Aside from being one of TAG Heuer’s iconic watches, the Formula 1 is particularly special for the brand as it was the watch they first released after TAG (Techniques d’Avant Garde) was able to acquire Heuer back in 1986. (To know more about TAG Heuer and its history, you may also visit this link.) Although the brand specializes in mechanical watches, TAG Heuer took the risk of launching its first-ever analog quartz series which is Formula 1. It may still be quite costly for some but it is significantly cheaper compared to the brand’s other watch collections.
The first models of TAG Heuer F1 were designed by Eddy Burgener. The watch case was then built with stainless steel and fiberglass, and it was brightly-colored. The strap, on the other hand, is made of durable plastic that you may cut based on your preferred size. Another notable detail of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 is the Mercedes-style hands.
The first chronograph versions were then launched in 1989. They have three subdials positioned at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Then, they forego the Mercedes-style hands. This chronograph collection is then powered by a more complex Ronda mechanical-quartz movement.
Over the years, TAG Heuer has stopped the production and then re-introduced newer versions of the TAG Heuer Formula 1. Yet in every generation of Formula 1, you would see how the brand stylishly infused its motor-racing inspiration. The latest models, however, are notably more sleek and modern and looking more luxurious than ever. Even its build was improved to survive even in the toughest situations. In terms of movement, it is no longer focused on quartz but you are given the option to choose between quartz or automatic models.
Compared to other TAG Heuer collections, the new Formula 1 is significantly cheaper – with models ranging from a thousand to two thousand dollars apiece. But, if you still can’t afford to spend that much, here are the cheaper alternatives for you.
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Best Affordable Tag Heuer Formula 1 Alternatives
Invicta Python Sport Chronograph
Starting off the list with the cheapest one we found is the Invicta Python Sport Chronograph. It was mentioned in this particular discussion. If you’re looking for a timepiece that’s similar to the first-generation of TAG Heuer Formula, this one’s for you. However, it doesn’t have the Mercedes-style hands and bright colors that you will see in first-generation Formula 1 models.
The Invicta Python Sport Chronograph comes with a stainless steel case, bezel, and bracelet. Both the case and bracelet are two-toned. Moreover, the bezel may be rotated uni-directional, has large five-minute markers on the exterior and tachymeter information on the interior. On the dial are three chronograph subdials, and a date feature. It uses a Swiss-quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
You may see other models of this collection on eBay.
Seiko SSB353 Chronograph
Starting off the list with the cheapest one we found is the Seiko SSB353 Chronograph. It is most similar to the 2015 version of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16. It has a tachymeter on its stationary stainless steel bezel. The case is also made of stainless steel while the band is made of durable silicone. There are also three chronograph subdials and a date function between 4 and 5 o’clock. The multi-layered black dial also has Lumibrite hands and hour markers, making the watch look modern and sporty. It uses a Japanese quartz movement and is water-resistant to 100 meters.
Citizen Eco-Drive Primo Chronograph CA0467-11H
This Citizen Eco-Drive Primo Chronograph CA0467-11H also has the motor-racing inspired aesthetics, making it a good alternative to Formula 1. It’s mainly a black timepiece with orange accents from the pushbuttons, to the dial, and even to the strap. The 44mm case is made of stainless steel as well as the unidirectional bezel. It has the five-minute markers on the bezel and a tachymeter at the outer ring of the dial. It also includes three chronograph subdials and a date feature at 3 o’clock. The dial window is made of mineral crystal and the strap is made of synthetic leather that’s been coated with polyurethane. It uses a Japanese quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
The Edox Chronorally-S is not just designed with motorsports in mind. In fact, it was created together with the Sauber F1 Team to make sure that the timepiece is also tough enough to survive the harsh conditions of the sport.
As such, this Swiss-made timepiece is primarily made of stainless steel for the case and strap while the bezel is made of metal. The black unidirectional bezel has silver minute-markers. On the silver dial are silver Arabic numeral hour markers and luminous silver hands. There are also three chronograph subdials and a date window at 4 o’clock. Protecting these elements is a sapphire crystal dial window. The timepiece uses a quartz movement and it is water-resistant to 10 meters only.
Tissot T-Race Thomas Luthi 2015
The Tissot T-Race Thomas Luthi 2015 is another timepiece that’s similar to the first generation TAG Heuer Formula 1. And yes, it is also brightly-colored! The black bezel is brake-disc inspired and has minute markers while the case is made of stainless steel. The durable rubber strap is mainly black with yellow accents. Even the dial also has yellow accents. There are also three chronograph subdials and a date function at 3 o’clock. For the dial window, it used a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The Tissot T-Race Thomas Luthi 2015 is also Swiss-made, uses a quartz movement, and is water-resistant to 100 meters.
Invicta 7198 Signature
Another Invicta timepiece recommended in this forum is the Invicta 7198 Signature. This one’s very sporty with its polished black look and large Arabic numeral markers. The case, bezel and bracelet are all made of black ion-plated stainless steel. The bezel is also rotating unidirectionally and has minute markers. On the black dial are chronograph functions: 60-second, 60-minute, and 24-hour. It also has a date function between 4 and 5 o’clock. The hands are luminous and the hour markers are in silver. Covering these is a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window. This timepiece is driven by a high-quality Japanese quartz movement, and it is water-resistant to 100 meters.
Tissot PRS 516 Quartz Chronograph
The Tissot PRS 516 Quartz Chronograph is a great alternative if you can’t afford the newer versions of the Formula 1. It is also motor-racing inspired – with tachymeter markings on its black bezel, three chronograph subdials, and a date function at 4 o’clock position. It is made of black PVD stainless steel for the case, ceramic for the stationary bezel, and durable black rubber for the strap. The dial is black carbon, with silver-toned hour markers and luminous hands. There are also minute markers around the outer rim of the dial. This Swiss-made sports watch is water-resistant to 100 meters.