2012 Year in Review

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   6 January 2013   |   6 Comments  

As another new year starts, it’s an opportune time to look back over what 2012 meant from a TAG Heuer perspective and to take a peek at what to expect in 2013. In 2012 Calibre 11 bought you 52 new stories from a range of expert writers, taking you behind the scenes at TAG Heuer and showing you the best of the 2012 models, as well as a few “blasts from the past”.

Of course, there were a number of new models and limited editions, but the perhaps the most intriguing story of the year was the brand’s continued push into the world of high-end watchmaking. While these ultra-high end watches are interesting, we will finally see the benefits to production watches in 2013 as TAG Heuer shows off its new in-house “1888″ Calibre.

2012: TAG Heuer Year in ReviewAs has been recent tradition, 2012 started with the launch of the new Formula 1 series, and ended with a preview of the new 2013 Carrera that will be launched in just over two weeks at Geneva 2013.

We also updated the website design, added more than 50 catalogs, celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the website, featured in Forbes.com and welcomed a stack of new, regular readers. To those who first discovered Calibre 11 in 2012, welcome!

New Models

TAG Heuer AQUARACER 500M WAK2180The year saw updates to two of TAG Heuer’s more popular lines- the Formula 1 and the Aquaracer 500m. The 2012 Formula 1 series brought a new maturity to the range and took away some of the style gimmicks used in the past (plastic bumpers, anyone?). The reception for the Aquaracer was more muted- yes, the watch looked great…but where was the innovation of the previous model?

It seems a mistake to have carried over none of the design cues of the previous model (rubber bezel with raised markers, date at 9 o’clock with cyclops, different case to Aquaracer 300m), as the new model looks perfectly nice, but less distinctive at the same time.

In addition, we also saw a new 43mm Carrera 1887, which combined the Gold Arabic numerals of the Carrera Heritage with the look of the 41mm Carrera 1887. While we’re on the Carrera, there was also a limited edition retro-style Carrera to mark Jack Heuer’s 80th birthday shown at Basel in March.

While Calibre 11 doesn’t devote as much focus to the Ladies collection, 2012 also saw a major revamp of the Ladies range, the most notable being the new Lady Link. No longer does the women’s range look like a scaled down men’s watch with a few diamonds- a unique case and dial made the Lady Link stand out.

Vale Avant Garde?

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Red BezelOne of the design trends that commenced with the 2011 Link series has been the more conservative (elegant?) look. This continued with the Formula 1 and Aquaracer 500m this year..so what does this mean? The new designs are more classic….more elegant…but also less avant garde.

Part of the reason may be the growth of sales in China, where tastes do lean towards the conservative. Part of the reason may be the push up-market, seeking further sophistication. The design of the Mikrogirder shows that TAG Heuer has not forgotten how to design forward-looking innovative watches, so we should assume that the direction is part of a distinct strategy rather than the brand losing its design mojo or forgetting how to “do innovative”.

No-one is advocating design gimmicks or loud colours- just that TAG Heuer shouldn’t forget the innovative design spirit that has always defined what makes the watches special.

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