My First Tag Heuer - McLaren Formula 1 SE

  1. Wools

    Wools Jan 24, 2016

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    I come from a fairly humble and working class family and as such, have to pinch myself occasionally to remind myself how lucky I am.

    I’ve always loved watches and have had several over my life. In my 20’s I decided to splash out a bit and brought myself 2 beautiful Seiko Chronographs, 1 traditional and 1 Solar with bright orange highlights that I love. Despite having great watches, I’ve always lusted over the big Swiss makers and dreamed (Literally, dreamed) about owning my own Swiss watch one day.

    Above Omega, Rolex and all the others, I’ve always wanted a Tag Heuer specifically because it’s the first watch maker I fell in love with because of their involvement in Formula 1 and Motorsports. From their work with McLaren, sponsorship of the races and branding over the time cards of the old school Bizarre Creations F1 game, it was always going to be a Tag for me!

    However, the prices Tag Heuer’s, Omega’s and Rolex’s always command has put those watches out of my league. I droll over them in Evo and Motorsport Magazine and look at the display cases in watch shops when me and my Wife walk pass but I have never thought about blowing my money on one. Who can justify £2K+ on just a watch? That was in till this weekend.

    I’ve been dreaming about the Tag Heuer Formula 1 McLaren 30th Anniversary LE from when it was revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed around 7 months ago and there was a lot of press about it and their Senna collection. Me and Brother went to the TAG stand at Goodwood and saw it displayed but I must have blotted out the price of it as thought I couldn’t actually buy it. Either way, it was beautiful and with a limited run I never thought I’ll see it again.

    Whilst walking past Beaverbrooks in Basingstoke this weekend I spotted the red and black Nato strap out of the sea of silver and gold and sure enough, they had the Tag McLaren in stock. But as a limited edition watch, surely it would be £3K+? Turns out, it was a lot more reasonable than that, priced at £1.2K and within my means. Rather than calm me down, my Wife was beautiful and said that you’ve always wanted a Tag, this is the one you’ve fallen for recently and you can afford it. For the first time in my life I walked into a watch shop and asked to try on one of my dream watches. It felt wonderful, really well made, the perfect size, high quality feel yet very robust and strong. We decided to go for a drink and come back later once I had thought it through.

    As this was such a massive outlay of money, I thought to myself if I’m going to do it, am I sure I don’t want an Omega, Rolex or Breitling instead? I looked through the range on offer but not a single watch stood out over the McLaren F1 Tag. It was just perfect in my eyes. Perfect size for my wrist, Nato strap which I find more comfortable than bracelet, I adored the new F1 design and the McLaren rocket red colour scheme is eye catching. So with not much persuasion, I brought it!

    I’ll wear it every day for the rest of my life. It was a dream to own a Tag Heuer and I’m lucky enough to own the exact watch I wanted. I’m over the Moon!

    [​IMG]
     
    karalhoin, gregc, Calibre11 and 4 others like this.
  2. elbeik

    elbeik Jan 24, 2016

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    Touching story; welcome to the TH realm!

    Just like you stumbled on this beauty, one day, you'll find the Carrera McLaren limited edition coming to you packed under a great offer, as many of us Elevenists had with watches we love.

    Heck, I used to yearn for a limited edition SLR; although not the greatest design TH had ever made, I simply loved it.
    One day a NOS presented itself on the bay at half the price, and I had to grab it.

    We'll watch this space :thumbsup:
     
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  3. Hubert

    Hubert Jan 24, 2016

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    Excellent story; congratulations! It is a special moment, when you find the watch of your dreams and finally make it yours. I felt the same way with my first TAG Heuer, over a couple of decades ago. I wore it everyday, and treasured it like it nothing else. And I am glad to say I still have that watch in excellent condition and it still has a very special place in my collection. Welcome to the club!
     
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  4. Wools

    Wools Jan 25, 2016

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    Thank you both for the warm welcome elbeik and Hubert, it's most welcome and this is a lovely Forum that I stumbled across.

    I'm already eyeing up what could be my next watch. I had 2 Seiko's, 1 for everyday use and was more fun and the other was for smarter occasions and more elegant. The Tag F1 McLaren is perfect for everyday use so that's my everyday sorted but now I want something smarter and less bright. I was considering a Tag Monaco or an Omega Seamaster but I've also found myself being so won over by the F1, I might even consider buying another 2015 / 2016 Tag F1 but with a silver metal bracelet. I really do like the F1's shape, colour scheme and design.

    Decisions, decisions!
     
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  5. Wools

    Wools Jan 27, 2016

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    As there's so many experts here, does anyone know the usual timeframe for spare straps and bracelets to be officially available to buy from Tag Heuer?

    I'm after another Red & Black Nato for my McLaren and when I phoned the retailer from where I brought it from, she said it's not currently available as it's such a new watch. She suggested phoning back in a few months from now and they should then be available to order.

    What really surprised me is that she said Tag Heuer usually make spares and replacement parts available for each time piece for up to 10 years after the watches release. Dealing with other watch makers, I've had instances where a part was not available 2 years after it was made!
     
  6. elbeik

    elbeik Jan 27, 2016

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    Save yourself a few bucks and get yourself aftermarket Nato straps.

    They are abundantly available on the bay and elsewhere on the net, and you'll buy two dozens for the price of an original one, and get a wide selection and variety of colors.
     
  7. Wools

    Wools Jan 27, 2016

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    I have considered that but i like wearing the factory fitted Nato strap and was hoping to get at least one spare.

    I'm thinking I might still order one when they come in stock and then keep that Nato strap with my box for the future. But when my first Tag strap gives up the ghost, I might get an unofficial Nato strap for day to day duties. Only thing is, I saw someone on the McLaren F1 thread in here, say that this watch has an odd size like 19mm rather than 18mm, 20mm or 22mm.

    I've been recommended the following site for good quality Nato straps.

    http://www.timefactors.com/natostraps.htm
     
  8. huecobros

    huecobros Jan 27, 2016

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    Congratulations! just like you, i always liked Tag Heuer above Omega and Rolex, my best friend from childhood (may he rest in peace) introduced me to the brand 20 years ago, he used to race karts and his idol was Ayrton Sena. That is why the F1 line is my favorite.
     
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  9. Wools

    Wools Jan 28, 2016

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    Yeah, I don't think a single watch in history has made such a lasting impact on me than the Tag Heuer F1. The modern incarnation of it is a design classic in my eyes and even better than the original. It's matured, uses better materials and feels so much more refined.
     
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  10. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jan 28, 2016

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    Congrats on a great watch!!
     
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  11. Wools

    Wools Jan 29, 2016

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    Thanks! Really enjoy using it everyday now and having fun looking for a smarter Tag Heuer watch to go alongside it for formal occasions.
     
  12. Skyboltone

    Skyboltone Feb 26, 2016

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    Great story. Congratulations, and hang on to that wife mister!
     
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