If you’ve sold and bought watches your whole life, like I have, you get to walk the path along with some companies and measure every inch of their growth. From my earliest days of selling luxury watches I got to witness the rise and fall of many brands. Very few companies that get picked up on the high-end watch radar and stay locked in despite small beginnings. Two of the most notable lines that come to mind, and have experienced rapid growth, are Tag Heuer and Bell & Ross (more on B&R later).
When I started in the business, the original Formula One pieces (as pictured) was the staple model of the brand. The ghost of Heuer past had long been dead and the new owners that laid the front naming TAG ( Techniques d’ Avant Garde) launched the brand back into the stratosphere with cheap watches. There is something about this cheap-to-great formula we’ve witnessed somewhere else… a guy named Nicolas Hayek comes to mind.
Tag Heuer has not stopped growing since the Formula One days, and they have graced the market with impressive timepieces, time and time again. That original F1 watch is as iconic as any piece the company ever produced, and there should be a huge bronze statue of one outside their main facility in Switzerland as a sign that anything is possible. Love them or hate them, Tag is a player for years to come. I’ve watched them re-issue stars from the Heuer era, but my real love for the brand is still the plastic bezel Formula One – now that’s a race car that won’t slow down.