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The TAG Heuer story begins in 1860 when Edouard Heuer founded a watchmaking company in St-Imier, Switzerland. He patented his first chronograph in 1882 and it is this complication that is the central pillar of the brands development.
In 1911, Heuer received a patent for his “Time of Trip” device, the first dashboard chronograph. These were fitted to automobiles, aircraft and boats and incorporated different features depending on the needs of the users.
Heuer moved on to wrist chronographs in 1914, although at this stage he was adapting pocket watch models and so the crown was still at the 12 o’clock position. Two years later Heuer produced the first chronograph accurate to 1/100th of a second, named the “Micrograph” and soon followed up with a split second chronograph accurate to 1/50th of a second.
In the mid – 1940s, Heuer expanded its line of wrist chronographs to include two and three register models, and at the very top end, triple calendar chronographs with day, date and month indication.
Sports timing continued to be a major focus of Heuer’s work and in 1958 a new line of dashboard timepieces was introduced. These remained in production into the 1980s. Heuer pushed into new areas, introducing timing devices for skiing and motor racing, including Formula One.
The 1960s NASA space program gave Heuer the opportunity for another first. John Glenn wore a Heuer stopwatch in 1962 when he piloted the Mercury Atlas 6 spacecraft on the first US manned space flight to orbit the earth. This made Heuer the first Swiss watchmaker in space.
At this time, Heuer bought the “Leonidas” brand. This gave them access to the designs of the “Bundeswehr” chronograph, used by the German air force. This chronograph had a “fly-back” function and so Heuer was able to add this to their existing line.
In conjunction with Buren and Breitling, in 1969 Heuer launched the world’s first modular automatic chronograph.
In 1985 Heuer became TAG Heuer when they were bought by the high tech engineering company; Techniques d\'Avant Garde.
Number of times sold at auction