TAG Heuer. 150-year-old avant-garde

TAG Heuer

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A young man named Edward Hoyer was 20 years old when, in I860, he founded the dealer’s office in Saint-Imier. It is now Saint-Imier more or less famous thanks to several watch manufactures, and then he was a tiny place, lost in the mountains.

However, the case of a young merchant went so well that after 4 years he allowed himself to rent an apartment in Bienne. At the entrance, he hung a small plaque with the inscription, E. Heuer & Compagnie. The main secret of the commercial success of Edward Hoyer explained, of course, not just his good looks (he looks like a young John Malkovich). But the fact that he knew how to sell and what to its customers, as well as he was by no means the last hours of the master. Soon his company became a full-fledged operating hours. Two of his invention forever in the history of watchmaking. This system works hours with the crown instead of a traditional key, which he patented in 1869. And in the 1887 meters, he invented the basic point that connects the clock mechanism with a chronograph module – oscillating pinion, which is still used in modern watches. By the way, chronographs – the most advanced watch of the time – became his hobby-horse. Therefore, Edward Hoyer went down in history also as the first who established a mass production of chronographs.

Chronographs also yielded E. Heuer & Compagnie first international recognition – silver diploma of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889. Died superb watchmaker and businessman in 1892 m, leaving a huge family at that time in the state of 552,750 francs.

There simply must be noted that Edouard Heuer was also a wonderful father, which immediately proved his sons Jules and Charles, with the brilliance of continued business. In 1902 the brothers bought out the shareholders, and the family business became known simply Heuer – without Compaigne. At this time, the demand for chronographs rose sharply, and the brothers to concentrate on their production. Particularly noteworthy are the doctor’s Chronograph Heart Rate Monitor (1910), one of the first board of chronographs named Time of Trip, which could mount in the dashboard first aircraft and automobiles. While the Graf Zeppelin began to build his legendary airships and after a thorough examination of modern chronographs chose appliances company Heuer. Anyway, during his first Meso 8,106-kilometer flight in a dirigible Zeppelin ZR III pilot Hugo Eckener supervised time on the Time of Trip. Eckener remained alive and happy, but because trusting precision mechanics and Heuer in 1929, during a voyage around the world on Graf Zeppelin.

However, we have a little ahead of time because previously there were no less important events. In 1913, Jules and Charles, along with his other great contemporaries of Louis Cartier and Edmond Zhezhe realized that the future belongs to the reign wristwatch. And by the way, mind you, ladies: the first wrist model, the company Heuer released just for you! They were elegant wristwatch in gold bracelets and leather straps. Well, the first models for men, of course, have become powerful chronographs.

In 1916 Heuer was noted by the greatest world record by creating Microsplit – the first mechanical chronograph capable of measuring time to within 1 / 100 second. Is it worth mentioning then that the company became the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games in Antwerp (1920), Paris (1924) and Amsterdam (1928). “Mikrosplity” were so in demand that the company could thrive, releasing them only: the production of these wonderful split stopwatch was stopped only in the late 70-ies! No less successful was another kind of board chronograph – Autavia. Especially when his stock of progress has been increased to 8 days. Well, that brothers do not forget to develop parallel lines of watches.

TAG Heuer

In 1930 they patented waterproof case. Then (by the way at the same time Rolex) – received a patent for the automatic watch. Since the glory of the board chronographs and sports stopwatches was great, Heuer watches were also in demand. They were Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Henry Ford, Prince William, Thai King Bhumibol and many others, as Heuer chronographs produced for virtually everyone. For example, the model Autograph helped pilots, Mareograph – fishermen, Seafarer – yachtsmen (by the way, the unique mechanical tide indicator and the indicator with the reverse 5-minute countdown to the launch were first used it in him) …

In the mid-50’s in the company “came” brilliant representative of the new generation Hoyer family – Jack, who serves as honorary chairman for this day.

Jack Heuer in childhood was a fan of racing, and the friendship of the world of motorsport has become even stronger. Subsequently, it will result in sponsorship of Formula 1 and the invention Unique to the present day system ACITS – Automatic Car Identification and Timing system (1976).

But the real breakthrough in the history of the brand became a wrist chronograph Carrera, inspired by a young Hoyer legendary La Carrera Panamericana Rally Mexico – the race for the Pan American highway from Guatemala to the United States. This rally has gathered the best pilots in the world’s best cars. Carrera chronograph has become a cult, embodies the way people thought about the beautiful life in the 60 years. It might be called the first modern chronograph, which defined the design and functionality of the vast majority of other legendary models.

