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Longines vs Tag Heuer – Watch Brand Overview & Comparison

tag and longines watches side by side

Tag Heuer and Longines have several similarities with each other that are quite interesting when noticed. For starters, these two brands are among the elite Swiss luxury watch companies in the market today. Whenever a discussion goes into Swiss luxury watches, you can bet that these two will be referenced.

In this overview and comparison article, we will be taking a closer look at both Longines and Tag Heuer. These two Swiss brands exist within the same watch category, so it is only natural for us to compare the two. By the last sentence of this article, we will be able to answer the question of who produced the better watch – Longines or Tag Heuer?

History of Longines

best longines men's watches

Founded by Auguste Agassiz in 1832, Longines is one of the long-standing Swiss watchmakers that are still going strong to this day. Longines first started making waves in the industry once they began making in-house watch movements of their own.

In particular, the crown-wound mechanism, which was a first in the market. The fact that it was the first of its kind and provided excellent performance helped elevate Longines as one of the premier watchmakers in the world.

Longines was the first to tap into the chronograph market when they released the Longines 20H in 1878, which helped propel the company from the current business plateau that they found themselves. Longines expanded on their newfound market as well as shifted their focus on manufacturing highly accurate timepieces.

This focus on crafting high precision watches helped land them a contract with sporting events in 1886. Their reputation has earned them a spot as one of the first official watch brands to be used in major New York sporting events.

In 1931, Longines unveiled its first model in their aviation watches, Longines Weems. By 1983, Longines merged with other Swiss watchmakers to form the Swatch Group, which was officially christened in 1988.

Longines maintained their ability to be an independent watchmaker company with their R&D departments. To this day, Longines is known for producing high-quality luxury timepieces that excel in both performance and presentation.

History of Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer logo

Founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer, Heuer Watch Company quickly rose to prominence with their timepieces that delivered fine craftsmanship as well as accuracy in timekeeping. Heuer was quite well-known within sports circles during this time. Their watches were often used during the Olympics in the 1920s.

Heuer further cemented their reputation with sporting events when they released the Heuer Autavia, the first dashboard stopwatch designed for race cars. The brand’s focus on delivering exact watches was the backbone of their company.

By 1985, Heuer was officially purchased by the TAG Group Holdings. From then on, the two companies combined their monikers, and so Tag Heuer was formally born. In 1999, Tag Heuer was also purchased by LVMH and had since become its subsidiary.

One of Tag Heuer’s milestones came in 1916 when they released the original Mikrograph. This mechanical movement timepiece was designed to measure 1/100th of a second. The watch was able to deliver a movement rate of 360,000 VPH, which is 10x faster than the standard chronograph movement of 36,000 VPH. Because of this impressive feat with accuracy, the Heuer Mikrograph was used as the official timekeeper of the 1920 Olympics.

Heuer also earns the distinction of being the first timepiece worn in outer space. The Mercury Friendship 7 mission by NASA aimed to deliver the first man to reach outer space. Astronaut John Glenn wore Heuer 2915A during this momentous occasion as he orbited the Earth three times. 

Tag Heuer has maintained its status as one of the top watch brands in the market today.

Longines vs Tag Heuer – Watch Comparisons

Both Swiss watchmakers are highly regarded in the watch market. You can say that Longines has higher brand recognition as it is a more established brand in comparison. However, we are here to find out which one delivers better overall quality timepieces. We will be taking two best-sellers from each brand to figure out who has the definite edge.

Sports Watch

Sports watches are designed to provide the highest level of precision timekeeping in the market. In this watch category, both Longines and Tag Heuer are highly regarded. Both brands are official timekeepers in most major sporting events, so their quality is tried and tested. But which one holds all the cards in this category?

Longines Sports Legend Black Dial L3.674.4.50.0

Longines Men's L3.674.4.50.0 Sports Legends Black Dial Watch
Longines Men’s Sports Legends. (Image: Amazon)

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A premium sports watch with a premium price; the Sports Legend is a minimalist timepiece that delivers terrific precision. With its stainless steel 42mm case and two crowns for adjusting time and date as well as a diving bezel, the Sports Legend provides not only reliability but also the functionality.

The case of this timepiece also incorporates a super compressor design. The seal construction of the Sports Legend provides impeccable water resistance thanks in part to the screw-down back case. With this design in place, this wristwatch delivers up to 300m of water resistance.

