Last Updated on March 4, 2022 by Calibre 11
(scroll down for update as at March 4)
Today marks the first of TAG Heuer’s model launches for 2022, but for the first time since 2009, it’s a launch that we won’t be covering, because we have some sad news: the end of this website, Calibre 11.
Your first question might be why? As always in cases like these, it’s a long story.
About a year ago I began discussions with TAG Heuer on the direction for our future partnership- we’re fortunate to be sponsored by TAG Heuer for more than a decade, which is how we’ve been able to invest and grow into being the #1 source for Heuer and TAG Heuer information and reviews online, as well as home to the largest community of collectors through our thriving forum. What was clear to both TAG Heuer and I was that a new approach was warranted- TAG Heuer’s online presence and strategy in 2022 looks very different to what it was back in 2009, thanks to the significant strides made in developing tagheuer.com and the TAG Heuer Edge website and podcast series.
Pleasingly, there were some ideas that we did agree on, and you’ll be seeing these over the coming weeks. I’m incredibly proud of this work, which marks a highpoint for our content and how it’s used by TAG Heuer. But the sticking point was what would happen in the future, not what happened to existing content.
Despite a lot of goodwill and intent, we simply haven’t been able to agree on this future. I want to be clear that there is no “bad guy” here, just a reality that having reached a logical fork in the road after more than a decade of the same approach, the direction and significantly reduced commitment that TAG Heuer wanted is not one that aligned with how I wanted to grow the site and what I believe would engage and interest our readers. Yes, we discussed a “low touch” model- a website with less time and fewer posts…but I’m very proud that Calibre 11 has never done anything by half…it just doesn’t work. For me, it’s 100% effort and focus, or nothing at all.
What this means is that at the end of February 2022, Calibre11.com, our Instagram and twitter accounts will be deleted. Yes, I thought about just leaving the site online and dormant, but I can’t get my head around leaving a decaying, moribund website/ social presence. But I do think that we’ll find a way to keep at least some of the key content online- stay tuned.
While I am disappointed, the main emotion when I look back over the history of the site is gratitude- both to everyone in the Heuer and TAG Heuer collector community and to TAG Heuer. I’ve been incredibly privileged to work so closely with TAG Heuer and to enjoy their support, something that I’ve never taken for granted. Frankly, I’m very fortunate to have had this partnership for so long, through the tenure of five different CEOs. They’ve allowed me to take a peek behind the curtain of how watches really get designed, manufactured and marketed and always been very open and willing to share information with me so that I can share it with you. So, to the brilliant, talented and passionate men and women of TAG Heuer, thank you for indulging my questions and prodding for confidential information and requests for loan watches and for the fun we’ve had together.
But it’s the community of collectors that I really want to thank. Sharing this often-crazy hobby with you has been an absolute honour and pleasure, and you’ve always supported my ideas, whether it be the launch of what is now the #1 Heuer and TAG Heuer forum in 2014 or the limited edition Autavia Jo Siffert watch, where we had the incredible opportunity of working with the Siffert family.
On average, I get a dozen e-mails a day from collectors with questions on their watches. It’s true that often I have to deliver the bad news that, no, their uncle did not return from Bali with a genuine Aquaracer for them as a gift, but I love those times when people seek out the story of their Dad’s watch so that they can keep a family heirloom going. That’s what makes watches so special.
For me, the love of TAG Heuer’s watches is as strong as it ever has been. I’ve seen all of the 2022 collection (sorry Frederic) and think that it is the most interesting, most diverse annual collection that I can remember, with some real stand out pieces and some fantastic updates to watches that you all know and love. The brand will continue to go from strength to strength and other collectors will step in to build the next generation of collector communities, no doubt to be located somewhere in the metaverse.
Nothing lasts forever, but what a time we had. Thanks for everything, friends.
Update: 4 March 2022
A quick update on developments since the original post, all of which I think are great news for our readers:
- The ownership of Calibre 11 forums has been donated to our partners in the forum, allowing it to continue under the new name tagheuerforums.com All the old messages are preserved, and there is no change to your log-in details.
- This website will now stay live until the end of May 2022. The Knowledge Centre contents of Calibre 11 will be moving to the official TAG Heuer website around this time.
Many thanks for the amazing volume of kind comments that I’ve received over the last few weeks. As I’ve said in several, the pleasure has been all mine.