On May 1, 2024, TAG Heuer and Kith announced their collaboration to offer 10 models of a new Formula 1 watch, with the new Formula 1 based on the first generation Formula 1 watches that TAG Heuer produced from 1986 to 1995.

The new Formula 1 watch uses the same mold as the original watches, with the case measuring 35 millimeters across the dial. It has the “Kith Heuer” logo on the dial, with seven versions available only through Kith, two versions available only through TAG Heuer, and one version being sold by both Kith and TAG Heuer. Each model was offered as a limited edition, with production ranging from 250 watches (for five of the Kith-exclusive models) to 1,350 watches (for the watch available through TAG Heuer and Kith).  The watches were released on Monday, May 6, 2024, with all of them being sold out within a short time.

The new TAG Heuer x Kith Formula 1 watch created a sensation in the watch media. While enthusiasts had expected that TAG Heuer would be offering a re-issue of the first generation Formula 1 watches, the collaboration with Kith, the use of the “Kith Heuer” logo on the dial, and the manner in which the watches would be sold came as surprises to the watch community.

In this posting, we focus on publications that provide background information about the first generation TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches and chronographs, as well as a book and postings that cover the release of the new TAG Heuer x Kith Formula 1 watch. We include sections of TAG Heuer catalogs over the period 1986 to 1995 that presented the Formula 1, as well as advertisements for these watches.

Finally, we show Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna wearing a Formula 1 chronograph at the 1991 Japanese Grand Prix, when he clinched the 1991 Driver’s Championship.

The Book — TAG Heuer x Kith 2024

In connection with the introduction of new TAG Heuer x Kith Formula 1 watches, TAG Heuer and Kith released a book authored by Nicholas Biebuyck (Heritage Director at TAG Heuer).

This book covers the history of the original “first generation” TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches, and also provides the story of the collaboration between TAG Heuer and Kith to produce the new watches. We have a page dedicated to the book, which includes some highlights, including the archival catalog showing all the first generation Formula 1 watches and chronographs and the 10 versions of the new Kith Heuer models.

You can use the following link to access a PDF of the entire book.

The Cheat Sheet — TAG Heuer x Kith (2024)

With 10 models that have a variety of case materials, colors, dials, bezels, and bracelets, with the models being produced in different quantities and distributed either through TAG Heuer, Kith or TAG Heuer and Kith, keeping track of the models can be a challenge.

This “cheat sheet” has been helpful in helping me keep track of the watches.

Catalog Pages — First Generation TAG Heuer Formula 1 Watches

Some Terminology. The very first Formula 1 watches used what TAG Heuer called a “twin combination” watch case. The movement is mounted in a solid stainless steel “container”, with this container surrounded by the “extremely tough fiberglass” case.

The six watches shown in the advertisement below use this “twin combination” case.

Soon after the introduction of these first models, TAG Heuer would begin to offer “solid stainless steel” watch cases. These stainless steel models use the same type of container for the movement, however, the case itself is made of stainless steel. Notice in the photo below that these later models use a different movement from the earlier models.

1986 Formula 1 Catalog. TAG Heuer used this catalog to introduce the Formula 1 collection. The catalog explains that the collection will combine the technology incorporated in the brand’s dive watches (200 meter waterproofing, unidirectional bezel and mineral crystal) with TAG Heuer’s success in Formula 1 racing, specifically with the Marlboro McLaren racing team.

The catalog shows 20 different watches, with a range of colors in both men’s and women’s models. This catalog includes both models with “combination” cases and models with stainless steel cases.

1987-88 Catalog. This catalog describes how the new Formula 1 watches may be worn in town, in the country or in the water. Some models have stainless steel cases and phosphorescent dials, making the models ideal for diving. It includes both models with “combination” cases and models with stainless steel cases.

1988 Catalog. This catalog shows 20 different models, with the usual selection of men’s and women’s watches, in a variety of colors.

1990 Catalog. This catalog includes 25 versions of the Formula 1 watch and for the first time the Formula 1 collection includes chronographs. The Formula 1 chronograph features a permananetly running center second hand and three “off-center” dials — one for a 60 second register, one for a 30 minute register, and one for an analog date indicator. The chronographs are stainless steel, with the choice of black dial (and bezel), gray dial (with red bezel) or blue dial (and bezel). For each model, the strap matches the color of the bezel.

