A trip to the Museum

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   22 March 2011   |   6 Comments  

The TAG Heuer Museum opened its doors in January 2008 to showcase the company’s significant time pieces of the last 150 years. As well as showing off watches, stop-watches and other timing equipment, the Museum also features a 360 degree video display showing some of the iconic images of watches and ambassadors.

The Museum is laid out in three levels to mimic the design of a watch- the “crystal” being the top-level, the middle level being the “hands” (a wall of images and watches that you move around in chronological order) and finally the “dial”, which is made up of nine circular displays at ground level.

The great thing about the Museum is that it covers each part of the brand’s history in equal measure- you’ll find as much space given to the diver watches of the 1980s and 1990s as you will to the vintage Siffert Autavia. It’s not a huge space, but is very well laid out and has a good mix of video, photos and memorabilia to go along with the watches.

Speaking of watches, there are almost 300 time pieces on display at the Museum, which sounds impressive until you realise that there are another 1500 time-pieces in storage. For the last 30 years TH has kept at least one piece of every model produced, in addition to its collection of vintage pieces (including the 7-8 watches bought at the Bonhams auction last December).

This was the second time I had visited the Museum, and while I always like looking through the vintage models, this time I found three watches that I’ve never heard or seen of before- two watches from the 1990s and an unusual quartz watch from 1980.

Highlights

The photo below shows one of the nine circular cases at ground level- this one housing dashboard and other timers. What looks like a cyclops on top of the case is a movable magnifying glass.

As you’d expect, there is plenty of space given to the company’s links with Formula 1. Only two drivers have the honour of having their helmets on display- Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna

One of the Monaco’s actually worn by Steve McQueen is featured in the Museum, accompanied by its certificate of authenticity.

There are several beautiful vintage Carrera’s on display, including this 18K Gold Carrera 1158 which was the watch Jack Heuer gave to each of Ferrari Formula 1 drivers from 1971 to 1979.

In addition to these well-known classics, there were three watches that I hadn’t seen before…. just goes to show that no matter how many hours you spend looking at watches, there are always a few surprises still to be had.

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