TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT

Angus Davies recently wore the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT and discusses the viability of this watch as a potential purchase for a gift, in particular, for a young man coming of age.

This detailed review of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT includes live images, specification details and pricing.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

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 While it no longer represents the legal significance it once did, it continues to be recognised by many as a “special birthday”.

Traditionally, many parents choose to give their son or daughter a watch, or item of jewellery, 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 which I think may well prove a suitable timepiece for a young man coming of age.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 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 £1575.00 (RRP as at 25.1.2015).

The dial

Faceted hour and minute hands, lined with white luminescent fill, provide good legibility against the black opaline dial surface. Other colours may be more adventurous, but black and white shades continue to offer the best contrast and should avoid the indignity of ageing.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

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 colour without overburdening the proceedings. The central sweep seconds 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 one 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 case

The stainless steel case of the Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT measures 41mm making it an ideal size for the majority of potential wearers. The surface treatment blends polished and fine-brushed finishes.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

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 aluminium ring graces the fixed steel bezel, repeating the colour 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 Calibre 16 Automatic Chronograph 44mm.

The caseback is solid, lacking a much coveted sapphire crystal, beloved by many. This is one of a handful of small omissions which has allowed TAG Heuer to deliver the aforementioned price point.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

A second area where there is a discernible difference between this watch and costlier Carrera models is the bracelet. In isolation, it is comfortable to wear, solidly constructed, with a folding clasp and delivered in an attractive 3-row design. However, the bracelet fitted to the costlier Carrera Calibre 7 Twin Time Automatic does feel more luxurious, especially with its clasp that incorporates security push-pieces.

The movement

The self-winding movement features are shared with the previously mentioned Carrera Calibre 7 Twin Time Automatic, albeit in this instance it is hidden from view. A full account of its specification is available by reading the detailed review of the Calibre 7 Twin Time.

Closing remarks

While I adore haute horlogerie timepieces with five, six and even seven figure pricing, I appreciate that for many readers these watches prove beyond their financial grasp. Moreover, they don’t lend themselves to being given as gifts owing to their cost.

In this instance though, TAG Heuer has produced a quality “Swiss Made” watch which delivers many attributes at a competitive price point. The GMT function will prove useful when exploring overseas and the stainless steel construction offers a practical, robust quality. The dial is simple to read and the watch feels comfortable to wear.

There is a difference between the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT and some of the brand’s more expensive models, however, wearers have not been short-changed. The design language is not too extreme, hence it should not suffer the humiliation of appearing passé in years to come.

With the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT, the Swiss watch brand has produced a worthy watch which, no doubt, would delight any young man coming of age. However, this is not a watch which is restricted to those potential readers of youthful years and would equally suit readers who are looking to celebrate a 40th birthday or even retirement with its stylish lines and other numerous attributes.

Sadly, for me, I have attained an age where there are no horological gifts pending. Oh to be 21 again!

Technical Specification

  • Model: TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 7 GMT
  • Ref: WAZ211A.BA0875
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 41.00 mm; water resistant to 20 bar (200 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; sweep seconds; GMT; date.
  • Movement: Calibre 7 movement, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); power reserve 42 – 46 hours
  • Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet with steel folding clasp.
  • Price: £1575.00 (RRP as at 25.1.2015)

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