• The 80's: A Legendary Caliber, the Lemania Carrera Chronograph

    Heuer Carrera 5100 Lemania Chronograph: Piaget and the motion maker Nouvelle Lémania obtained Heuer at 1983. The Carrera was equipped with the brand new co-owner's automatic Caliber Lémania 5100. Two distinguishing features are the orange, easily legible, centrally axial, aircraft-shaped minute-hand and the 24-hour screen at "12 o'clock."

    A Legendary Caliber: the Lemania Carrera Chronograph
    The Heuer Carrera at the 1980s
    The Eighties were a decisive decade for the near future of Heuer: the TAG corporate team promised the future of the prestigious brand. Heuer became TAG Heuer and the Carrera chronograph was reborn with a new movement.

    The Quartz Crisis strongly affected the watchmaking industry in late Seventies and early Eighties. Cheap electronic watches from the Far East inundated the world's markets. Jack Heuer had recognized the tendency toward quartz and electronic equipment at an early date and successfully deployed these new technologies in timekeepers for automobile races. One of his most successful creations was the Heuer Chronosplit, a quartz wristwatch with an integrated stopwatch function. A quartz version of this Carrera also came onto the market in 1978. The Carrera-Twin series united conventional hands for the ordinary time daily and LCD indicators for the date and the stopwatch. The quartz-powered Carrera was also offered in a purely three-handed version. The conventional new from Bienne was nonetheless hard pressed to cope with the twin challenges posed by a strong Swiss franc and cheap competition. Jack Heuer was compelled to sell his firm in 1982. The man who had devised icons such as the Heuer Carrera and the Heuer Monaco, who'd co-invented the automatic chronograph and whose innovative marketing in motorsport had transformed Heuer to the global brand we know now lost the company that he had inherited from his forebears. Eighty percent of the shares were shot by the Piaget Family and the next ten percent went into the Swiss movement maker Nouvelle Lémania, which consequently became the second-largest shareholder.

    The 80's: A Legendary Caliber, the Lemania Carrera Chronograph

    The Carrera Chronograph was revived again between 1983 and 1985, however, the brand's own Caliber 11 and its successors were no longer available. The Carrera was armed with the Lemania 5100, a movement made by the tag's new co-owner. The Lemania Carrera was available with a stainless steel case (either with or without a coating of black PVD) and in a golden version. The minute-hand, that was shaped like an airplane, is a distinctive feature of watches encasing this self-winding movement. Despite several openings (e.g. plastic was used at the Lemania 5100 along with the motion per se was no means an aesthetic masterpiece), this quality is still regarded today as an outstanding automatic chronograph movement. Not only did it operate exactly, it was also lightweight, robust and resistant to centrifugal forces: these virtues made it widely popular amongst military men and aviators around the planet. Good legibility likewise ranked one of the strong points of the Lemania 5100 Carrera. With this in mind, it comes as no real surprise to learn the Lemania Carrera is eagerly sought by modern collectors.

    In 1984, Yves Piaget located in Akram Ojjeh, the president of the Saudi Arabian corporate team TAG (Techniques d'Avant-Garde), a new buyer who had both the passion and the fiscal wherewithal to assure a bright future for its Heuer brand. Among the many commonalties that TAG shared with Jack Heuer were a savvy instinct for its zeitgeist and a devotion to motorsport. TAG functioned as a host of the Williams Formula One racing stable in 1982. Together with Porsche, an engine was developed for McLaren. The team was also active in the luxury business and in state-of-the-art technology. After TAG bought 52 percent of Heuer's shares from Piaget and Lemania at 1985, Heuer became TAG Heuer. The new management changed the version coverage. The new directorship beneath Christian Viros sharpened TAG Heuer's profile as a manufacturer of sporty watches. These brand new timepieces needed a more muscular appearance with wider cases and broader bezels. Wholly new and emphatically sporty models were launched: these included the Formula 1 and the S/el. The abbreviation with the forward slash stands for "Sportiness" and "elegance." The Heuer 2000, that was designed by Eddy Schöpfer, was similarly lasted. And quartz calibers were rediscovered to augment mechanical movements.

    Heuer became TAG Heuer from the mid 1980s. TAG and Heuer fit well together, and not solely because both companies were active in motorsport. The new TAG Heuer emblem was soon an integral part of Formula One: by way of instance, on Ayrton Senna's McLaren using Honda engine and on Senna's overalls (under).

    A brand new zeitgeist in the conclusion of the 1980s proved valuable for TAG Heuer. This was an era when status symbols were gaining favor, too among young men and women. Movies such as "Wall Street" (1987) and "Cocktail" (1988) celebrated the dream of fast money and, above all, what those quick bucks can purchase. The dream-come-true profession in this epoch? Wall Street banker! The Western market economy also triumphed in global politics. There were lots of reasons to enjoy this abundance and to flaunt what you'd -- also on one's wrist.

    By the mid 1990s, TAG Heuer's revenues had increased by a factor of six. The time had come to strengthen the brand's identity once again. A retrospective gaze into the business's history discovered plenty of potential inspirations. The yield of the Carrera has been imminent. Find out more information click Citizen Ambiluna

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