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Ultimate Guide to the TAG Heuer 4000

The TAG Heuer 4000 series launched in 1990 as a mid-range sports watch. Despite being part of the range until 1998/9, the 4000 is one of the lesser-known models of the 1990s and perhaps suffers from not really having its own distinct identity. Trivia buffs know the 4000 as being one of the only mainstream Heuer or TAG Heuer watch ranges to never offer a Chronograph model (the 1000/ 1500 Series being others).

4000 Serie drawing
Despite this, the 4000 is one of my favourite watches, mainly because it was my first proper watch and my first TAG Heuer. I bought mine 15 years ago and wore it every day for about six years. In that time, the battery has probably been replaced two or three times, but apart from that its been faultless and still looks pretty good today.

So, let’s put aside any sentimental aspects and take a look at the 4000 as a watch rather than as a fond memory.

TAG Heuer 4000

4000 Series Overview

The 4000 was released at the height of TAG Heuer’s fascination with the “Six Features” design philosophy, with each feature present and accounted for. As well as being the “middle child” between the 2000 and S/el series in terms of price, the style of the 4000 borrows from each of these other series- a more up-market, softer and rounder satin-finish case than the 2000, but without the quirky, distinctive lugs or bracelet of the S/el.

The 4000 range was very straight forward- there was one basic design offered in three sizes, with either a Quartz or Automatic movement and with various case and dial colours. Checking the reference numbers on the 4000 series is complicated by the change in naming convention in 1992. Early watches (1990-92), such as the ones featured in the catalogue shots below have the Reference numbers XXX.XXX, where:

  • 1st Digit: Movement (9= Quartz; 6= Automatic)
  • 2nd Digit: Series (9 = 4000 Series)
  • 3rd Digit: Bezel/ case (9= Stainless steel; 5= Gold/ Stainless steel two-tone; 4 = Gold)
  • 4th Digit = Dial colour (2= Grey, 7 = White, 4= Gold)
  • 5th and 6th Digits: Case Size: (06 = Full size; 13 = Mid; 08 = small)

So, the 999.206 in the photo below is a Quartz 4000 with a Full-Size stainless steel case and the Grey (probably more of an Anthracite) dial.

Post 1992, the naming convention changed to the system still used today, so the 999.206 would become the WF1111. For the details of how to interpret the THs reference numbers, take a look here.

The Automatic version of the 4000 featured an ETA 2824 movement- the same movement still used today as the Calibre 5. As well as the obvious “automatic” on the dial (Quartz has “professional”), the 4000 Automatic had a slightly different dial design, with an inner minute scale added. While this made the Automatic stand out, it did lose some of the purity of the Quartz version.

The Quartz version also had a metal border around the hourly lume markers, while the Automatic went without.

While the watch was mainly sold with a stainless steel bracelet, it was also offered with a leather or Sharkskin strap.

Up Close with the 4000 Quartz

This watch is a WF1112 4000 Quartz from 1995. The only real signs of wear are to the enamel of the Green and Red logo at 12 o’clock that dominates the design of the watch. The Green “TAG” logo sits on the watch itself, while the Red “Heuer” logo sits on the Bezel. Over 15 years I haven’t been able to work out if I like having the logo there, or whether it looks too crass to have the logo both on the dial and on the case. Either way, it’s perhaps the only unique design feature of the 4000.

When you wear the watch its obvious that it’s from a different era- it’s far lighter and thinner than the watches of today, although it doesn’t feel too small, with a diameter of 40mm.

Not much to see at the back- clear case backs were still a long way away in 1995.

Legacy

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The 4000 series was effectively replaced in 1997 by the Jorg Hysek-designed Kirium, a successful design that offered a far greater number of models that the 4000 ever did. I don’t know why TAG never added different dial designs, movements or colours over the eight years- there wasn’t even the option of a Chronometre model- perhaps the 4000 just wasn’t that successful, or simply got lost between the hugely successful 2000 Series and the more up-market S/el- the difficult middle child. Take a look at the photo below- at a glance, can you tell which is the 4000?

While I doubt there will be a 4000 re-edition any time soon, the watch still looks contemporary and new-near examples are widely available in the $300-$500 range, which will give you a lot of watch for the price.

The 1990s won’t remembered as an era of great TAG Heuer watches, but there are the occasional gems to be found, and for me the 4000 is one of them.

