Tag Heuer New Caliber 1887 Watch Movement SNAFU
This was certainly a sticky situation for Tag Heuer, the details are a bit murky, but the situation is clear. Tag Heuer recently announced their "new, in-house made and designed" Caliber 1887 automatic chronograph movement. All seems well with the movement itself, but the problem is that Tag Heuer didn't design it. Nope, they sort of cosmetically altered an over 10 year old Japanese Seiko movement design (Seiko 6S37). So after 150 years, Tag Heuer's anniversary surprise was on loan from Japan. I do understand that this was arranged with Seiko, and that Tag Heuer will actually be building the movements in limited quantities themselves. At least Seiko isn't doing everything.
Tag Heuer got caught red handed by the watch lover community who noticed the similarities between the two movements. This qualifies us as true nerds, seeing details such as this. Tag Heuer would have gotten away with it to, if it wasn't for us meddling bloggers! That's right, thank the internet watch lover community, who is responsible for this situation being discovered. A powerful indication to the watch industry of what the internet can do for them, or against them. In good taste, as a response to the situation, Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Christophe Babin himself went online to respond to the "accusations." He honorably admitted a "mistake" by Tag Heuer and that the movement was in fact "adopted" from Seiko.
The clear winner in this whole situation is first and foremost the power of the Internet watch lover community, second Seiko, and third Tag Heuer for responding to a sticky situation quickly and admirably. Seiko movements are pretty outstanding, and it is funny that here even the Europeans are rather tacitly suggesting that. Plus, Tag Heuer is a rather mainstream watch brand. Meaning that most people who buy their watches will never even know about this situation. Tag Heuer admitted wrong doing, hopefully a few heads will be caved in there in the marketing department, and they will go on their lives being good watch designers, not movement designers. Lastly, there are several watch forums and blogs that knew about this situation but refused to mention it even though they discussed the new Tag Heuer Caliber 1887movement. They lose the most in this situation for the destruction of valuable street cred among Internet watch lovers who simply expect more.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.