Ultimate Guide to the TAG Heuer 6000

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   12 August 2012   |   16 Comments  

It had taken 10 long years, but by 1995 TAG Heuer was back on a sound financial footing. The management team brought in after the acquisition by TAG had increased sales through a series of new watch lines- the Formula 1, S/el, 1500 and 4000 series. Having stabilised the finances, attention now turned to developing a flagship watch. The new series would offer premium case materials, including Platinum, 18k Yellow and White Gold, and be powered by a range of automatic movements, including a Chronometer. The new range followed the naming convention of the day and was christened the TAG Heuer 6000.

In addition to a diverse range, TAG Heuer released several special edition 6000 watches, many of which had a strong link to Formula 1. Perhaps the rarest of these is the special watch given to the owners of the McLaren F1 supercar. The 6000 was the ultimate version of the “Six Features” steel sports watch that had taken TAG Heuer through the 1980s and 1990s, but only one year after the 6000’s launch, TAG Heuer launched a watch that would spell the end of the “Six Features” era- the Carrera.

Design

The responsibility for designing the new series fell to Jorg Hysek, the man who also designed the Kirium series. Like other “Six Features” watches, the 6000 features a unidirectional bezel, Sapphire glass (with cyclops on some models) and “Mercedes”-style hands.

The case has three elements- the base case (brushed finish), a thin upper bezel(a polished ring sitting under the unidirectional bezel that extends to the lugs) and then a unidirectional bezel that combined polished and brushed finishes, depending on the model.

One characteristic of Hysek’s efforts is the integration of TAG Heuer’s shield into the design of the watch. Take a look at the Chronometer 6000 above and you notice the Shield used in several places:

  • Central lug- bottom of case
  • Central lug- top of case
  • 12 o’clock hour marker (upside down)
  • 12 o’clock bezel pip

…add these to the TAG Heuer logo on the dial, the crown and the one engraved on the caseback and clasp and you have up to eight stylised TAG Heuer shields on the watch. Hard to mistake it for anything other than a TAG Heuer.

By today’s standards, the case is relatively thin, taking advantage of the low-profile ETA automatic movements. While the case expanded a little for the Chronograph version (above), the 6000 in any guise feels light compared to say a Carrera 1887.

There were three sizes offered: Full size (42mm), Mid-size (38mm) and Lady’s (31mm).

Bezel

One element of the design that varied depending on the model is the unidirectional bezel. The launch versions in 1995 offered two styles:

  1. Grooved hash-marks at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11; embossed numerals marking out each 10 minutes (above); and
  2. Black filled grooves above plus black minute markers; engraved, filled 10-minute marks on the outer-edge(below)

 Late in the model life the bezel design changed subtly to a more rounded design.

6000 Quartz Watch

The Quartz model is easily identifiable as the only model in the range to feature the script “Professional” on the dial. The watch uses the black-filled Bezel and baguette-shaped hour markers, except for the triangles at 6 and 9 o’clock and the inverted TAG Heuer logo at 12 o’clock.

The quartz watch was part of the launch collection in 1995 and remained in the catalogue for the entire production run without any significant changes.

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