1995-96 General Catalog. In this catalog, we see the further development of the Formula 1 watches and the introduction of the second generation Formula 1 chronographs. For the first time, we see Formula 1 watches and chronographs on stainless steel extension bracelets.

Media Coverage of the TAG Heuer x Kith Formula 1 Watch

The introduction of the Kith Heuer Formula 1 watches was a huge story in the watch world, with all the major watch blogs and sites covering the watch. In this section, we will recommend some postings that did a particularly good job in their coverage.

Esquire UKThe Inside Story of the Tag Heuer X Kith F1, the Hottest Watch of the Moment — Johnny Davis’s article on Esquire UK is a masterpiece. Johnny conducted interviews with George Ciz (chief marketing officer at TAG Heuer), Nicholas Biebuyck (heritage director at TAG Heuer), Ronnie Fieg (owner of Kith) and the undersigned, and stitched together an “oral history” of the original Formula 1 watches from the 1980s and the new Kith Heuer watch.

The following images, from the Esquire UK posting, show the headers for the five sections of the article.

Esquire UKEvery Kith x Tag Heuer Formula 1 Watch, Ranked — Joseph Furness ranks all 10 of them, from the “New York” and the PVD-coated steel watch with green accents (numbers 10 and 9) all the way to Tokyo and Hawaii (numbers 2 and 1).

Fratello (Podcast)Fratello On Air: Overreacting To The TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Kith — Michael Stockton and Balazs Ferenczi discuss the the “nearly universal outcry” against the Kith Heuer Formula 1 watches. Are people objecting to the collaboration with Kith, the branding of the watch, the way the watches were distributed or the watch itself? Fratello’s introduction to the watch itself is HERE.

GQTAG Heuer and Kith Are Bringing Back a Beloved ’80s Sport Watch — Cam Wolf is a Heuer enthusiast, and he provides the backstory on the original Formula 1 watches from the 1980s, as well as the origin story of the new Kith Heuer Formula 1 watch.

GQThe 5 Greatest TAG Heuer Formula 1 Watches Ever — Cam Wolf asks Nick Biebuyck to rank his favorites of the first generation Formula 1 watches and chronographs. Here are Biebuyck’s top five, in no particular order.

HodinkeeTalking Watches With Ronnie Fieg, Founder Of Kith — As a teenager, Ronnie Fieg’s first watch was a TAG Heuer Formula 1. In this video, Fieg explains the importance of this watch to him and how he went on to create the Kith brand (and to build an interesting collection of watches).

HodinkeeIntroducing The TAG Heuer Formula 1 | Kith: A ’90s Icon Revived — Danny Milton offers the introduction and over 200 readers offer their comments.

HypebeastTAG Heuer x KITH Bring Back the Iconic Formula 1 Model During the Grand Prix in Miami — TAG Heuer CEO Julien Tornare and Heritage Director Nick Biebuyck give the background of the TAG Heuer x Kith collaboration.


TAG Heuer took an interesting approach in advertising the Formula 1 watch when it was introduced in 1986. Yes, it was a dive watch, that reflected Heuer’s expertise in producing automatic and quartz dive watches over the period since 1978, but the name “Formula 1” and the bright colors also captured the excitement of motorsports. The following advertisement also emphasizes the position of Techniques d’Avant Garde — the new owner of TAG Heuer — as a leader in aviation and advanced technologies for boats. This appears to be an early advertisement, as it indicates that the new Formula 1 watch was available in

Shown below are some magazine advertisements for the first generation Formula 1 watches and chronographs. TAG Heuer used the imagery of both motor sports and water sports (diving, surfing and windsurfing) in marketing the watches.

But Wait, There’s More — Ayrton Senna Wearing Formula 1 Chronograph at the Japanese Grand Prix, October 1991

Over the course of his career, Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna wore (at least) six different models of watches and chronographs made by TAG Heuer. We see Senna wearing a Formula 1 chronograph at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, in October 1991, when he clinched the Driver’s World Championship for the season. Senna wore this chronograph while he raced, with the watch being easily identified during the celebration on the podium.

We see additional photographs showing members of the McLaren team wearing this same Formula 1 chronograph, as shown below.

Jeff Stein
May 15, 2024