 

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  • Kyle S.

    Great story/review. Reminds me of when I bought my first TAG, a blue-dialed 1000 series, also in 1996. It is still my daily wearer. When I bought it, I remember aspiring to be able to get the 4000 series! Your story brought back some great memories!

  • DC

    Thanks Kyle. I guess its like many things- you never forget your first. I've owned lots more watches since I got my 4000, but I don't think any purchase has been as exciting as that one. And that watch got wrapped in cotton wool like nothing since.

    Guess that's the life of a watch junkie- roaming around trying to find the next hit that brings back the feeling of the first!

    dc

  • Enrico

    Great article, as usual, David. I personally love the TAG Heuer line from the 90's ! Maybe because it was when I got into them. Late 90's.

  • james

    David,

    Good article, i'm with you on the tag heuer logo on the case, i dislike it immensely, reason?, every fake watch around the 90's tried to copy this case, sadly.

    James.

  • Himawan

    Great review, David.

    This also reminds me of my first TAG Heuer 2000 chrono. Very reliable and still wear it sometimes, even feel too small compared to today's watches.

  • DC

    Thanks for your commments Gentlemen,

    Must confess that I've also been looking at some NOS 6000 series that are being offered on Ebay- again, great value.

    I'm planning a review on the 2000 Series…but its takling forever given how complex and diverse that model range is..one day soon I promise

    David

  • Chris

    Thanks for the info. I've had one of these for years, bought it at a pawn shop in 2000 for $225. It's my alternate. All I need to do is replace the leather strap. My "daily driver" is a 1983-ish 2000 Chrono, black dial with a stainless "jubilee"-like bracelet. I wear it every day still.

  • DC

    Hi Chris, they're great value aren't they?

    dc

  • Tony

    Hi David,

    Thanks for all this info. I got my WF2110-k (any idea what the -k references?) in Dubai 15 years ago – when the fakes were all the rage… Saved a lot of questions about the cost of it 😉

    It's been used all the time & I must get it serviced, hence my web search which found your blog. Enameled logo a bit warn & the crown wheel has stiffened up.

    Tony

  • Tyler

    Great article, brings me back to my first watch. A 1500 series given to me by my father when I entered college. I wear it every day, next year it will turn 20 years old so I'm not too afraid of scratches and such.

  • DC

    Hi Tony- I'm not sure on the -k suffix…sometimes the letters indicate different movements, sometimes its a change in case…let me see what I can find out.

    Hey Tyler- yep, my father gave me the 4000 you see above too…and like you say, a few scratches don't matter.

    Cheers

  • NP

    DC,

    thanks for this article, until reading it, i had know idea what watch my dad have given me.

    my father just recently gave me his gold faced two toned 4000 series watch.. and all i can say it is a marvellous watch!

  • George

    Hello!

    Thanks for the well informed article.

    Could you please tell me if the watch that my grandad has given me is mechanical or quartz?

    WD1211.BA0610 (grey)

    thank you!

  • DC

    Hi George.

    Its a quartz…are you sure on that code?

    Your code WD1211 says:

    W= Watch (i.e not a Chronograph)

    D= Should be for a 1500 series…the 4000 series is "F"

    1= Quartz

    2= Midsize

    1= Stainless Steel

    1= Dial colour

    David

  • Wes

    Thanks for the article. I thought you stole my watch since you have the exact model as mine and the red paint around the "E" is missing in the exact same spot!

    This is my first, and still only, nice watch. I bought mine in late 1997 and I've worn it almost every day. The crystal is flawless. The internal fingers in the bezel ring broke a long time ago. My local watchmaker couldn't repair it, so I just let it be. The rest of the watch is in fantastic condition considering it's almost 15 years old of daily use.

    After the Kirium, I simply didn't like where Tag was going with their designs. But I saw the Formula 1 Stealth a few days ago and have been drooling for one ever since. While my 4000 may be considered on the lower end compared to many brands/models today, I still love it as much as I did when I first put it on.

  • DC

    Hi Wes,

    Sounds like there is a design flaw on the "E"!

    The Kirium was a nice evolution of the 2000/4000/6000 shape…and you're right that after that the focus went away from this design and on to the re-edition style.

    I still wear mine from time-to-time as well.

    Enjoy!

