A Trip to TAG in Bicester Village...

  1. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 1, 2015

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    Took a trip to Bicester village today and needless to stay I stopped off at the TAG Heuer store. I won't detail the bargains in there, as I'm aware this is frowned upon. I will say they had a lot of really nice items in there, including a couple which I tried on for size.
    First was the Grande Carrera Calibre 36 with the caliper (with the red accents and red stitched strap). I have been thinking about the Carreras and Grande Carreras for a while but feared they would be too big for me. I needn't have worried. Taking off my Aquagraph and laying it on the counter, the Grande Carrera felt smaller, probably because it is thinner and much, much lighter than my beast of a diving watch.
    Somehow I didn't like the look of it as much as I liked the photographs, I was rather disappointed to tell the truth. I also didn't like the strap much, it seemed rather narrow and the clasp would not shut easily.
    I thought while I was there I would try on the black case Monaco Twenty Four with the Gulf Stripes. This was much nicer and confirmed to me that my previous indifference to the Monaco has passed. This was a very nice piece, with a full window on the back, but again fastening the clasp was not an easy task. I have to say that while I liked it, there's no way I would pay nearly £11 grand for it (not the price at Bicester obviously), and it's disappointing that the black case models are all rather expensive. But that's the way it goes I suppose.
    Again it looked quite different from the photographs, and again felt quite light and not as substantial as I'd hoped. I think if I was to buy a Carrera I would go for the modern style, but perhaps plainer models. Sadly they did not have the F1 Automatic with the orange and black dial, as I would probably have bought it, assuming it looks like the pictures.
    I was quite surprised that the person who served me didn't seem to know what my Aquagraph was, I have previously spoken to a guy in the Cheshire Oaks store who seemed pretty well up on the various models (and not just the current models) and you can hear in the stores that the customers want to talk about the watches and their watches and it strikes me that it would be a good idea for the staff to be properly trained to deal with this, let's not forget they are selling watches worth a lot of money and somebody spending multiple thousands of pounds probably would like to be served by someone who knew the range and history of the various models.
     
  2. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 1, 2015

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    Thanks for this update. I visited there years ago, but haven't been back since.

    Was it the steel or the titanium Calibre 36 that you tried? Aquagraph is a beast of a watch, so I'm not surprised that these felt lighter/ smaller.

    Interesting comment that no-one knew of your Aquagraph- in a way I'm not surprised, because it's been discontinued for some time now. The better sales people who know their TAGs will be the ones who know the older models....it's a great way of building rapport with a potential customer when you know a bit about what they're currently wearing. But I think it comes through a passion for the brand and watches rather than being something that they would teach at sales training. I know that we have some readers who sell, or have sold, TAG Heuers for a living...they'd know the Aquagraph for sure!
     
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  3. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 3, 2015

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    Well that's a good question, was it steel or titanium, I didn't actually know there was a titanium, but that would explain the lightness. The list price of it was somewhere around £7,500 though so maybe that would tell us?

    I think they could teach the staff basic history, since 1985 they haven't made that many different models really... I'm not exactly obsessed or anything, but I know pretty much all the basic models that have been made.

    I think next time I go I will wear my F1 Kirium, so as to get a better comparison. Taking the Aquagraph off is like putting a weight down. Haha.
     
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  4. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 3, 2015

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    Easy way to tell the difference- the titanium one has a black case ;)
     
  5. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 3, 2015

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    Titanium it was then.

    Actually thinking back there was a pretty fantastic selection in there, Automatic and Quartz Aquaracers, Carreras, Grande Carreras, Monacos, lots of F1s and Links. They had the blue and white Monaco too, but I don't like the silver case.
     
  6. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 3, 2015

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    Actually is the black Monaco titanium as well, because that didn't feel that substantial either.
     
  7. sjbr101

    sjbr101 Aug 3, 2015

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    The Black Monaco 24 is PVD coat steel, as both of the watches you are trying on are made with a leather strap the difference in weight will be due to the bracelet. Your Aquagraph is one of the heaviest watches TAG heuer have ever produced and so most watches will feel light in comparison.

    The staff at Bicester are normally quite good, I suppose everyone is new at some point, maybe you got a new member of staff ? you can normally tell by looking for a TAG Heuer pin badge on their jackets, I think only the staff that have been there a while have those.
     
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  8. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 3, 2015

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    Hi, yes I thought the bracelet would make a difference as well, and the Aquagraph is ridiculously heavy. In fact after a couple of hours you can feel it like a weight. But then I kind of like that about it... I guess not everyone would feel the same.

    Yes the staff were perfectly fine, and you're right it's quite possible that they may not have been there very long. I hadn't thought about that, to be fair. I guess we'd like to believe that everyone who works in a TAG shop would be as OTT as we are, but that's probably not necessarily what makes a good salesperson. If I was working there I'd probably be spending all day looking at the watches and missing sales... haha.
     
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  9. sjbr101

    sjbr101 Aug 4, 2015

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    I'm with you, I love a heavy watch, I spend my life trying to explain to Chinese clients that heavy is quite good in a watch and that lighter is not always better !
    I do love an Aquagraph have you ever used it for Diving and got the wet suit straps out ?
     
  10. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 4, 2015

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    No, I'm not a diver. I just saw it and thought it looked fantastic. I suppose it's a bit of a waste really... rather unnecessary for everyday use. But I don't care. It looks great and the lumo is fantastic.
     
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  11. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Apr 5, 2016

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    Went to Bicester again this last weekend. Not such a good selection as last time, but they did have a Nismo Carrera and an SLR and.... an Aquagraph! Which must be 3-4 years old surely?
     
  12. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Jul 16, 2016

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    Went to Bicester yesterday, anyone looking for an Aquagraph should go, they have the full kit for sale with the rubber strap and tools! Also a gorgeous Monaca 24Hrs.. which I want but can't afford even with the huge discount.
     
  13. Big Adam

    Big Adam Jul 17, 2016

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    :)How much was the Monaco?
     
  14. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Jul 17, 2016

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    There were three different ones, black, grey and blue, all £6k ish
     
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  15. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Jul 17, 2016

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    pp.png

    Isn't it gorgeous?
     
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  16. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jul 25, 2016

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  17. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Sep 26, 2016

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    Another trip to Bicester, this time I tried the Monaco 24Hrs on and I want one, if only I hadn't blown my cash on the Heuer 01. Oh well... can't have everything. Some nice pieces in there at the moment, but the staff are still clueless. The guy told me the figures at the bottom of the Monaco 24Hrs were the hours for the chrono - when they are clearly the date!
     
  18. dtf

    dtf Sep 27, 2016

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    Would be cool if they were the hours! I do love that Monaco, but couldn't spend £6k on one, 2-3maybe.
     
  19. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Sep 27, 2016

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    Yes, it's a lot of money, I definitely couldn't spend £10k on one, but £6 is a possibility.
    Down the road there was another boutique selling various watches including a Porsche Design watch, half price at £67,250, and completely hideous!
     
  20. dtf

    dtf Sep 27, 2016

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    The problem is £6k is tending towards £10k, and at that point I'd buy a Heuer-02....