Tag Heuer Review-Formula One (Corrected)

December 3, 2004



ETA F06-111 Movement. I had originally stated that this watch had an ETA 955.112. Now that I have a caseback tool that can open this one without scratching it, I can see for myself the truth. Still a good quartz movement, just not the one I thought.



Tag Heuer Formula One Review

This review will be a little different from the others I have done to date in that the subject is that modern evil, a quartz watch. If you have visited here before you probably know that I have a thing for watches. However, while I have owned various quartz watches through the years I can’t honestly say that any of them left any impression on me. I guess that I simply never thought of a quartz regulated watch as anything special. My Tag Heuer, however, has changed my mind at least to some degree. Its not that there is anything remarkably unusual about its movement, it is an otherwise ordinary ETA F06-111. I have simply come to appreciate that quartz movements are technically interesting in their own way. I am not going to go into a long technical discussion about the history and engineering behind the quartz movement, but if you would like a good read, check out Prometheus Bound .

The Formula One is Tag Heuer’s entry level model. Entry level, however, is a relative term when referring to popularly perceived upmarket brands like Tag Heuer among others. In the case of the Formula One, this amounts to a price that varies between $470 online (from a non-authorized dealer in most cases) to as much as $650 in a watch store like Tourneau. Irrespective of which retail channel one refers to, the price of admission is above impulse buy levels for most people.

The watch itself is really quite nice. It has a heavy stainless steel case with hard rubber or plastic bumper guards around the stem and on the other side of the case. The bracelet is excellent, very solidly made and not a “hair puller.” The watch is rated as being 200 meters water resistant and has a sapphire crystal (the best type to ward off scratches) and a unidirectional rotating bezel (needed for serious diving). Like most quartz watches, accuracy is extremely good. Lastly, and this is obviously subjective, I think it looks very handsome, more so than its pictures would indicate I feel. (The watch is available in a variety of different colors-white, blue, red and black I believe.) This particular model is a re-issue of the original Tag Heuer Formula One. The most notable change that I can see is the bezel. The original issue used a plastic bezel, I believe, while the current model’s is made more strongly of titanium coated steel.

From a purely practical standpoint, it is hard to call a watch in this price range a bargain or even a good buy. A big part of the reason that people purchase premium brand watches has to do with the image and style that they project. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that at all. Quite the contrary, at a certain point in most people’s lives, I believe that it becomes necessary to project a self image of being conscientious, detail oriented and concerned about both your own time and that of others. A nice watch fits in well with this posture. That the watch in question is precise, rugged and attractive only adds to the appeal. If you are thinking of an initial foray into the high end watch market, or just want a good solidly made timepiece, give the Formula One a look.

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4 Responses to “Tag Heuer Review-Formula One (Corrected)”

  1. mathew Says:

    ED, Just curious. I notice too that TAG moved away from the F55.112 movement in favor of the trendline F06.111. Can you tell me, was your F06.111 movement signed?

  2. Ed Says:

    It was not signed. Bone stock ETA movement.

  3. kristoff Says:

    hey did you know these new f movements from eta have 2/3 plastic wheels? the rubis are also only on the visible side of the movement. (what is the use of a rubis if you have a plastic wheel anyway!) i noticed even in some new mechanical chrono’s eta is using one or two crucial parts in plastic! i work in a store, and last year a customer left his tag heuer f1 because it was to expensive to repair (movement, bracelet and so on) a shame i didnt work there back then because, you can change the movement for a eta 412 series (dont know the exact number) they have exact the same dimensions, the hands are the same, no adjustments. this is an older type of movement, which where used a lot in the past, first in many types of watches rodania, and so on. then a few years ago, the cheaper brand got rubbish, and these movements where used in brands like tissot (a little bit more expensive, not very) nowadays, these (i think very bad) f11 movements are used, and the 412, 414, .. you find in longines and very good brands. they still are produced, and proved their worth (cost about 25€) sometimes i even see tissot with full plastic crap!! but thats another story. so i changed the movement in this tag heuer f1 for a better one, repaired the bracelet and pollished it.; all in less then a day. and to think sending it to factory would result in a swap with the same crap movement and cost you a couple 100’s!! greetings


  4. Wow. Didn’t realize they had cheapened things up that much. Thanks for the heads up.


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