TAG Heuer Link Men Calibre 5 Watch Review
Thoroughly updated for 2017, the TAG Heuer Link continues to be the sporty Swiss watchmaker’s answer to a men’s jewelry-esque “business” watch. In its newly evolved form, the Link gains a more distinct form that is both more aggressive than previous generation models and designed to catch a lot more attention. Even though there are watches in the same category as the Link at lower prices, in a lot of ways, the Link offers detailing and aesthetic touches you’d often find in much more expensive watches. Value certainly seems to be on the side of this new Calibre 5-equipped TAG Heuer Link Men collection (which aBlogtoWatch debuted here).
The Calibre 5 is TAG Heuer’s name for the Swiss Sellita SW200 automatic. Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback window, the mostly unembellished base automatic mechanical movement powers the watch at 4Hz (28,800bph) with about two days of power reserve. The movement is basic but sufficient for the target demographic who wants a Swiss watch with a Swiss movement.
TAG Heuer’s most iconic versions are connected with automobile racing, and one of the most famous is the Carrera. Jack Heuer suggested that the name soon after taking charge of the business from his uncle (more on this below). The title comes from the Carrera Panamericana, a dangerous race run on public streets in Mexico from 1950 to 1954. Jack Heuer wanted to make a watch for race car drivers. It needed to be perfectly legible and hard enough to withstand the vibrations drivers experience in a race. The end result is a watch which has achieved cult status.Graffiti artist Alec Monopoly (whose actual name is Alec Andon) made yet another appearance on behalf of TAG Heuer this season at Art Basel Miami now with a special variant of the TAG Heuer Carrera Connected Modular 45 Watch, with an electronic reproduction of one of those artist’s paintings on the monitor. It is an android-powered smartwatch, using a crown that acts as the control centre. The display of the brand new special edition Alec Monopoly watch is a digital rendering of a painting from the artist. The white rubber straps on each and every version of the particular edition are painted by Alec Monopoly, and each is one-of-a-kind. The straps, all 300 of them, were mounted side by side on a big board at the party, in which the artist finished painting them all at once, with a technique that involves applying spray paint in splatters. “I experimented with a great deal of different paints, also I found spray paint would be the best since it’s conditioned to work out in the snow or rain, and on various surfaces,” says Monopoly. “I started them in my own studio where nobody was around and will complete them off tonight,” he explained in an interview just before the party at the TAG boutique in Miami’s Design District.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Ayrton Senna Special Edition (ref. CAR2A1L.BA0688) is naturally going to be a bit more than the standard edition, and certainly will have USD cost of $6,200. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ayrton Senna Chronograph Special Edition (benchmark CAZ1019.FT8027) will possess a price of $1,650 and the three-hand TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ayrton Senna (benchmark WAZ1014.FT8027) will probably be $1,450. The TAG Heuer Autavia “reissue” that launched this year was a hit, and today a limited edition version of the timepiece comes out which is meant to celebrate the 85th birthday of Jack Heuer. Today’s TAG has been eager to promote the legacy value of Mr. Jack Heuer as much as you can, and for good reason. The charming former head of TAG Heuer is also part of the original Heuer family that began the brand. In the 1960s, he famously launched the very popular Carrera collection, as well as the first wrist watch sort of the Autavia.According into TAG Heuer, In 1933 (annually after Jack Heuer’s birth) that the Heuer company penned the “Autavia” title which was a combination of the words “automotive” and “aviation.” The notion was to have a timepiece that was suited to both purposes. It wasn’t until about 30 years later in 1962 the Autavia name was bestowed upon a wristwatch, which Jack Heuer asserts was the first watch he designed while in the business. Jack also seems to suggest that this limited edition version of the contemporary Autavia Heuer 02 is the “last watch I have created,” which may indicate he could be carried out with having timepieces connected with him. That might be so, but my instinct tells me that there are very likely to be occasional Jack Heuer limited edition timepieces so long as there’s a Jack Heuer around (and can he live well past 85 years old).
