Tag Heuer’s collection of new watches launched at Baselworld 2018 is packed full of very tempting timepieces, but four in particular stood out to us, so we asked to get a closer look. A much closer look. The result was some quality time with some of the most desirable new watches coming from Tag Heuer this year.
Which ones took our fancy, and just how good did they feel on the wrist? Let’s find out.
Tag Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition – $5,900
One of our favourites from Baselworld, this was the watch we were most keen to see outside of the box, and it didn’t disappoint. The latest in a line of commemorative Monaco watches from Tag Heuer — all with the iconic Gulf colors — this is the first new Gulf model in eight years from the company.
Straight away, our eyes were drawn to the re-positioned crown on the left hand side of the case, which balances out the look perfectly. The square 39 mm body may not instantly appeal, but put it on, and it’s very hard to resist. The polished case looks spectacular matched with the blue leather strap, and the delicate orange stitching.
The blue and orange colors continue on the face, which also features two sub dials for the chronograph feature. Flip the watch over to reveal a transparent case back, showing the Calibre 11 movement. A truly classy watch that doesn’t dismiss Tag Heuer’s sporty heritage, the 2018 Monaco Gulf was the watch we found hardest to give back. Beautiful, tempting, and one to cherish.
Tag Heuer 02 GMT – $5,950
Having been persuaded to give back the Monaco Gulf, the Heuer 02 GMT was our reward. It has a very different look to the Monaco, with a round 45mm stainless steel case, beautifully set off by the black and blue ceramic bezel. This feature really stands out, and pictures don’t do its visual impact justice.
The same can be said about the open dial, which shows off the in-house Heuer 02 movement. Turn the watch over and you get the same experience through the transparent case back. The automatic movement incorporates the chronograph and traveler-friendly GMT feature — check the 24-hour hand on the dial too — and has a 75-hour power reserve.
We tried on a model with a rubber strap, but a metal link bracelet is also available. Both look superb, but the everyday wearability of the rubber strap appeals most. The Heuer 02 is classic and sporty, with a modern twist thanks to the two-tone color scheme, continued on the bottom sub dial, and a cool skeletonized movement.
Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 – $4,600
Blue dials are in this year, and the latest incarnation of the Carrera Calibre 16 Chronograph, introduced on the 55th anniversary of the line, is so incredibly attractive, we’re not sure how anyone shopping for a Calibre watch will be able to resist. The blue face matches beautifully with the white sub dials, orange hands, and subtle highlights, all recalling the Monaco Gulf’s color scheme. It’s matched to a stainless steel metal link bracelet.
If you want a leather strap, Tag Heuer has a second model, this time with a black and white color scheme, which isn’t quite as eye-catching as the white and blue. However, the racing-inspired perforated leather strap with red stitching is great, and it’s genuinely difficult to pick between the two.
At 41 mm, the Calibre 16 is quite compact, but still suitably commanding on the wrist, and the ceramic bezel with tachymetre reading recalls Carrera Calibre models of the past. There’s a reason the Carrera has become a classic, and the Calibre 16 shows us why.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer with Nato Strap – $1,600
It’s all very well trying on watches that cost the same as a used car, but what about something a little more reasonably priced? We were drawn to the Tag Heuer Aquaracer, recently launched with a Nato strap. It’s available in both blue and the khaki color seen here. While not as complex as the other watches we tried on, we still loved the sun ray brushed dial, and perfectly sized 43mm case.
The Nato strap adds a sporty edge — and makes you feel like James Bond, let’s be honest — that’s incredibly wearable no matter the size of your wrist. It was very comfortable, and we don’t see many watches in khaki that look good. If the Nato isn’t for you, the blue Aquaracer comes with a rubber strap in a contrasting colour. Despite the lower price, you’re not compromising too much, and the Aquaracer has water resistance to 300 meters, sapphire crystal, a screw-down case back with the diving helmet motif, and a more user-friendly quartz movement.
If money was no object on the day, we’d have walked home with the Tag Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition, but it was a tough choice. Which would you choose?