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INTRODUCING: TAG Heuer Formula 1 Kith revisits the OG Series 1

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith limited edition collection.

The new models feature vibrant colourways like the original but are now housed in arnite.

Back in 1985, the Heuer brand was undergoing a major change: it had been acquired by the TAG Group, which manufactured high-tech components for Formula 1 automobiles, such as turbochargers. Fresh off its acquisition and ready to make a big statement about watchmaking, it introduced the first watch to bear the TAG Heuer name the following year. Unsurprisingly, it was a watch affiliated with Formula 1.

Some examples of TAG Heuer Formula 1 models from the 1980s. These feature steel cases, but composite models were also available.
Some examples of TAG Heuer Formula 1 models from the 1980s. These feature steel cases, but composite models were also available.

The Formula 1 Series 1 was notable because of the material used for the watch case – a fibreglass composite similar to what was used in Formula 1 vehicles. This required a specially designed mould, but what it meant was that the Formula 1 Series 1 could look just like the cars with vibrant, colourful cases to match equally bold dials. In the era of technicolour, this was a perfect pitch to young adults who sought a watch that expressed their identity. Those young adults included one Ronnie Fieg, the founder of NYC streetwear brand Kith. Fieg has collaborated with artists, sportspersons, and now, TAG Heuer.

Ronnie Fieg, founder of Kith.
Ronnie Fieg, founder of Kith.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith holds true to the OG Series 1. In fact, in order to develop the new collection, the watchmaker started by tracking down the original case supplier and even the mould that was used to create the series back in 1986. Instead of fibreglass composite, they are now working with a classic watchmaking material (steel) and arnite, a type of high-performance plastic used in a wide variety of consumer products, from street-legal vehicles to medical devices etc. With high rigidity and a great strength-to-weight ratio, it can be further reinforced to offer additional qualities. Most importantly, it can be easily coloured into endless variations.

The 10 versions of the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith watches are shown here.
The 10 versions of the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith watches are shown here.

This release includes 10 models, 5 of which have stainless steel cases with arnite bezels. The rest are wholly produced in arnite. Each has rubber straps that match or complement the case and bezel colours and offers sapphire crystal over the dials for protection. The “safest” look is an all-black model with gentle accents of blue, purple, and red in the Arabic minute indexes printed on the bezel.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith “New York” is one of the watches tied to a particular city.

Then there are the bold models, with vivid red, lush green, bright blue, and a multi-colour option that’s probably the most “eighties” model of them all. Among the steel models, three have eggshell dials with green, blue, or khaki bezels and a steel bracelet. The two other steel versions have a black PVD treatment on the case with blue or green arnite bezels and matching rubber straps.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith collaboration even adds Kith's logo to the brand.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith collaboration even adds Kith’s logo to the brand.

The dials are also notable, as they feature Kith’s logo together with TAG Heuer’s, another first for the brand. Kith’s motto, ‘Just Us’, is also featured on the dial. The black and red model with white dial will be available at both Kith’s and TAG Heuer’s boutiques, while seven are exclusives with Kith and limited to either 250 in arnite cases or 350 pieces in stainless steel cases. The two black PVD-coated steel models with green and blue arnite bezels will be retailed through TAG Heuer and are limited to 825 each. They will be available from 6 May 2024 globally. The watches are all priced at CHF1,500, an excellent offer for those looking for a fun, bold, and iconic watch. There’s also a box set priced at CHF18,000, with just 75 sets available.

The multi-coloured TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith
The multi-coloured TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith “Hawaii” edition is sure to be a success.

To some extent, this may feel like TAG Heuer’s counter to the MoonSwatch, which has had endless iterations and sees no signs of fatigue from consumers. While it is priced higher, it is certainly a more sophisticated offering paired with a notable fashion brand. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith is sure to sell out; the only question is what the Swiss watchmaker will follow this up with.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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