Chronograph with a classic column wheel and hand-wound Heuer Carrera based on the caliber Valjoux 1972 with side second dial, 12-hour and 30-minute counter became a sensation on both sides of the ocean. Americans liked Carrera for cutting edge design and belonging to a prestigious brand Heuer. The Europeans also liked the design, and even more is that Carrera was associated with a distant fairy-tale paradise beyond the ocean. A slight change of design (second scale was placed on the flange, and tachometer – made for the usual markup) has helped to create a free dial with great functionality counters. Sports complicated watches bought shade aristocratic restraint.

An important role in the global success of the model has played and its affordable price. On the chronograph in steel Jack Heuer has established a price tag of $ 70, a model with 20-micron gold was worth $ 90, and the most luxurious gold version – only 240. Pretentious old-fashioned chronographs other famous Swiss brands were worth at least 10 times more expensive.

Carrera was published almost without any design changes until the quartz crisis – late 70’s – when in vogue luxury, according to the ideas of the time, pincushion Corps. Later, based on the Carrera was released, and wrist version Autavia. And in 1969 an event occurred, whereby Carrera ever entered the annals of watchmaking. At the exhibition in Basel, was presented the first automatic chronograph in the world. Mechanism Caliber 11 was designed jointly by Heuer, Breitling, Hamilton, and Dubois Depraz, which a month ahead of competitors in the face of Zenith and Movado. Since the generator of ideas and organized work was Jack Heuer, followed by historians, and consolidated the lead in creating an automatic chronograph.

By the time Jack Heuer has headed the company and I must say, he led it boldly and skillfully. However, he had already entered the history of watchmaking as one of the most prominent innovators. He owned a number of world records: the first automatic chronograph, the first automobile chronograph, the first quartz chronograph with analog-digital display, the first available to ordinary people Chronograph Microtimer, capable of measuring time intervals up to 1 / 1000 seconds.

TAG Heuer

Hoyer’s idea is always much ahead of their time and were sometimes completely incomprehensible to others. Such, for example, as undertaken in the early 80’s attempt to create a concern based on the watch companies Heuer & Co, Leonidas, and Piaget, similar to the current Swatch Group. The attempt was unsuccessful, Hoyer even removed from the control. In 1985 the company was acquired nechasovaya research firm Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG), and since then she called the TAG Heuer. Logically the story, because, as we have seen, the desire to be at the forefront of watchmaking company was inherent in the very beginning. And does not the presence of abbreviations in the TAG company name (as some think) makes her annual show great imagination and the fundamentals of watchmaking concept watches Micrograph, Monaco V4, Calibre 360, Calibre S, Diamond Fiction …

In 1999, a controlling stake in TAG Heuer became the biggest concern of luxury in the world of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. LVMH requested operational management of young, energetic businessman, Jean-Christophe Babin, who immediately returned to the Board of Directors Jack Heuer, appointed honorary chairman of the company. He is responsible for a lot. For example, DNA repair brand, establish links between young and old generations of employees, the return of former clients and the credibility of one of the most creative producers.

It is very important that Jack Heuer – the only active representative of the old time the Swiss Guards, who went into retirement because of the quartz crisis. When a company is developing under the leadership of Representative founding family, each step not only seems but is thoughtful and logical.

In recent times, which many in the company called “revolutionary”, the model number of TAG Heuer Carrera addition, a host of new collections: inexpensive democratic Formula-1, practical Link, Aquaracer sports and Professional Sport, aristocratic Monaco and Monza, conceptual Microtimer and Mercedes SLR … Surprisingly, they enjoyed a huge success. Not for nothing TAG Heuer, along with Rolex, Cartier and Omega is one of four world leaders in sales. And this also has considerable merit the glorious great grandson of Edward Hoyer. It was his word in discussions about the shape or the technical equipment of a particular model is crucial.

“I have eyes, well, or foreknowledge of what people like and what is not – said Hoyer. – It’s 25 years of experience and expertise in the watch business. When you create a watch for so many years, inevitably begin to see and feel what the other for one reason or another do not yet see or feel. ”

Two years later, TAG Heuer celebrates 150-year anniversary. Preparations for the celebrations is actively now. This spring the museum was opened the company introduced a new line of luxurious Grand Carrera, Jack Heuer finished writing and editing a large book about the history of the brand. Launched a very interesting joint projects to develop conceptually new mechanisms (of course) with a chronograph with Dubois Depraz and Zenith. Developed its own mechanism with a chronograph. Do you know where it will do? On its own factory, a huge building which will be fully commissioned in 2009 and is on full power in the year of jubilee. In the new era of TAG Heuer come fully armed and in perfect order. What is TAG Heuer, unfettered and unchecked, – it is impossible to imagine, perhaps, even fiction.

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