in person – it carries a lot of Carrera DNA (imo), but still has enough differences to easily distinguish the two.

  • James F

    Hi,

    Thank you for the pictures.

    I was just wondering whether you knew if the new link kept with the designs of the old one with the sapphire crystal case back or whether they are going down the Carrera route and making it a solid case back?

  • Wisconsin Proud

    "I was just wondering whether you knew if the new link kept with the designs of the old one with the sapphire crystal case back or whether they are going down the Carrera route and making it a solid case back?"

    Only the Limited Edition Carreras have solid backs. All others are sapphire.

  • Rachel B

    @ Wisconsin Proud:

    Not the case as I think you will find the Carrera Lewis Hamilton has a sapphire crystal case back!!

    Anyway, later this year they are changing the Carrera models so that the 1887 will be the only Carrera available with the Sapphire Crystal case back. This is to push the 1887 rather than the 16 with it being in house!!

    I was also wondering whether the new style Link would have sapphire crystal case backs?

  • Enrico

    Always a pleasure to read your reviews. Most definitely a reliable source of real TAG Heuer unbiased info.

  • DC

    Thanks as always for all of your comments. The Calibre 5 and 6 models have a sapphire case back- will post a few images when I find them. Surprised that the Calibre 16 doesn't…but perhaps it's for the reason that Rachel mentions above (not that I expect a Link 1887 in the short-term)

    Dc

  • Ozng

    Thanks for all the information. I'm in love with the link series,especially the previous quartz chronograph models.(CT1111,CT1110..) I couldn't like the actual model,so i am eagerly waiting for the update. I'm wondering will there be a re-design for the quartz chrono model and when?

    Thanks.

  • DC

    Hi Ozng- I guess that the range just shown will be the "first wave" of the new series- maybe we'll see other models at Basel 2012, but for the next 12 months or so, I think this is it.

    David

  • Danny

    Love the new 2011 style, with those vertical lines.

    Do you know if any of the Aquaracer line are due for an update??

    The Aquaracer quartz watch especially looks a bit dated…

  • DC

    Danny, yes, I think there are some small updates for the Aquaracer, but I haven't seen these yet. I'd expect no change to the case- just freshen up of the dial.

    dc

  • Naveen

    This is the first time I visited this page and it's really great for information on Tag Heuer watches. I want to buy the Link Calibre S model with perpetual calendar. In fact I was going to buy one next week. But after reading your post, I have few questions. Do you think the new Link Calibre S model has a larger dial than the current one (somebody posted it's 43 mm which is larger than the current 42 mm)? Though I didn't like loosing the blue color sub-dials on the white case model (which I want to buy), but other changes appear to be nice. Do you recommend that I wait until August and then buy the new model instead of the old one? Is there any chance, that the new models have better battery or some other internal refinements? Please let me know.

    Naveen

  • Naveen

    I just read that it is 43 mm, which is not good as I normally do not prefer dials more than 40 mm. Is there anything about the weight of the Link Calibre S watch that your could also share?

  • DC

    Hi Naveen,

    Thanks for stopping by- pleased that you found the info useful. I haven't heard about any significant change to the movement, but its been around for a while now, so I would have thought that it pretty much continued on as it was.

    I don't know the weight of the Link Calibre S- either new or current model. I'd be surprised if you liked the 42mm but found 43mm too big- its a small difference.

    Only way to tell is to try them both. Note that the Blue sub-dial was replaced by monochrhome maybe 12 months ago, so it may be tough to find a current version with the blue sub-dial.

    David

  • Naveen

    Hi David,

    As I said earlier, I don't prefer dials wider than 40 mm. 42 mm was already little bit bigger for me. And now they have gone a bit further, which is not encouraging for me. But I agree with you that it's a small difference.

    I actually live in Germany, and here dealers have white model with blu sub-dials available (I was offered a good discount as well by an authorized dealer, perhaps due to new models coming soon). But I'm surprised to learn that blu sub-dial was replaced 12 months ago? On Tag Heuer website they show the watch with blu sub-dial. Though, the website of Tag Heuer is a mess. They also show one Link Calibre S model without the tachymetre bezel. However, I have been told that this model doesn't exist.

    After I read some customer reviews on Amazon, I got little bit concerned about the battery life and the time accuracy while using chronograph. That's why I asked if there are some internal refinements. I liked other design changes (especially the inner and tachymetre bazels). I look forward to read your review of Link Calibre S watch.

  • dkr

    Looks like the Calibre 36 isn't going to make it into the refreshed line… Pity…

  • DC

    Yes, does look that way. I think that the Link Calibre 36 was phased out a while ago- I guess that TAG Heuer only have access to so many El Primero movements, and are chosing to use the supply for the Monaco Twenty-Four, Monza and Grand Carrera.

    dc

  • Benny

    The Case back on the Cal 16 do not have a saphire back but the Cal 6 and the Cal 5 have the open case back.

  • Neeko

    I have the CFJ211A model and will never get another watch. This is perfection – almost; I like the newer face shown in the above photos, but I also like the older 's' link better. I debated about a blue dial model but definitely like the black dial better, now that I have been wearing it for a few weeks. It's an amazing timepiece.

    Neeko

  • Mir

    Hi I was wondering when will these new link designs be out into the market?

    Thanks!

  • DC

    Mir, depends where you are- if they're not out already, they should be in the stores in Sept/ Oct.

    dc

  • Stephen

    Hi guys just purchased one black dial chrono SUPERB quality good timekeeping and great fit on the wrist Just given me total brand confidence

  • DC

    Stephen- the Calibre 16? I saw one of these in a store today and thought it looked very nice. When I borrowed a few of the new Links for a review, they didn't have the Chronograph in stock, so I haven't tried one of these on….yet!

    • Ksilva23

      Hi I am new to watches and I really love the pic of the watch at the beginning of this post it looks like the watch is all black is it really all black or is that just the way it looks in the photo I can't find it anywhere? Thank you for your help.

      • Hi- no unfortunately that is just the lighting effect. That watch is stainless steel

        dc

  • Stephen

    Hi DC have you tried out the new link chrono yet and if so what was your opinion regards SD

    • DC

      Hi Stephen, no I haven't yet. Hopefully soon

      dc