Tag Heuer and Hamilton are two well-known watch brands that have managed to make a name for themselves globally. Both offer beautifully crafted timepieces that are sure to turn heads no matter where you go. In terms of reputation, Tag Heuer takes the clear lead, but what about in overall performance, design, and value for money? How does Hamilton stack up against a well-respected brand like Tag Heuer, especially considering the lower price point? Choosing the best between any two brands is always very subjective, but this time, let’s base our decision on key timepiece elements to land on a definitive answer, once and for all. Who is better – Tag Heuer or Hamilton? Let’s find out.
- 1 Tag Heuer Brand Overview
- 2 Hamilton Brand Overview
- 3 Tag Heuer and Hamilton Watch Comparisons
- 4 Conclusion: Tag Heuer vs Hamilton – Which is Better?
Tag Heuer Brand Overview
Tag Heuer has been around since 1860, but it was then known merely as Heuer. Named after its founder, Edouard Heuer, the Heuer Watch Company managed to build up their reputation and gain a considerable following thanks to their impressive-looking timepieces with accuracy that easily ranks up there as one of the best in the industry. The level of precision that Heuer watches were able to deliver back then helped the company land a partnership deal as the official timekeeper of the 1920s Olympics.
By 1916, Heuer Watch Company unveiled the Mikrograph which provided next-level (during its time) accuracy in timekeeping with its 1/100th of a second measuring. The Mikrograph also set a milestone in the industry with its 360,000 VPH, which was about ten times faster than the industry standard chronometer movement at the time.
The release of the Heuer Autavia further cemented the company’s reputation within the sports industry. This particular timepiece was the first of its kind as it is specifically designed to be installed onto a car’s dashboard. Adding Heuer watches impeccable precision in timekeeping, it is easy to see why the brand became such a hit within the sports industry, precisely, racing circuits. Heuer Watch Company continued to grow during the next couple of decades. However, a significant change in the company’s future will happen in the 80s.
In 1985, the Heuer Watch Company was purchased by the TAG Group Holdings. It was during this time that Tag Heuer was officially born. A little over a decade later, in 1999, Tag Heuer then purchased the upstart company, LVMH, which further enhanced the level of quality of Tag Heuer watches considerably.
Another notable achievement by the watch brand came during the Mercury Friendship 7 NASA mission wherein astronaut, John Glenn, wore a Heuer timepiece during his orbit around the Earth. That undoubtedly helped boost Heuer’s reputation even further. To this day, Tag Heuer is one of the most respected watch brands in the market with a reputation for delivering high-end timepieces that provides top-notch performance and design to the masses.
Hamilton Brand Overview
Hamilton is a classic all-American watch brand that has been in the industry since 1892. Founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Hamilton Watch Company initially worked in tandem with the U.S. train and railroads. As for the first timepiece that Hamilton manufactured, it was the Hamilton 18-size 17-jewel pocket watch which they debuted just a year after the company was founded.
Hamilton revolutionized the industry when they released the first electrical watch, the Ventura, in 1957. Being the first electrical battery-operated timepiece, it made sense to choose a somewhat futuristic aesthetic for the Ventura. The shield-shaped design of this watch gave a retro-futuristic charm that still holds up to this day. Its visually stunning design made it an instant classic in the market, so much so that even the King of Rock n’ Roll was a huge fan of the Hamilton Ventura.
The Ventura is such an enduring watch line from Hamilton that in 2017, the company celebrated the 60th anniversary of the legendary timepiece. Top-tier watch movement accuracy and stunning and innovative design best describe Hamilton watches. While it may be a midrange timepiece, it is folly to think it won’t be able to give high-end luxury brands a run for their money from time to time.
Tag Heuer and Hamilton Watch Comparisons
Tag Heuer Carrera Review
A sleek and highly refined timepiece awaits those who will get their hands on the Tag Heuer Carrera. Tag Heuer has always been associated with the sports industry; hence, their sporty watch designs. That is not to say that they can’t pull off the elegant luxury timepiece aesthetic. The Tag Heuer Carrera is an excellent addition to any watch enthusiast’s collection.
