There is no doubt that 'tool watches' hold a special place in the hearts of many collectors, ourselves included. In fact, Analog:Shift was founded nearly ten years ago with its eyes set squarely on vintage divers, which then evolved into purpose built tool watches in general.
With their simple designs and robust movements, the tool watches of the 1960s and 1970s were built to accompany the adventurer across the globe and to keep time at its great heights, dark depths, and around a racetrack.
Today, tool watches are stronger than ever with the spirit of an era past living on in the full spectrum of the market - from entry-level micro-brands, all the way up.
In the mid 1980s, Techniques d'Avant Garde acquired Heuer and released the Formula 1 line of watches as their first watch under the new brand, TAG Heuer. The Formula 1 line was made serve as a robust, dependable, and affordable tool watch and featured a wide variety of colors, material usage, and eventually complications and features.
This particular watch, a Reference WAZ1112, features a 41mm steel case with a luminous gloss black dial with matching handset, a steel unidirectional rotating timing bezel, a sapphire crystal, and an excellent stainless steel bracelet with a locking clasp.
If you are looking for a good looking, functional, and affordable option in the tool watch segment, we think that this is an excellent option.
The Heuer Story
In 1962, Jack Heuer inherited the company that his great-grandfather had founded in Saint-Imier nearly a century before.
He had already played a role in the design of some timepieces, starting with the Solunar in the late 1940s. But in 1962, the responsibility of running the company fell on his shoulders, and he found himself faced with the daunting task of safeguarding his ancestor’s legacy while at the same time forging his own. His chosen path? Moving into a line of technical instruments for use in sporting and transportation applications.
The Heuer name was not unknown in motor racing and aviation circles. Starting in 1911, when the sport of automobile racing was still in its infancy, the company produced dashboard clocks for cars, boats, and even airplanes. Jack Heuer, a longtime racing aficionado, saw an opportunity to revitalize—or at the very least reexamine—the company’s already-successful line of chronographs.
He had first tried his hand with the Autavia, which at the time of his succession was a stopwatch with a virtually illegible dial. In its place he launched the line of Autavia wrist chronographs, the first line of chronographs produced by Heuer to be named, not just numbered. The Autavia was purpose-built for racers and pilots, and attracted the attention of Formula 1 racers and devotees such as Jochen Rindt and Steve McQueen.
In designing the Carrera, Heuer created something that was entirely his, and is without question the chronograph that is most associated with the brand today. Heuer's obsession with legibility led to a dial design that was simpler to read than the Omega Speedmaster or the Rolex Daytona (released the same year as the Carrera). What resulted was a chronograph that gave only the most necessary bits of information, with plain baton markers: clean, uncluttered, undeniably attractive.
The brand grew to become a powerhouse in chronographs in particular, and the list of famous designs from the 1960s and 1970s can’t be counted on two hands. Falling on hard times in the wake of the Quartz Crisis, Heuer was ultimately purchased by Technique Avant Garde (TAG) and subsequently Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, who have brought the brand into the modern age.
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