TAG Heuer 6000: Answering the questions (almost) no-one is asking

  1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Apr 29, 2019

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    One of the challenges of writing the "Ultimate Guides" is sourcing the correct information- and the most reliable source material tends to be the catalogues. They're not always right (we know that quite a few watches never make it into a Catalogue), but in the absence of internal documents, they're the best we have.

    With this in mind, I had the 6000 series going on sale in 1995: https://www.calibre11.com/tag-heuer-6000-series-overview/

    This was based on the watch first appearing in the 1994/5 Catalogue: https://www.calibre11.com/catalogue...ues/1994-1995-tag-heuer-highlights-catalogue/ - there's nothing in the 1992/ 1993 catalogues. Because TAG Heuer catalogues tend to cover two years, (i.e. 1994/5), it does make it hard to be precise on which year specifically...so my original thinking was to choose the later date.

    But thanks to a comment from a reader on the original article, it seems as though the 6000 might be quite a bit older than I'd thought- and instead dates to 1992?

    So, here is what I've been digging through to try and work out the correct date once and for all.

    Firstly, here is an article from International Wristwatch Magazine Edition 15 in 1992. It's clear from this that the 6000 has not yet been launched, but that this is the series being discussed. But it's also clear that this is written before the Basel Watch Fair, which was held in Spring 1992 (March/ April/ May).

    Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 3.30.54 pm.png

    Then I found this article covering the launch itself- but no clear source:
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    TAG Heuer S.A. is introducing its 6000 series wrist watch collection, which will be priced higher than previous sports watches. The 30 styles in the collection will cost from $1,200 to $2,900 and be available in stainless steel, 18-karat gold or a steel-gold combination. The 6000 line will begin limited distribution in Sep 1992. Although TAG Heuer sells 700,000 watches a year internationally, only around 2000 of the 6000 series are expected to be sold in the US in the first year. The product launch will include a choreographed dance piece by the Feld Ballet/NY, sponsored by TAG Heuer.

    TAG Heuer, the watch line that over the past few years has become a leader in sports watches, is introducing a new exclusive collection that will move the brand into higher price points.

    The collection, dubbed the 6000, is in either stainless steel or a combination of stainless and 18-karat gold. This is the first time the brand has used fine metals.

    “The move is consistent with our strategy to go upscale,” said Luc Perramond, president of Heuer Time & Electronics Corp., TAG Heuer’s U.S. subsidiary. He said the firm has tripled the average TAG Heuer price point over the past four years.

    Perramond said the average TAG Heuer retail currently is $750 to $800, and the new 6000 collection will range from $1,200 to $2,900 retail.

    He said next year an 18-karat gold watch will be introduced.

    Perramond said worldwide TAG Heuer sells 700,000 units a year. He said the 6000 series will have limited distribution, sold only in a few select stores the first year. He expects to sell only 2,000 in the U.S. the first year. The watches will be distributed in September.

    “We will always stay in sport watches. We’re not looking to do dressy watches,” Perramond said. “We have built a strong brand image, and with improved quality and functions we have been able to move into higher price points.”

    The 6000, which is currently hitting stores in Europe and the Far East, features 30 sporty styles. It has a patented bracelet with curved links designed to mold to the shape of the wrist or is available with a saddle-stitched leather strap in a range of fashion colors.

    The 6000 watches possess the same technical features as the other TAG Heuer watches, including water resistance, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and luminous hands and hour markers. The faces come in gray or white.

    As part of the 6000 series launch, TAG Heuer is supporting the Feld Ballet/NY summer preview season. Eliot Feld, director and choreographer, has choreographed a dance to commemorate the launch of TAG Heuer’s 6000 collection, and the performance will debut Aug. 18.

    Perramond said this is first time the watch firm has supported the performing arts; past sponsorships have been exclusively sporting events such as skiing, yachting and car racing.

    “We chose an art that is technical and athletic to support and help us build our brand image,” Perramond said.