The sophistication and minimalist design of the Carrera makes it a perfect companion for the proper gentleman. The Swiss-made timepiece features a polished stainless-steel case and a pristine white dial. The hands and index hour markers utilize white with silver indices to give it some character as well as enhance the overall charm.
While the overall form of the Carrera gives the notion of it being somewhat fragile, the truth can’t be further from that. The Carrera is as robust as they come with a toughness that far surpasses initial impression. It also comes with substantial 100-meter water resistance.
The Tag Heuer Carrera also utilizes a Swiss-automatic movement with an analog display which gives it top-notch precision. The watch mechanism also comes with around 38-hours of power reserve to help ensure it is always ticking and accurate at all times. The immaculate, pure white dial is well-protected by a durable, scratch-resistant, and anti-glare coated sapphire crystal window as well.
Hamilton Intra-Matic Silver Dial Review
A minimalist dress watch that manages to exude a sense of luxury is a tough balance to strike, but Hamilton does so impressively with the Intra-Matic Silver Dial. The brushed silver dial and polished stainless-steel case blended perfectly well with the genuine black leather. This aesthetic choice gave the Intra-Matic a high-end appeal while being able to mesh nicely with a wide variety of attire choices.
Inside the sleek frame of the Intra-Matic is a Swiss-automatic movement that powers the analog display. The mechanism also packs 42-hours of power reserve. The brushed silver dial features thin long hour index markers and hands which further highlights its minimalist aesthetic. There is also a date display located at the 6 o’clock position. The Intra-Matic shows how far you can push a simple design with the right material and color combination.
Tag Heuer Monaco Caliber 11 Review
Now, let us go on to the meat of this match – the sports watch comparison. Even if you are slightly familiar with Tag Heuer, you know that they are well-connected with the sports industry. If you have seen significant racing circuits, chances are you have also seen Tag Heuer as they are one of the premier partners of that particular sports industry.
The Tag Heuer is also a classic pop-culture staple as it was worn by the legendary Steve McQueen on his classic 1971 film, “Le Mans”. In fact, it was McQueen himself that handpicked the Tag Heuer Monaco as the timepiece that his character, Michael Delaney, wears throughout the film – as huge an advertisement as any brand can get during the time.
But enough of the history lesson, how impressive is the Monaco caliber 11? Well, as the name states, this timepiece incorporates the caliber 11 watch movement with its primary and sub-dial display. The two sub-dials are designed to track minutes (30) and seconds (60) with absolute precision. There is also a date display at the bottom 6 o’clock position.
The stainless-steel case measures in at a sleek 39mm making this suitable for both men and women. Also, since it can provide around 100-meters water resistance, the Tag Heuer Monaco is suitable for water activities such as swimming.
Hamilton Ventura Elvis 80 Review
A legendary timepiece, probably even higher at the totem pole than the Tag Heuer Monaco, the Hamilton Ventura Elvis 80 is one of the most visually stunning watches in the market. The shield-shaped case, that measures in at a compact 42.5mm, is one of the most unique looking timepieces ever to come out. Its distinctive design was all thanks to the one and only King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, who chose the design for the Hamilton Ventura.
The retro-futuristic design of the Ventura is an eye-catcher no matter where you go. Another notable aspect of this timepiece is its considerably lower price tag. For a classic watch with a rich history behind it, the Ventura Elvis 80 is quite affordable.
As we have stated earlier, the Ventura Elvis 80 features a shield-type case. The black dial takes a simple approach with its design with a combination of silver hour marker indexes and white hands with silver accents. There is also a date display feature with the dial being well-protected inside a sapphire crystal window.
The Hamilton Ventura Elvis 80’s design alone is worth the price of admission. If you are an avid collector of timepieces, you owe it upon yourself to get your hands on one of these bad boys.
Conclusion: Tag Heuer vs Hamilton – Which is Better?
An interesting matchup, to say the least. Many people wouldn’t even compare the two brands but it makes for an interesting discussion. For avid watch collectors, Tag Heuer is a more reputable brand as it stands up there alongside other prominent names in the luxury watch category such as Breitling and Omega while Hamiton’s eye-catching designs, like the Ventura make is a unique choice.