How to Authenticate a Tag Heuer
TAG Heuer is one of The RealReal’s top-selling watch brands with a strong reputation in the luxury market. Due to their innovative mechanics and celebrity endorsements from the likes of Steve McQueen and Maria Sharapova — not to mention their most recent ambassador for the ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’ campaign, it girl Cara Delevingne — TAG Heuer has enjoyed a longstanding reputation and perennial popularity. Like any ubiquitous contender in the luxury market, fakes are often as abundant as the real thing. We tapped our Watch Specialist Pierce Shortell to touch on TAG’s rich history and give us the real scoop on how to distinguish an authentic TAG Heuer from the impostors.
What are the telltale signs of a fake TAG Heuer?
TAG Heuer watches have a few characteristics that are consistent with every make and model. If a watch is missing these elements, chances are that it is not authentic. Every TAG Heuer watch will have engravings on the case back: the model number, the individual watch serial number, and the water resistance of the watch. TAG Heuer makes every watch water resistant to at least 100m, so make sure that any piece you look at (even their dress pieces) is resistant to at least 100m. All TAGs are Swiss made, and will be stamped as such on the 6 o’clock position of the dial. These engravings and stampings are not only essential components to authenticating a TAG Heuer, but are things that the average consumer can look for.
Why are TAG Heuer timepieces so popular, and what is desirable about them?
TAG Heuer has a distinguished history in the industry for being the forerunner of manufacturing what are now essential parts of the modern watch. TAG began developing timers for racecar drivers, then transitioned into wristwatches where they are credited with creating the first chronograph movement with an automatic micro-rotor. Modern chronograph watches use these components or base their design off of TAG Heuer’s seminal machination.
With a strong pedigree in the car world, TAG was able to sponsor Steve McQueen. He wore their Monaco watch in the 1971 film
Le Mans, in which he used it to keep time as a racecar driver. The watch has therefore come to be synonymous with McQueen’s brand and personality, and the McQueen Monaco has been one of the most sought-after pieces in vintage markets. As soon as he donned a TAG Heuer, the watch was instantly iconic and their popularity drove higher than could have ever been imagined.
TAG Heuer remains popular because of their history and value. You get everything you want from a fine Swiss watch but their prices remain affordable in the luxury market. You can purchase a brand new TAG Heuer for less than $1,500.
What distinguishes TAG Heuer from other luxury watchmakers?
There are three simple things that separate TAG Heuer form other luxury watchmakers: The history and pedigree of the brand, the value for the product you receive, and their ability to continue to be innovative. TAG has been pushing the boundaries of watches from its inception. Put simply, TAG Heuer has set precedents — for example, the Monaco V4 is the world’s first belt-driven watch. The V4 replaced the commonly used chain system used to provide power to a watch with belts that make the piece more accurate and in less need of servicing.