Hands on Review- TAG Heuer Link Calibre 18 Chronograph
Let’s get one observation out of the way early: the sub-dials on the new TAG Heuer Link Calibre 18 can appear a little too close together. Not by much, but when you’re working with a watch that has a diameter of only 40mm, these small details do make a difference.
We mention this up front, because putting this design question to one side- don’t worry, we’ll come back to it in detail- the new slimline chronograph is our new favourite in the TAG Heuer Link range, and on the wrist feels like no other current TAG Heuer chronograph.
In fact, the combination of its lithe case, smaller diameter and bi- compax layout means that the Link Calibre 18 has more in common with the feel of a Heuer chronograph from the 1970s than it does a contemporary TAG Heuer Calibre 1887/ 16/ 17/ 36/ 72 chronograph.
The trend towards smaller watches has accelerated over the last 12 months, as the watch industry reverses the move to bigger, chunkier watches. This is partly due to the “bigger” trend having topped out as models hit the 44mm mark, and partly because of the desire to offer chronographs that appeal to the vital Chinese market, where there is a preference for smaller watches.
There is no doubting the new chronograph’s connection to the other models in the Link range, which was refreshed in 2011. In addition to the slimline profile, the Calibre 18 model offers a unique dial design, thanks to the bi- compax (two registers at 3 and 9 o’clock) layout- the first time that the Link has offered this layout in its 26 year history.
The dial is composed of three elements- an outer-ring featuring deep vertical streaks, a Starburst inner- dial and then two dished sub-dials that seem to float over the top of the inner dial.