It’s no secret that I adore Swiss fake TAG Heuer Formula 1. I’m that fan who watches the full press conferences, keeps up to date with all the brewing rumours, and even stays up until 4am bingeing Netflix’s Drive To Survive, screenshooting the drivers’ and team bosses’ watches as I go. But, even I have to admit, TAG Heuer loves F1 more than I ever could.
Not only has the cheap copy TAG Heuer F1 been a staple of their catalogue since 1986, but the Heuer name has been involved in the world’s premium motorsport category since the 1970s, and had their name aligned with all three of the sport’s most successful teams in Williams, McLaren, and Ferrari. To celebrate the launch of the 2021 season, TAG Heuer has revitalised the F1 lineup with some bold and vibrant designs.
The TAG Heuer watch super clone world seems to be moving quickly with brightly coloured and uniquely textured dials penetrating the realm of mainstream luxury brands, as opposed to just being the speciality of microbrands and artisans who have that ultimate freedom of creativity. In the new line of F1s, TAG use both elements to create the effect of an aftermarket modded watch, but without the risks. The dials are a grainy and stippled asphalt texture, just like the racetracks that host Grands Prix.
On the chronograph models, the hour markers, hands, and subdials are all blaring with colour, either in tangerine orange or lime yellow. But the spirit of the early ‘90s, when the steel case copy TAG Heuer F1 was at the peak of its quirky character, is really felt in the minute markers. That perfectly middle-ground shade of blue clashes slightly with both the orange and yellow highlights, bringing forward memories of old TV graphics with those colourful squiggles and shapes.
The three-hand model with vibrant orange dial is perhaps the most reminiscent of the F1 of old, with its clinically clean simplicity making it legible, and yet undeniably sporty. The black applied markers make the dial shout its colour even louder, and the brushing of the black aluminium bezel helps it maintain that satin look, keeping attention on the dial where it belongs. The hand set on all these watches is well-proportioned too, with a healthy splash of luminescent paint across them.
While the watch is a sizable 43mm in diameter, TAG is also aware that making a watch fit the wrist is important not just for comfort, but to please the enthusiasts who pore over every detail of a watch’s fitment. The lug-to-lug length of the F1 case is only 48mm, and with the angled lugs conforming to the wearer, this hunk of masculine personality will be more than wearable on smaller than average wrists. The bracelet versions also have an inverted end-link, meaning that the bracelet will drape down over the wrist as soon as it passes the lug. The nylon-strapped versions are also stitched to be reminiscent of a racer’s harness.
The case finishing is more refined than one might expect for a rugged sports watch, but then again you couldn’t exactly label these 1:1 copy watches as “no-nonsense” with their expressions of colour and fun. The bezel’s gear-like geometry is polished to a sheen, as are the sides of the case to catch the light and add some visual dynamics to the steel, while absolutely everything else is given a fine-grained vertical brushing for a smooth satin finish. The DLC blackening of the pushers and crown on the chronograph models add a great bit of contrast that isn’t seen too often, as if the watch needed any more unique character.
The specifications of these aaa quality replica watches are quite good value as well, as while the details for what exact movements are in these watches isn’t given, they are both Swiss-made quartz movements, with the chronograph able to count to the tenth of a second. Though neither of these are marketed as dive watches, especially considering the chronographs only having fixed bezels, they’re perfectly capable of acting as such with screw-down crowns and 200m of water resistance.