    The firm was started in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in St. Imier, Switzerland. From the beginning it focused on precision timekeeping, and was appointed the official timekeeper for the 1920, 1924, 1928 and 1980 Olympic Games.

    In 1985, Heuer joined forces with TAG (Techniques d’Avant-Garde), a Paris-based technology firm that supported sports-related activities.
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    To be doubly sure, I then went to the 1997 TAG Heuer Annual Report (I didn't have this document back when I wrote the original article):

    IMG_1995.jpg

    So there it is..I was off by three years, which is quite a lot when you consider it changes the lifespan of the series by almost 50%! (from 7 years to 10).

    So why wasn't the watch in the 1992/ 3 catalogue? It could be because the watch was only launched in a limited way initially, but I think the most likely is that the 1992/ 3 catalogue must have been published before the launch of the watch...and if the watch was launched at Basel (which would be logical), then it tells us that those old 90s Catalogues must have been published in the European winter and ahead of Basel Fair.

    So there we have it- we can all sleep well knowing that the 6000 Series was not launched in 1995, but some time in mid 1992. I'll update the Ultimate Guide...
     
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  2. Hubert

    Hubert Apr 30, 2019

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    Great example of our vibrant community, collectively helping to build and ensure our content is accurate!
     
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  3. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Apr 30, 2019

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    Thanks David, now we can finally sleep well :D

    Joking aside, it's amazing work you do for the community. Well done! I love that I am constantly learning things about our favorite brand.
     
  4. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Apr 30, 2019

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    Thanks, yes Gents...still so much to learn from this period where the records kept are so poor. I've tried a few times to speak with the former management team of TAG Heuer during this time...they refuse point blank to speak to anyone, so that doesn't help!

    Last night I received the final definitive proof- the 1992 article from IW that covered the launch of the 6000.

    Scan_20190429.jpg Scan_20190429 (2).jpg Scan_20190429 (3).jpg Scan_20190429 (4).jpg
     
    Edited Apr 30, 2019
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  5. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph May 1, 2019

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    Great information David, thanks for keeping us updated! 6000s are great pieces, although the bracelets are fragile things and expensive to replace.
     
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  6. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member May 1, 2019

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    Thanks :thumbsup: I've never owned a 6000...if one of the McLaren watches came up I'd take a very close look!

    https://www.calibre11.com/mclaren-f1-watch/

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph May 1, 2019

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    Never owned a 6000! Wow, I'm really surprised about that... you should definitely pick one up - they can be had for as little as £300, that's what I paid for my three hander anyway.
     
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  8. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange May 1, 2019

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  9. Albert-AMG

    Albert-AMG May 2, 2019

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    I prefer the 6000 Senna! ;)

    I’m waiting for the arrival of a brand new (NOS) 6000 Senna WH1114! :rolleyes:

    D043DB97-70A9-4640-A649-8DF27EC28ECD.jpeg
     
    Edited May 2, 2019
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  10. Albert-AMG

    Albert-AMG Jun 30, 2019

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    Edited Jul 1, 2019
  11. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jun 30, 2019

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    Albert-AMG and THJunkie like this.
  12. Albert-AMG

    Albert-AMG Jun 30, 2019

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    :) I’ve been looking for a brand new WH1114 for quite some time, and finally found it in this Australian company:
    http://www.jamisonwholesale.com/

    Mr. Rodney Mangion (Jamisonwholesale Director), was very kind and professional :thumbsup:
     
  13. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Jun 30, 2019

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    Wow, that is quite some find! Congratulations Albert!
     
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  14. Hubert

    Hubert Jun 30, 2019

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  15. Albert-AMG

    Albert-AMG Jun 30, 2019

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    Thank you!! :)
     
  16. Albert-AMG

    Albert-AMG Jun 30, 2019

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    :) Thank you Hubert!! :thumbsup:
     
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