The TAG Heuer Museum opened its doors in January 2008 to showcase the company’s significant time pieces of the last 150 years. As well as showing off watches, stop-watches and other timing equipment, the Museum also features a 360 degree video display showing some of the iconic images of watches and ambassadors.
The Museum is laid out in three levels to mimic the design of a watch- the “crystal” being the top-level, the middle level being the “hands” (a wall of images and watches that you move around in chronological order) and finally the “dial”, which is made up of nine circular displays at ground level.
The great thing about the Museum is that it covers each part of the brand’s history in equal measure- you’ll find as much space given to the diver watches of the 1980s and 1990s as you will to the vintage Siffert Autavia. It’s not a huge space, but is very well laid out and has a good mix of video, photos and memorabilia to go along with the watches.
Speaking of watches, there are almost 300 time pieces on display at the Museum, which sounds impressive until you realise that there are another 1500 time-pieces in storage. For the last 30 years TH has kept at least one piece of every model produced, in addition to its collection of vintage pieces (including the 7-8 watches bought at the Bonhams auction last December).
This was the second time I had visited the Museum, and while I always like looking through the vintage models, this time I found three watches that I’ve never heard or seen of before- two watches from the 1990s and an unusual quartz watch from 1980.
The photo below shows one of the nine circular cases at ground level- this one housing dashboard and other timers. What looks like a cyclops on top of the case is a movable magnifying glass.
In addition to these well-known classics, there were three watches that I hadn’t seen before…. just goes to show that no matter how many hours you spend looking at watches, there are always a few surprises still to be had.
Formula 1 RenaultSport
This Formula 1 Chronograph from 1995 was a special edition made for RenaultSport.
S/el Jo Siffert
While legendary Formula 1 driver Jo Siffert is best known for his links with the Autavia, he also gave his name to this 1996 Limited Edition S/el that features a chequered flag pattern on the right-hand side of the dial.
Heuer “American Express” Quartz
Finally, there is this unusual quartz watch from 1980. This watch was made especially for American Express card holders and was produced to showcase the introduction of the then-new ETA Flatline quartz movements.
Unfortunately the Museum is not open to the public, except for one day each November when it’s opened to the local community in La Chaux-de-Fonds. You can however pay a virtual visit to the Museum on the TAG Heuer website here.