Over on the dial we see a remarkably clean and bold face (available in three to four different colors including blue, black, and white) that almost surprisingly (in this day and age among watches of this ilk) focuses on good proportions and legibility. With that said, the dial is not without its sense of attitude and personality. The polished hands and matching hour markers feel as large as they are reflective. Not reflective in a serious legibility harming way, but rather in their ability to garner attention as anything shiny would.
Being effectively shiny as a men’s item is something that TAG Heuer got right in the Link, and in many respects, I can’t think of too many other truly contemporary men’s dressy business bracelet watches that are this boldly shiny and yet still elegantly tasteful. The hour markers and hands can afford to be so big because the rest of the dial is relatively clean and uncluttered. I would however have liked for the date disc’s color to match that of the main dial (though it does on models like the Link with the black dial).
I would have also liked for the 12 o’clock hour marker to be somewhat different in design from the rest of the hour markers. This is a common practice which is valued because it helps the viewer’s mind orientate the dial when looking at it from different angles. Having a distinctive-looking 12 o’clock hour marker just overall helps with legibility, but also orientates the design so that it has a proper “up” and “down.” It might have been sufficient for them to simply make the 12 o’clock hour marker a bit wider, or even an applied version of the TAG Heuer logo. Also given the size of the hands and hour markers, I bet this watch dial would look cool with tritium gas tubes (OK, now I am just going outside of what the brand would even do).
Exhibitions are one of the greatest ways to get watch lovers and collectors to sit up and take note of your own brand. Watches from the archives and watches of great significance have a magnetic influence on watch lovers — especially the hardcore ones. That is doubly true for brands with fantastic history. And when it comes to history, few manufacturers can match the invention, passion, and drama of TAG Heuer. To celebrate this expansive background, TAG Heuer is holding a special exhibition which will take place simultaneously in 10 cities around the planet, with each city boasting its own unique theme with very special corresponding watches. They are calling this exhibition the Heuer Globetrotter exhibition.One of the coolest portions of the Heuer Globetrotter idea is that each exhibition around the world will comprise, along with TAG Heuer Museum set sequences, bits supplied by collectors local to the town that is demonstrating. That really gives each event more personality and a personal touch, and something that you could not get simply by, state, going to the TAG Heuer Museum at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. TAG Heuer has been reinvigorated beneath Jean-Claude Biver and fighting for hearts and minds on two fronts — one being millennials who apparently want hip DJ watches, and the other being its traditional fan base and Heuer collectors. The Heuer Globetrotter is a brand new and clever concept to appeal to the latter.Founded in 1860 as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG at St-Imier, Switzerland, by Edouard Heuer, the watch manufacturer soon made a name for itself fabricating chronographs. Among its best inventions, the oscillating pinion, is still widely used today, and it went on to make many other groundbreaking and important chronographs. However, Jack Heuer was made to give up the company under tragic circumstances in 1982. The contemporary title of TAG Heuer came following the TAG Group acquired a majority stake in the company in 1985.
Overall, I applaud TAG Heuer on their ability to stay on task with the dial of the Link Calibre 5. It is sporty, legible, attention-grabbing, and otherwise, as restrained as possible. The case, which is 41mm wide and water resistant to 100m (not a screw-down crown) is in steel, and very different than previous generation Link models. The case is actually three distinct shapes all somehow rolled into one. The Link case is round, tonneau, and cushion-shaped. How did that happen? This is because the dial is round, the bezel is cushion-shaped, and the case itself is tonneau, with wide lugs that integrate directly into the bracelet. I know for certain that the way the Link appears on the wrist is very different than previous ones and this will make some fans a bit standoffish at first. To those people, I would urge patience and let the new design grow on them. This might be a new personality for the TAG Heuer Link, but it is a welcome one with a more spirited voice and sense of purpose.