    David

  • Greg

    I am wearing a 4000 Profesional 995.713 A I have had since 1993. My wife bought it forme on our honemoon. I love this watch and have worn it everyday. It is now time for replacement battery number three. The colors on the logo are wearing and my bezel no longer ratchets. I have tried other Tags lately but nothing compares the thin, light styling of the 4000.

  • Scott

    Hi David.

    I got mine in 1991, on holiday in Australia (Brisbane). Mine was automatic with gold (bezel) crown and a golden inner cirkel.

    I had mine regulary serviced (3-4 years periods). It was in mecanicaly in mint condition, with some exterioer wear.

    3 weeks ago i was assulted and robbed downtown Oslo (Norway), they nicked about 100 USD and my watch. I miss it, it became a part of me. Every day (except service time) for 21 years. A great watch.

    I have insurance that covers the finacial value, but I really miss my watch. Do you know where, and how I can get a hold of a pricelist, or retail prices in europe from the year 1991?

    Best regards

    Scott

  • john

    Hi David

    Can you confirm that my 4000 quartz is not a fake my number is WF1212-KO

    MANY THANKS JOHN

  • DC

    Hi John,

    Impossible without a photo, although there aren't many fakes of these around. Have you checked the 4000 Catalogue here:

    http://www.calibre11.com/tag-heuer-catalogues/?al

    David

  • DC

    Hi Scott,

    Pleased that "all" that happened to you was the loss of some cash and a watch- no matter how special. I don't have a 1991 Catalogue, but I do have a 1997 Price List posted that gives some prices for the 4000 Series:
    http://www.calibre11.com/tag-heuer-catalogues/?al

    If you haven't done so already, take a look at the Catalogue page, as there is a 4000-Series brochure there.

    David

  • paul

    Hi Dave

    My tag 4000 994.706k is the case gold plated or solid gold?

    It's got a leather strap and is in good condition no scratches. I have not worn it for a while as i need to invest in a new battery.

  • Scott

    Thanks David.

    It was helpfull.

    Best regads Scott

  • Walter Graf

    I have had the automatic version since 1998. A great watch that Recently was overhauled. I need a spring bar for the bracelet. Does anyone know which size I need? Thanks

  • DC

    Hi Walter,

    The full-size model has 20mm lugs.

    Cheers

    David

  • Walter Graf

    Thanks David!

    Walter

  • RKS

    Thanks for the great write-up. My wife bought me the 4000 as an engagement gift and it lasted until a game of tackle football about 5 years ago. I lost the spring bar/ last link at the 'top' of the watch. I was quoted $300 since the entire band has to be replaced. Are there any other options? I remember sending the watch to Chicago for a new battery. Any recommendations for service?

    thanks again.

  • DC

    RKS, sounds like a big price- a 4000 in good condition on eBay probably only sells for a little more than this.

    Not sure where you live, but your best bet will be a local TAG Heuer dealer. TAG themselves may have the part…have you checked with them?

    dc

  • jorge

    Gracias por la información. tengo un tag heuer 4000 (695.706 KA) padrísimo.

    lo que no entieno es por qué no siguieron con la producción de éste.

    el Kirium es bonito pero prefiero la serie 4000.

  • jean-paul

    help please.I have an old series 4000 (995- 173A) which I love. Unfortunately the strap is now damaged and need replacing. To be the best of my measurement it appears to be 17mm wide. IS this correct? Because it is very difficult to find a 17mm band 918mm appears much more common). Would an 18mm fit? Thanks you for your help

  • FAUZIYAH JEE

    Hi.

    My Tag Heuer 4000 model 944.706 fully gold plated.I like to purchase the bracelet only.I need your advise the cost of the item.Thank you.

    Regards

    Jee..

