Heuer, as it was simply known before its acquisition by Techniques d' Avant Garde (TAG) in 1985, is one of the most storied watchmakers in Switzerland. The Heuer brand has created a long legacy of excellence, precision, and performance-driven styling. Especially well-known for its association with motorsport, Heuer watches were a favorite among F1 drivers and other daring individuals for countless years. Browse through horologic history with our collection of Heuer watches at Crown & Caliber.
Heuer Watchmaking Inc. was founded in Switzerland, the heart of traditional watchmaking, in 1860 by the young entrepreneur, artisan, and skilled craftsman Edouard Heuer at the ripe age of twenty. For the first several years, the brand began creating timekeeping tools developed to be used in aircrafts and automobiles. This laid the foundation for the longstanding relationship Heuer would develop with these industries over the next several decades. Then, in 1914, Heuer debuted its first wristwatch. While the wristwatch incorporated innovative chronograph features that Heuer later became known for, the brand did not take off into the world of watchmaking yet. They continued to design and produce timekeeping instruments suited specifically for aviation and automobiles for the next several decades.
Finally, in the late 1930’s and into the 1940’s, Heuer’s reputation in the aircraft industry allowed the brand to break into building timepieces designed for pilots. Nearly a decade later, Heuer officially broke into the watchmaking industry. Early in the 1950’s, the brand began creating watches exclusively for the American outfitter Abercrombie and Fitch. At the time, Abercrombie and Fitch was an elite retailer of excursion and sporting goods. So, timepieces with superb design and function to withstand the elements and serve athletes fit right into the brand’s mission, making their partnership with Heuer ideal. During this time the Heuer company also started to produce timepieces under the Heuer name while continuing to maintain a presence in the automobile and aviation industries. Through those pursuits, the brand introduced timekeeping tools for both ski and motor racing events, such as Formula One. This work continued to perpetuate Heuer’s relationship with the automotive industry. For the next two decades, Heuer timepieces would increasingly grow in popularity among amateur and professional automobile racers. The brand crafted exclusive timepieces for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, incorporating the logo of the speedway as well as the logos and names of various sponsors and racing teams into the watch design. Slowly but surely, the Heuer name was garnering the recognition it deserved for its finely crafted watches.
In 1962, the Heuer brand achieved a monumental success by becoming the first Swiss watchmaker in outer space. Astronaut John Glenn sported a Heuer timepiece while piloting the Mercury Atlas Six, the first spacecraft piloted by an American to orbit the planet Earth. To this day, the Heuer timepiece Glenn wore is on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. After this impressive partnership, the Heuer brand continued to grow and flourish in the watchmaking industry. Next, Heuer acquired a brand called Leonidas. Soon thereafter, they joined the race to build an automatic chronograph by partnering with prominent watch brands Breitling and Hamilton. The collaboration was kept secret as not to attract attention from competitors. Then, in March of 1969, Heuer, Breitling, and Hamilton held press conferences in both Geneva and New York to announce their new lines of automatic chronographs. For the next decade, the Heuer brand continued to achieve great success in the field of watchmaking, releasing countless collections with industry leading technology and design. Finally, in 1985, Heuer was acquired by a private holding company called Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG), and from there forward the brand became known as TAG Heuer.
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