iW Fall 2020 - Page 20

either model .

So how do you come to terms with these issues ?
For years , I have listened to the debates about what is and is not properly identified as an Autavia , a Carrera or a Formula 1 . Some traditionalists say that an Autavia has to be a chronograph , rather than a three-handed watch , or that a Carrera cannot have an outer bezel , because these were the rules when the models were launched in the 1960s .
I have pretty well gotten over these hard-and-fast rules . If Jack Heuer had felt constrained by such rules in the 1960s , the Autavia would have never made it from a dashboard timer to a chronograph and we might never have seen Heuer ’ s automatic chronographs . Right now , I am more impressed with a brand making great-looking , high-quality watches and less concerned about the model name on the dial .
Perhaps there is no requirement for watch models to be binary , so that the brands can incorporate elements of one model into another one . We saw this recently when TAG Heuer incorporated the colors and style of the 1970s Montreal chronograph into a 1960s-based Carrera , and people liked the result .
As a physical object , what are your favorite elements of the Fragment Formula 1 chronograph ?
I am a big fan of minimalist design , in general , and like the matte black and charcoal gray tones . This is a great look in cars and Fujiwara has followed a similar approach with the new Formula 1 , using a matte black dial . The hands and bezel are taken directly from the 1970s Autavias , but Fujiwara has deleted the elements that made those watches busier -- the contrasting white registers , the concentric ridges in the registers and the frame around the date window .
This is like deleting the chrome on a blacked-out car , and it makes the expanses of black more dramatic . The red and white accents on the dial are the final touches that give the watch its pop .
For several years , the Formula 1 chronographs have been housed in a case with geometry that is very close to the c-shape cases of the 1970s Autavias , so this Autavia color scheme from the 1970s looks right in the Formula 1 case .
And what are the intangibles that you enjoy with the new Fragment Design Formula 1 chronograph ?
The Autavias of the 1960s and 1970s were the chronographs worn by the top drivers in motorsports . We see them on the wrists of Mario Andretti , Jo Siffert , Graham Hill , Derek Bell and many other racers . Beyond the top professionals , Autavias were popular among the amateurs and club racers , particularly with the Viceroy promotion , which offered a $ 200 Autavia for $ 88 with proof of purchase of ten packs of Viceroy cigarettes .
The tachymeter bezel is the symbol of a racing watch , whether on the Autavia , or the Rolex Daytona or the Omega Speedmaster . TAG Heuer is positioning the Formula 1 collection as the brand ’ s racing watches , and there is no better flagship for that collection than a watch that incorporates the design elements of the Autavia , the ultimate racing watch of the 1960s and 1970s .
People in the watch world may think of the Formula 1 as TAG Heuer ’ s “ entry level ” model . How do you reconcile that with its $ 6,150 price ?
Essentially , this watch , and a couple of other Formula 1 models recently released by TAG Heuer , serve as a clear statement that the TAG Heuer collections will no longer follow a price hierarchy . There is no entry-level collection or high-end collection . Instead , the collections are defined by their aesthetics and purposes .
The Formula 1 is TAG Heuer ’ s racing watch and the Autavia will be positioned as the watch for adventure . To me , this is a much more sensible way to position the collections than just based on their price ranges .
TAG Heuer now offers its in-house Heuer 02 movement in four of its six collections , confirming that no model is relegated to “ entry-level ” status .
How do you compare the new Fragment Formula 1 with the other Autavias that have been re-issued by TAG Heuer ?
With the arrival of this Fragment Design chronograph , there are basically three series of Autavia re-issues .