One of the interesting tidbits picked up in Geneva a few weeks ago was that the Lady Formula 1 Steel & Ceramic series is one of TAG Heuer’s best-selling watches, accounting for more than 10% of total watch sales. While most of the articles here at Calibre 11 focus on the Men’s watches, TAG’s share in the Ladies’ segment has increased strongly over the last few years, with its US market share in the + $1000 segment being higher in Women’s watches than it is in Men’s.
One of the main reasons for the success is this watch: the TAG Heuer Lady F1 Steel & Ceramic. TAG Heuer has offered a Lady’s F1 for a few years, but it wasn’t until the launch of the Steel & Ceramic collection that the design really clicked, thanks to a revamped design with a polished ceramic bezel and bracelet “bricks”.
The other trademark of the Lady Formula 1 series is the bling. A few of the watches come without diamonds, but the majority are bejeweled, with a stone count ranging from 12 to over 230. In fact, TAG Heuer believe that they buy more diamonds- principally for the Lady F1 range- than any other watch company.
Given the success of the Lady F1, it’s no surprise that Geneva saw the launch of a few new F1 models, as well as one special custom watch that takes 8 months to build.
Steel & Ceramic 37mm Watch
The Lady F1 Steel & Ceramic range was launched at Basel in 2010 and initially consisted of a single 37mm quartz watch (using the ETAF05.111 movement). Chanel was one the first to offer a Ceramic watch for women with its J12 model, but TAG Heuer are very proud of the quality of its ceramics, using solid ceramic parts rather than simply ceramic-coated parts.
The design of the Lady F1 was minimalist and simple- in fact, the Men’s Formula 1 collection launched only a few weeks ago borrows several design elements of the Lady F1, for example, the design of the hands.
Lady Steel & Ceramic Pavé
A few months after the launch of the Lady F1 Steel & Ceramic, a “Pavé” model was added. It uses the same 37mm case, but adds- can you guess?- more diamonds. The jewel count is up to almost 150, with extra diamonds on the bezel and the “paved” centre.
The F1 Lady F1 Pavé is sold in two models- the white-dial watch above ( WAH121d) and the same watch with a Black dial (WAH1219).
Lady Steel & Ceramic Automatic
New for 2012 is this watch- the Lady F1 Steel & Ceramic Calibre 5 Automatic, which uses the same 37mm case as the original S&C watch, but now with a mechanical movement. The watch has 49 Wesselton Diamonds- 11 for the hour-markers and 38 on the inner-ring (a total of 0.18ct).
The Automatic watch is available in two versions, the only difference being that one has diamonds on the bezel, while the other does not. Adding diamonds to be the bezel increases the diamonds count by 48 (an additional 0.35ct).
Offering a mechanical movement in a Lady’s watch is not that common- partly because of the preference for a smaller, slimmer case and partly because obsessing over the details of a mechanical contraption that is practically inferior to a battery-powered alternative sounds like a predominately male trait.
Steel & Ceramic 41mm Chronograph
The Formula 1 Steel & Ceramic Chronograph was launched at Geneva 2011. The dial has an elegant two-register Chronograph layout contained in a larger 41mm case. The Chronograph is powered by a Ronda 5021D quartz movement.
The Chronograph watch is offered in with three different levels of diamonds. Dial and Bezel (above: 72 diamonds), Dial only (12 diamonds- below)…and no diamonds.