Angus Davies recently wore the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 7 GMT. In this article from his online magazine, Escapement, he discusses the viability of this timepiece as a potential purchase for a gift, in particular, for a young man coming of age.
Reaching the age of 21 years is a landmark in anyone’s life. It denotes the symbolic transition from adolescence to adulthood. While it no longer represents the legal significance it once did, it continues to be recognized by many as a “special birthday.”
Traditionally, many parents choose to give their sons or daughters a watch, or item of jewelry, to mark the event. However, in recent years, luxury watches have become increasingly expensive, meaning some models are now financially elusive for many people.
A watch given to mark such a milestone needs to have an intrinsic quality that lends itself to a lifetime of being cherished. No doubt, with maturity and professional success, more complicated timepieces may be acquired and a watch collection could be established. However, that “first proper watch” will always retain a profound sentimental value.
TAG Heuer offers a broad selection of timepieces ranging from affordable quartz models to highly complex haute horlogerie offerings with pricing to match. Recently, I had the opportunity to wear a TAG Heuer model that I think may well prove a suitable timepiece for a young man coming of age.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 7 GMT is an automatic timepiece, equipped with a useful additional timezone indication. More pertinently, it won’t break the bank with its modest asking price of £1,575.00 (RRP as of Jan. 1, 2015).
Faceted hour and minute hands, lined with white luminescent fill, provide good legibility against the black opaline dial surface. Other colors may be more adventurous, but black and white shades continue to offer the best contrast and should avoid the indignity of aging.
The hours are marked with Arabic numerals at 6 o’clock and noon and luminescent indexes positioned in between. The hour markers are applied, adding a note of refinement.
A blue GMT hand, adorned with a white, luminescent triangular tip, adds a tasteful flourish of color without overburdening the proceedings. The central sweep seconds hand is also tipped in blue and features a counterweight depicting the TAG Heuer logo.
Encircling the dial is a chapter ring featuring a combination of Arabic numerals and white strokes. The latter are presented in two sizes, indicating 1-second and 1/4-second integers. A small, white, triangular index resides at noon and is outlined in blue.
Completing the inventory of functions is a date display, presented at 3 o’clock.
The stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 7 GMT measures 41 mm in diameter, making it an ideal size for the majority of potential wearers. The surface treatment blends polished and fine-brushed finishes.
The watch does not feel unduly deep. Indeed, unlike some timepieces, which can prove tiresome with extended wear, there is a welcome absence of mass, according a comfortable fit.
A blue-and-black aluminum ring graces the fixed steel bezel, repeating the color scheme employed elsewhere. The blue and black hues denote the daylight and nocturnal hours, respectively. A 24-hour scale, marked in white, collaborates with the GMT hand to indicate the prevailing hour at home.
The “Easy-Grip” screw-in crown delivers welcome functionality, honestly described by TAG Heuer. A black line dissects the curved surface of the crown, adding a note of visual interest. Although a small detail, I have always appreciated this design aspect, and I recall mentioning it previously when reviewing the Formula 1 Caliber 16 Automatic Chronograph 44mm.
The caseback is solid, lacking the much-coveted sapphire crystal that is beloved by many. This is one of a handful of small omissions which has allowed TAG Heuer to deliver the aforementioned price point.