The dial hands and markers also use Super-LumiNova finish, giving it excellent legibility in low-light environments. The minimalist design of this timepiece also circumvents any “cluttered” look that some modern watches have. This is a back-to-basics timepiece that delivers excellent accuracy in timekeeping with a surprisingly top-notch water resistance rating as well.

Tag Heuer WAZ1110.FT8023 Formula 1

TAG Heuer Men's WAZ1110.FT8023 Formula 1 Stainless Steel Watch with Black Band
TAG Heuer Men’s Formula 1. (Image: Amazon)

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You can already figure out the main appeal and design of this timepiece just from its name. The WAZ1110.FT8023 or Tag Heuer Formula 1 is designed as a nod to Tag Heuer’s history with the automobile racing industry.

Sporty, sleek, and with a black and silver aesthetic, the Formula 1 certainly earns its stripes with its exceptionally fresh design. With its slightly smaller 41mm stainless steel case features Swiss quartz movement with analog display.

The dial utilizes synthetic sapphire crystal, which is both durable and scratch-resistant. It also features a unidirectional bezel with luminous markers and hands for enhanced visibility in low-light environments. Also, it delivers water resistance for up to 200m. Overall, this is a solid sports watch that can also be used with most water-based activities except for scuba diving.

Best Sports Watch – The minimalist aesthetic of the Longines Sports Legend might not appeal to specific customers. If you are looking for a more traditional looking sports timepiece with excellent precision and a more affordable price tag, Heuer is a more practical choice at about half the price of the Longines.

Chronograph Watch

Chronograph watches are built for functionality, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. Both Longines and Tag Heuer are known for producing elegant and luxury timepieces, how does their chronograph watches fare in this regard?

Longines Heritage Avigation L2.779.4.53.2

Longines Heritage Avigation Mens Watch L2.779.4.53.2
Longines Heritage Aviation Men’s Watch. (Image: Amazon)

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The Longines Heritage Avigation is undoubtedly an eye-catcher with its slant dial design. It is also described as a pocket watch, a comment that criminally undervalues what this timepiece delivers.

The watch case is made from stainless steel and measures in at 49mm, which makes it slightly above average when it comes to size. The quality of the case is on-point, and it is also using an anti-corrosive finish for improved longevity.

The matte black dial offers excellent balance to the shiny stainless-steel case. Inside the Heritage Avigation is their Swiss automatic movement with analog display. The dial has painted Arabic numerals and two sub-dials. As stated earlier, the dial display is slightly slanted, which might take some getting used to for some.

Additional features include a date display, which is located over at the 6 o’clock position. One of the Heritage Avigation’s main selling points is with its impressive 54-hours power reserve. If you are looking for a wristwatch that will help you stand out from the crowd, this might be a good Longines watch to check out.

Tag Heuer CAZ2011.FT8024 Formula One Chronograph

TAG Heuer Men's CAZ2011.FT8024 Stainless Steel Watch with Black Rubber Band
TAG HEUER FORMULA 1 CALIBRE 16 (Image: Amazon)

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With such a costly price tag, most might look past the Tag Heuer Formula One chronograph. However, if you are a watch enthusiast or collector, there is something here that will make the price well worth it. This watch has a black stainless-steel case measuring in at 44mm and uses sturdy and comfortable rubber straps.

Inside this impressive timepiece is a Swiss automatic movement with analog display. It features the standard three sub-dials and a tachymeter bezel.

There is also a date display over on the 3 o’clock position, and a synthetic sapphire glass window protects the dial. Sapphire glass is quite durable and even has impressive scratch-resistant qualities.

Also, this chronograph watch has a 200m water resistance rating. If you are looking for an extremely reliable, functional, and no-nonsense timepiece – the Tag Heuer Formula One fits the bill to the letter.

Best Chronograph Watch – Both the Longines Heritage Avigation and Tag Heuer Formula One looks striking with the reliability in performance to boot. Whichever you choose will be a good one, you can bet on that. We’ll call this a draw.

Conclusion: Longines vs. Tag Heuer – Which is the Better Watch?

With the rich history between both brands, choosing which one has the superb timepiece can be quite daunting. Both brands are well known for quality timepieces.

Overall, Longines manages to maintain its lead based on its brand recognition. It is undoubtedly the more well-received between the two at the moment. But Tag Heuer has undoubtedly proved its quality over time as well.