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TAG Heuer and Kith Revive the Formula 1 Watches from the ’80s

  • May 2, 2024
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TAG Heuer and Kith Revive the Formula 1 Watches from the ’80s

Years from now, we’re going to look back on the internet-breaking Omega x Swatch collab as a pivotal moment in the industry. And while not every partnership will be as dichotomous as “luxury-meets-budget,” credence should be given to the idea of forging two seemingly opposite brands together in the name of creativity. TAG Heuer has done such a thing with its collaboration with streetwear boutique Kith in order to revive and reimagine the luxury watchmaker’s low-end line of Formula 1 watches from the ‘80s.

TAG Heuer and the World of Cars

TAG Heuer (née Heuer) has been nothing if not driven by automotive enthusiasm since the 1960s. The German watchmaker’s former president, Jack Heuer, helped retool the brand around the racing industry, inspired to create its iconic Carrera chronograph in 1963 after being so taken away by the Carrera Panamericana competition in Mexico. And then in 1969, he aimed to reinvent the racing chronograph once again by perfecting the balance between form and function with his square-shaped Monaco. Oh yeah, and it housed the industry’s first-ever automatic chronograph movement.

In Come the Formula 1 Watches

The 1980s were not a good time to be a mechanical watch company. The quartz crisis helped bankrupt many brands and led to the buyout of others. Heuer was no exception, getting purchased by Techniques d’Avant-Garde (which is why it’s now TAG Heuer). Right around that time in 1986, the company made one final push, finding a compromise between its car-themed automatics and the quartz timepieces that were dominating the industry. The watch was called the Formula 1 and it was colorful (with several different variants), smaller at 35mm, quartz-powered, and made of fiberglass instead of stainless steel. They were a hit and sustained popularity for years to come.

Though it’s been a while since we’ve seen new Formula 1 models from TAG Heuer, it’s almost surprising the revival didn’t happen sooner. For this latest release, the company, along with Kith, brought out the original molds from 1986, which explains the 35mm case diameter. However, as opposed to the fiberglass cases, these new editions are given either a tough Arnite plastic, black PVD, or stainless steel. Ten variants have been made in total, each with a unique colorway that represents a different Kith boutique across the globe. Also like the originals, these timepieces beat with a quartz movement and feature a simple three-hand functionality.

Case Size: 35mm
Case Material: Arnite plastic, stainless steel, or black PVD
Movement: Quartz
Band: Rubber or stainless steel
Edition Size: 250 (Arnite plastic), 350 (stainless steel), 825 (black PVD)

Pricing & Availability

Limited to 250 pieces each, the five plastic versions are for Kith Tokyo, Kith New York, Kith Miami, Kith Toronto, and Kith Hawaii, while the stainless steel Kith Los Angeles and Kith Paris editions are limited to 350 pieces each. The black PVD watches, exclusive to TAG Heuer boutiques, are limited to 825. Regardless, pricing remains at $1,500 per watch. However, there are 75 box sets available for $18,000, featuring all 10 watch models. Head over to your respective boutiques on May 6 to get your own.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Kith Collection

TAG Heuer brings back its entry-level Formula 1 watches with the help of streetwear boutique Kith. Made from either plastic, PVD, or steel, these watches come in 10 unique colorful variants.

TAG Heuer x Kith Formula 1 Watch 0 Hero

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