On September 15th, TAG Heuer launched The Heuer Globetrotter Exhibition.
For two weeks, starting on the 16th September, ten TAG Heuer boutiques across the world (Paris, Geneva, Munich, Venice, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, Miami and Singapore) exhibited a themed collection featuring vintage Heuer models from the Manufacture Museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds, alongside pieces loaned from local collectors.
400 items in total were simultaneously exhibited across 10 countries with 10 specific themes.
The event was conceived by TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver in 2015 to celebrate 150 years of craftsmanship and avant-garde watchmaking by Tag Heuer. The brand maintains a very close tie to the Heuer family, including the founder’s great-grandson, Jack Heuer (Tag Heuer’s Honorary Chairman), who ran the company from 1958 to 1982 and was responsible for numerous pieces which have since acquired iconic status – like the Autavia – as well as the first sports sponsorship arrangements.
Regarding the project, Jack Heuer – TAG Heuer Honorary Chairman – stated: “I am overwhelmed by what is happening with the old Heuer and TAG Heuer brand. I am truly thankful to find the rich heritage of this brand so brilliantly and professionally translated to promise a bright future!”
From the 16th to the 30th September, each of the selected cities ran a specific theme within their exhibition: Paris – the classic Heuers; Geneva – the major inventions; Munich – the military watches; Venice – cars and timekeeping; Dubai – sailing and diving; Hong Kong – cars and drivers; Sydney – multi-sports; Tokyo – design through history; Miami – design; and Singapore – Formula 1.
Through each collection, people were able to admire the incredible archives of the Heuer’s.
For each participating boutique, TAG Heuer chose one key collector to select twenty pieces to be exhibited from among other local collections.
LuxAfrique visited Venice – the Tag Heuer boutique in Salizada San Moisè 1298 – just opposite the famous San Marco square, to discover the vintage Tag Heuer timepieces that relate to cars. Opened in 2012, the Tag Heuer boutique is the perfect showcase for the exhibition and a true protagonist: The Tag Heuer Autavia.
Launched in 1962, the Autavia encapsulates the brand’s motor racing spirit. The name of the watch derives from an amalgamation of the words – AUTomobile and AVIAtion – giving this watch a true racing spirit. Originally designed in 1933 for the dashboard of the first racing cars and aircraft, the Autavia chronograph pioneered the dashboard timer. Three decades later, in 1962, the Autavia became a wristwatch then forming the heart of the Heuer range through to 1985; powered by manual-wind Valjoux wheels. Heuer’s own Chronomatic movement was introduced in 1969, along with a totally new case design.
Now, in 2017, the Autavia celebrates its 55th birthday with a new edition of the watch. Modern, yet faithful to its roots, the new generation Autavia channels the spirit of the golden age of motor racing. As innovative as the original, this contemporary model is the result of an interactive campaign called the “Autavia Cup” – run in 2016. From a choice of 16 vintage models, more than 50,000 web-users voted for a re-issue of the Autavia “Rindt” worn by the famous F1 driver Jochen Rindt.
The new Autavia has a 42mm case, the new Heuer-02 chronograph calibre, and a 4Hz frequency for a battery life of 80-hours. Just 6.9 mm thick, this self-winding movement comprises 233 components, a pillar-wheel and vertical clutch. Featuring traditional finishes visible through the sapphire back-case, this is a masterpiece for any collector or brand aficionado.
On this occasion, the Tag Heuer Globetrotter exhibition also offered the opportunity to interview Jean Claude Biver – Tag Heuer’s CEO – on questions related to Africa and Tag Heuer.
Lux Afrique: Is TAG Heuer approaching the African market?
Jean Claude Biver: More than approaching, we already have an increasing presence on the African continent. However, there’s no African market, rather markets – each one has its own identity and faces its own challenges. For instance, we don’t have a presence in all African countries, but this is our target in the coming years.
LA: If yes, how?
JCB: The most important element is to have a good local partner who can offer the same experience to our customers as our authorized dealers throughout the rest of the world. They have to be a professional of the watch industry and, of course, run a store which is in line with our own standards.
Once we have met this partner, we work with them to develop the brand in this market.
LA: Where is TAG Heuer available in Africa? And how?
JCB: TAG Heuer is available in our authorized dealer network in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Congo, and also in the northern sector of the continent in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
LA: Are there TAG Heuer mono-brand stores in Africa?
JCB: We have three TAG Heuer stores in South Africa: in Sandton, Durban and Cape Town – and opened a fourth boutique in Nigeria in Abuja Jabi Lake Mall in November 2016.
LA: Do you want to enlarge this business and, if yes, how?
JCB: We have to – Africa has huge potential. We already have numerous African clients – both in Africa and outside of Africa. That’s why we are investing in these markets to bring the best retail experience and to develop an awareness of TAG Heuer.