TAG Heuer has just unveiled a total redesign of the Link women’s range which introduces a new case design for the Link series. Tracing its origins back to 1987- when the watch was known as the S/el- the new 2016 Link Lady will be released only as a 3-hand quartz watch and only in one size. That’s partly because TAG Heuer has decided to release the new Link Lady in only a handful of markets, rather than being a global release.
What isn’t known at this stage is what the new Link Lady means for the men’s Link range- will the lady’s version stand alone with its new, distinctive design, or will the men’s model follow down the same design path? We hope that it will be the later, because the new Link has a design quite unlike any current or past TAG Heuer, and so would sit very comfortably in the men’s range as a watch with a distinctive difference to the Carrera.
History of the Link Lady
The Link Lady’s history initially began life as a feminised Link- a smaller version of the men’s watch with diamonds added to a mother-of-pearl dial and bezel (above). That changed in 2012 when TAG Heuer threw out this template and launched a new round design with a lug-less case (below). While there were high hopes for this redesign, sales were disappointing, with many critical that the watch shared too much of its design with the Omega Ladymatic. Despite being offered with a range of quartz and automatic movements, it was time for TAG Heuer to head back to the drawing board when thinking of the design for a contemporary Link Lady.
The new Link abandons the circular shape of the previous model in favour of a case that sits midway between a traditional round case and a cushion case. The bezel draws from that on the current men’s model, but is more prominent and succeeds in giving the watch a totally new look. Yes, there are elements of the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Aquanaut in the case design, but given the gulf in pricing between these watches, it’s a similarity that is unlikely to cause any issues.
All models in the range are 32mm and most in a steel case, although there are two black ceramic models we’ll show you shortly that look fantastic. The case and bezel have both polished and brushed steel surfaces.
As you can see from the profile of the new case below, it’s a case shape with a totally different look to the men’s Link. First, the new Link Lady..
…and the current Link Calibre 18 from the men’s collection
And of course, being a Link, the new watch also offers the famous “Double S” link bracelet, from which the series derives its name. The links have redesigned and given a squarer edge and greater depth thanks to the bevelled edges. As with the previous Link Lady, the watch uses an integrated bracelet with the central “lug” part of the case.
TAG Heuer Link Lady White Mother of Pearl Dial
The first of the new models all feature a white mother-of-pearl dial. There are four white dial models available, with the differences essentially being the presence and location of diamonds- starting from the basic steel WBC1310 you see here, all the way through to the WBC1316 which had diamonds on the bezel and on the dial. Let’s take a look at the steel WBC1310 in more detail.
TAG Heuer Link Lady Blue-Grey Mother of Pearl Dial
The Blue-Grey range is made up of three models, with the diamond dial/ diamond bezel combination not being available in this dial colour.
TAG Heuer Link Lady Ceramic
Probably the most interesting of the new models are two watches in a all-black ceramic 32mm case. The first of these has a polished ceramic finish (WBC1390) and a second in a matte ceramic (WBC1391). Both watches share their looks with the 2015 Carrera Cara Delevingne edition- a blacked out dial (also mother-of-pearl) with rose gold-plated hands and hour indices complemented by a bright diamond bezel.
The ceramic models offer a matching black ceramic bracelet.
Link Men’s Chronograph
Price and Availability
The 2016 TAG Heuer Link Lady is planned for launch in only a few markets- we hear that it will be available in North America, UK, Australia and Japan. Presumably, if the range is a success then availability will be broadened. And we do expect the new Link to be a success. The case design looks great and we would love to see this case shape in a men’s model- perhaps full black ceramic case and the in-house Calibre CH80 movement? Why not: the men’s Link range does need a refresh to give it a clear place in the TAG Heuer line-up, and we think the new look does exactly that.
- Steel WBC1310 and WBC1311- US$1,600
- Steel with Diamond dial WBC1312 and WBC1313- US$2,350
- Steel with Diamond bezel WBC1314 and WBC1315- US$3,650
Pricing for the ceramic models will be added when available.