  • Carmen gear

    I purchased a WF1420-0 on eBay and would like to know if this watch is known to have a lose bezel as with all my other tags they clicked this one simply turns with little effort. Also did the original strap have serial numbers at the face end as the strap doesn’t and feels very flimsy compared to the 2000 and sel for that matter

    Thanks this is my first 4000

    • Compa

      I know your question is old and maybe you had an answer. I inherited this watch from my dad on my wedding day. The bezel is easy to spin (not loose, just easy to spin) and has only 60 clicks. The watch is a little loose between clicks but that’s it (I’m not sure if it’s only my dad’s watch or every watch but yeah, it does have this behavior)

      Concerning the bracelet, I think it does (I replaced it) but it is a very lightweight bracelet. 19mm on the lug end and 17 on the buckle end. I replaced it with a Miltat bracelet (Did the change because my dad used the watch for pretty much everything and the bracelet was really worn out)

      One piece of advise, if you have plans to replace the bracelet, take the watch to a good watch store. The place I took mine was a clumsy one, the watch ended with a dent and the guy bent the pins!
      Advise #2, try a brown leather bracelet. I’ve see photos of the watch with a brown bracelet and it looks really nice!

  • Alan

    Does anyone know the the difference between WF 1112 and WF 2110K ?
    Thanks

  • Daniel

    Does the dial on a Tag Heuer 4000 have to have the "t" next to swiss made. The ref. NO. on mine is 699.706, so it is an earlier model. I have not had it authenticated, but the rest of the watch, case back and details match your description and pictures perfectly. This watch just says swiss made at the bottom on the dial.

    • Hi Daniel. Does it say "Swiss" or "Swiss Made"? I have to say that most 4000s that I can recall all have "T Swiss Made T", meaning they contain a small amount of Tritium.

      TAG Heuer phased out using Tritium in the late 1990s, so there is a possibility that yours is a late watch with Superluminova rather than Tritium

      dc

  • Andrew

    Great article! I have a 695.796k that I bought new in Venice Italy (great exchange rate then) in 1993 that had a blue sharkskin strap that I quickly replaced with a steel one purchased in Stockholm a few months later. Like you, it was my first "good" watch, and my first automatic. I wore it for 10 years pretty much exclusively, went through three crowns but no other issues. Now I have a collection including some much fancier watches, but this one still feels right on the wrist and still gets action.

    However I once again need a crown and tube, and probably a more extensive service. (a) do you know the crown diameter – is it 5.35mm? (b) who to trust for service in Los Angeles? (c) ever figure out the "k" suffix? Could it be band type?

    Great, great articles. I have a Targa Florio and am looking at an Autavia re-issue; your articles are tremendously helpful.

  • Andrew

    Typo: I have a 695.706k

  • Dave Robst

    I’m looking at two watches, same model, one is WF2110-K and the other one is 699.706 K, I know both are automatic as the sellers listed them as such, but what I really care is the size, I think the WF2110-K is full size, but the seller says it’s mid size, can anyone help me discern this?

    Thanks in advance.

  • john

    I have a series 4000, onthe back wf1112-KO
    can any on tell me what the KO indicates?

  • Compa

    My father gave me his WF1120-0. The crown is chipped and I want to replace it (ebay has several crowns) can you share the exact size of the crown? I don’t want to buy the wrong one.

    • Compa

      For those with the same question, I got the answer in Watchuseek forums:
      “Hi, the diameter of the crown is 5.3mm and the length is 4.2mm.

      Regards
      Tony “

      • calibre11

        Thanks Compa!

  • Compa

    Calibre11, I have another question. I found a crown with the mentioned sizes on ebay, but it’s for the 2000 Series. Would it fit the 4000 series? (I suppose Tag had standar sizes, but I’m just a peasant who inherited his fathe’s watch hehe)

    • Compa

      I bought the crown and hands of the 2000 series anyways. The hands didn’t fit but the crown did. I have the theory that the watch repair shop managed to fit the crown in the new movement (The movement of the watch was also damaged) using the old stem. It’s missing the typical bounce effect that dive watches have, but the crown screws in the watch thread’s nicely and tightly.
      They took special care of the watch. Cleaned it, replaced the aforementioned pieces without damaging the watch and they actually said “we did not use the provided hands because we were afraid we could damage the watch trying to make them fit” My dad’s 4000 series is working like a charm and loses merely 5 seconds a month (before the movement change, it was losing 5 seconds a day)

      • calibre11

        Thanks for the update Compa. Does the crown looks the same?

        Sounds like you found a great watchmaker- enjoy!

        • Compa

          They look the same. Exactly the same shape If I’m not mistaken. The only difference is that the new one is shiny while the old one was more like a mate gold.

          The watchmaker is indeed really good. They have earned my trust 🙂

  • Great article, and i’ve just added a link to it on my site. My first good watch was also a Tag Heuer 4000. Many thanks