Chronometer, COSC certified.

Ultimate Guide to the TAG Heuer 6000

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.


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).


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.

6000 Chronometer

The COSC-certified 6000 was also part of the launch collection, with the initial design being the same as the quartz watch.

The 1999 upgrade saw a new dial introduced, with Arabic numerals replacing the baguettes and the embossed bezel replacing the engraved version. The watch shown above shows the 1999 upgrade.

Automatic Chronograph

The two Chronograph versions of the 6000 appeared in 1997, with TAG Heuer branding the mechanical version as a “Chronometer Chronograph”. The dial borrows the lume circles and embossed bezel from the Gold 6000 and introduced the Arabic numeral design later used by the Chronometer model.

Another feature of the Chronograph is the use of an inner tachy bezel, which helps give the dial more visual depth. With the date moving to the 6 o’clock position, the cyclops is missing.

6000 1/ 10th Chronograph- Quartz

The quartz Chronograph shared the tri-compax lay-out of its mechanical brother, but in a 2-6-10 layout. Like other 1/ 10th quartz Chronographs offered by TAG Heuer in the late 1990s, the watch has a red-tipped 1/ 10th second hand in addition to the usual central chronograph seconds hand.

The quartz model gets its own Chronograph pushers- a different design to the mechanical version.

McLaren F1 Edition

tag_f1v12_120Read about the McLaren F1 edition 6000 here.

Precious Metals

6000 White and Yellow Gold Chronometers

At the top of the 6000-range is the 18K Gold automatic Chronometer (The Lady version is not COSC- certified), which has a unique dial featuring small lume circles marking out the hours, separated by TAG Heuer-Shield markers at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock. The Gold watches have an angled inner bezel, as per the Chronographs, but with a minute-scale.

A range of bespoke dials are available for the Gold watch, including Mother of Pearl and the rather lurid Blue and Green versions you see here.

6000 Platinum Chronometer

One of the rarest TAG Heuer watches is this Platinum 6000-Series, of which only 99 were made. You could customise the dial color of this watch, so the 99 examples are not all the  same. Only a couple have appeared at auction in the last few years, but they are rarely seen.

Bracelet & Straps

One of the features of the 6000 Series is that it was available with both a bracelet and wide-range of leather straps from the time of its initial launch.

The bracelet is highly complex, with 255 individual pieces. While an attractive design, it is also the Achilles heel of the watch. Bracelets on the first 6000 watches were fixed to the case with small screws, rather than by using springbars. These bracelets are fragile, especially towards the top of the bracelet where the links meet the case.

Later versions (denoted by the “-2” after the model number on the back of the case) have traditional springbars and are more robust.

 As you can see above, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to straps, with a variety of Crocodile and Calf-skin options. While more conservative, I prefer the Crocodile-leather, with the design of the Calf-skin versions have dated somewhat.


Like all 1990s-era TAG Heuers, the 6000 series is powered by ETA- Swatch Group.

  • Automatic watch and Chronometer use the ETA 2892/A2 (above), still used today by TAG Heuer as the Calibre 7
  • Automatic Chronograph is the ETA 2894-2, again used today by TAG Heuer as the Calibre 17
  • Quartz watch: ETA 955.112
  • Quartz chronograph: ETA 251.262

Special Editions

As the flagship of  the TAG Heuer range, it made sense to use the 6000 as the basis for several Limited Edition watches released in the late 1990s/ early 2000s. Here are some of the best examples.

Grant Hill

American basketballer Grant Hill was a TAG Heuer Ambassador in the 1990s, and had this LE of 299 released with his signature on the dial.


My favourite 6000 watch is  this McLaren- branded 6000 Chronograph (quartz), which is unusual in that its the only 1/ 10th quartz chrono. to use two rather than three registers, the third making way for the applied McLaren logo. To read more about the McLaren/ TAG Heuer watches, click here.

McLaren F1

Another LE linked with McLaren (this time the road car division rather than the Formula 1 racing team) is the 6000 Chronometer given to owners of the McLaren F1 car, each watch featuring the chassis number on the dial. To read more about these watches, click here.

Mika Hakkinen

Double-Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen has a pair of 6000 Chronographs with his name on the dial, the black version above and a model with a White dial that you can see here.

Ayrton Senna

And speaking of McLaren World Champions, the first watch in the legendary Ayrton Senna TAG Heuer collection is this TAG Heuer 6000, complete with the Senna “S” on the bottom lug.

The deal to create the Senna-edition 6000 series was signed on 29 April 1994- 2 days before Senna died at Imola. To get the complete story of the Senna TAG Heuer watches, click here.

6000 Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone commissioned 500 examples of this TAG Heuer 6000 Chronograph to mark the 50th year of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1999. Not originally sold to the public, the watches were given out to sponsors and partners of F1, although I hear that some watches were sold at the F1 Paddock Club at selected races.


While the TAG Heuer 6000 was designed to be the ultimate TAG Heuer range, it was discontinued around 2002, meaning a life-span of only seven years. This is no reflection on the quality of the watch but rather that the TAG Heuer brand was moving in a different direction, as signalled by the huge success of the Heuer Carrera re-edition launched in 1996. The “heritage” strategy was clearly one that resonated with LVMH, because within a couple of years of acquiring TAG Heuer, most of the “Six Features” watch lines were discontinued.

The 6000 is sensational value today, with most versions being sold for less than $1000, although as you’d expect, there is a large premium for the Gold and LE versions.

The shape of the 6000 has aged well, perhaps better than the Kirium series that was launched two years later.

While the flagship of the 1990s is a far cry from the $200,000+ flagship of today’s range, the TAG Heuer 6000 did demonstrate that there was demand for mechanical movements again, starting the long road back to TAG Heuer regaining its position as a true manufacture.


To see the TAG Heuer 6000 launch catalogue from 1995, click here.


  • Philmo

    A great read about a little known watch.

    A most comfortable bracelet, second only to the original Link bracelet.

    I have a grey and a blue dial quartz, the blue being one of my favourite and most frequently worn watches.

    Many thanks


  • Thanks Phil,

    I've heard that the bracelets are comfortable- is yours secured with screws or springbars?

    Some nice 6000s on eBay at the moment..


  • Larry

    Thanks for the great article – I bought a blue dial WH1115-K1 in 2000 – greatest buy ever!:)

    The dial is uncluttered with luminous markers and a cyclops eye that shows the date well!

    I havent had any problems with the bracelet and find that the metal bracelet is one of the best Tag ever made, very comfortable and very stylish – I dont think they will make another bracelet of this type again because of the sheer number of parts!

    And someone came up to me and complimented me on the watch a year ago – he said he regretted selling it after the strap broke!

    I will treat the watch to a long-overdue servicing next year when I put a few quid together!:)

  • Peter

    My first TAGHeuer and still a favourite although mine is the 38mm and I've grown somewhat accustomed to modern larger watches.

    Mine is also the quartz model so it is the perfect excuse for me to find myself a 42mm Chronometer.

    Seeing factory fresh photos of the old watch makes me want to have it refinished because the bracelet especially, looks extra cool when you can see the full effect of the brushed against polished.

    And yes, the bracelet is the most comfortable I've had too.

    It may have many parts and many many more potential hair-traps but that just isn't the case. I'm also still on the original (spring bar) bracelet so no problems there either.

  • Crate410

    Great info. I dare say I kind of want one! I am a fan of only the carrera and GC models, but this watch to me seems to have a more timeless design than say the current Tag dive watches. What would be a fair price for a nice 42mm chronometer version today?

  • Thanks Peter and Crate140.

    Peter, agree that the finish on these is really nice- great contrast between the brushed and polished finishes. I think that the first series bracelet (with the screws) gives more problems that the one that you have, but its certainly not a problem that will impact every watch.

    I see this example on eBay at the moment:

    Under $1000 sounds about right..maybe $750-$1000 depending on the condition.


  • Enrico De Paoli

    Another great article, DC. Made me remember myself back then, sleeping with the Tag Heuer catalogs and imagining owning all of the models. I looked at the 6000 series with great respect. Specially the solid gold ones, which were truly luxurious without losing the chilled personality of a Tag Heuer.

    • Hi Enrico. I also remember hanging on to the TAG Heuer Classics catalog for years…couldn't bring myself to throw it out..and that was before the watch collecting bug hit!

      Good to hear from you

  • Enrico De Paoli

    And I didn't know the deal with Senna and the 6000 series was signed just before his accident! I have an S/EL automatic with gold bezel and black strap, and I always remember him when I wear it 🙂

  • Enrico

    I still have my first catalog ! And a couple of others… DC, do you think the 6000 midsize wears too small ? I know it's a matter of personal taste, but just so you know, I love the original 36mm Carrera. I also have a 38mm 2000 classic auto (you know about it) and a men's S/EL automatic on leather. I found a 6000 series midsize on leather online that I am about to pull the trigger, but I am afraid it will be too small… does it fell smaller than a Rolex Airking or the original Carrera? Thanks !

  • Andy

    Nice write up, but I think the 6000 series began before 1995. I bought my 18k/stainless cosc in September 1993. Could 1993 have been the first year? I still have and very much enjoy the watch, although I'm searching for a replacement 18k/stainless band as mine broke a few links from where it attaches to the watch.

  • Marcus

    I purchased a Tag Heurer 6000 for 500 dollars 2 weeks ago. Had it checked out by my jeweler and it is authentic. It is in excellent condition, well cared for, not a scratch or blemish and simply beautiful. It is the white faced professional series, full size. The manual makes mention of an event in 2001 so I assume this was made in 2001 or 02. Considering the condition its probably the later date. Im glad I read this article because I knew nothing about it.I haev wanted a Tag for a number of years and will wear this one proudly.

  • Hi Marcus- sounds like a nice pick-up..yes, 2002 sounds about right.



  • Prem

    Appreciate if someone can help me as how to modify Tag Heuer 6000 Chronometer series watch to fit the strap with spring bars. Mine is a leather strap version which is now spoilt and new one cost phenomenal.

  • Prem, try your local watchmaker…not sure what modification is needed…its not a case of just popping off the springbars and adding a new strap?


    • PamB

      If his watch is like mine, there are no springbars

  • Adrian Fragomeni

    Has anyone ever seen a full-size 6000 quartz stainless steel with black dial? I believe it was a limited edition of 700 pieces. Does anyone know anything about this model?

  • Adrian Fragomeni

    Has anyone every comes across a 6000, all stainless steel with a merlot-colored plum dial? WH1118. It is a very rare limited edition of only 600 pieces. Was this model only available in the Far East? Or what it was made to commemorate?

  • Alex Elói

    There’s something unclear about this 6000 series. There are many variations of the model with only the frame, crown, hands and hours marks in yellow gold tone (and pieces of the metal bracelet, when aplicable). Through the catalogues TAG Heuer didn’t mean to say that these parts and pieces are 18k gold plaquet, it means that all these pieces apart the hands (a catalogue specifies that is 18k gold plaquet) are made from 18k solid gold. There many announces over e-bay, chrono24, watchuseek in which the sellers corroborate that those yellow gold tone pieces are made of solid 18k gold, here in my country the official maintenance assistance shop affirms that is plaquet… Some people say this described in the code of the model W (analog) H(6000) 5(gents)1(stainless steel)… this doesn’t sound good, so many theories, whats the thruth, could you clear this for us?????

    • calibre11

      Hi Alex, codes are as follows:
      – 1st Character = W= Analog or C= Chronograph
      – 2nd Character = Series
      – 3rd Character = Movement
      – 4th Character = Size
      – 5th Character = Case base material 1= Stainless Steel; 2= Steel & Gold Plate, 3=All Gold Plated, 4 = Solid 18k, 5= Steel and 18k Gold
      – 6th Character = Dial color

      Looking at the 1999 Catalogue here gives the answers:

      All 6000s are Steel and 18K Gold, as it says in the Catalogue (5th digit = 5), whereas other models such as the S/el are described as Gold-plated and have “2” as the fifth digit in the model code.

      • Alex

        Thank you, and one last question, how many jewels has the cosc 2892-a2 of 6000 series

  • Alex Elói

    Hy calibre 11! I would like to know more technical information on the movement 2892-A2, if to wind it, I need to rotate only clockwise or outerclockwise? I’m diging the internet for the chronometer cosc 6000 manual without succes, could make anything for us? Thanks!

    • Hi Alex. The 2892-A2 is the TAG Heuer Calibre 7. Here is the main page of the ETA instruction manual plus instructions on the winding stem