TAG Heuer has been around since 1860. A long stretch of time, no doubt, and certainly one long enough to make a few rivals. While the watch market may be big enough to accommodate more than just the one luxury Swiss watch maker, a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone. And if it helps keep brands on their toes, then so much the better. But when it comes to naming names, which other brands pose the biggest threat to TAG Heuer’s market share? Which premium watch makers are making the big-wigs at HQ break out in a cold sweat? Find out for yourself as we take a look at the top five Tag Heuer competitors today.
Ah, Rolex… the watch maker that every other watch maker aspires too; the maker of watches that everyone wants, but only the few can afford. Like TAG Heuer, Rolex has a long history. Like TAG Heuer, it’s based in Switzerland. Unlike TAG Heuer, it doesn’t market itself as an ‘affordable’ luxury brand. Luxury, yes, but ‘affordable’? Heck, no. The point of a Rolex is that it’s expensive. Sure, it’ll look super stylish hanging off your wrist, but that’s not the end goal. The aim of the game is to show the world you’ve got the means, the way, and the wherewithal to afford a Rolex. Not everyone can say it, but that doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t secretly wish they could. But how exactly can Rolex get away with charging such stiff prices? And what makes it such equally stiff competition for TAG Heuer? First of all, there’s the history. Rolex has been around for basically ever, and in that time, its produced same game-changing watches, including the first waterproof watch, the first automatic dating watch, and the first diver watch. Secondly, its got an army of celebrity brand ambassadors behind it…. and nothing adds a few extra noughts to a price tag quicker than a celebrity endorsement. Thirdly, it’s quite literally everywhere. With a presence in over 100 countries, there’s few places in the world you can go where you won’t see a Rolex boutique. And lastly (and as noted by robbreport.com Rolex is the first, and quite often only watch brand people think of when it comes to high-end timepieces. When your name become synonymous with luxury watches, you know you’re in business.
Next up, Breguet. Breguet has been around even longer than TAG Heuer (since 1775, in fact) and in that time, its developed a reputation as one of the finest watch makers in the world. While TAG Heuer is a dab hand at making the most of other people’s technological innovations, Breguet is the kind of company that makes those innovations happen. Over the years, its pioneered numerous watch-making technologies that have since becoming standard across the industry: in the past 20 years alone, its registered 20 new patents. But while it sits on the cutting edge of technical advancements, it’s not a company to lose touch with its past. Each piece it produces comes with a history and a heritage. As a result, its become hugely popular with the kind of people that would sooner not wear anything mass produced or ‘off the shelf’. It might not have the ‘common touch’ of TAG Heuer, but considering its customers are more than happy to spend upwards of $20,000 on even its most basic piece, we doubt it cares.
With a marketing statement that reads ‘the art of being unique’, Cartier is clearly no garden variety watch maker. Its USP is built around luxurious, exquisitely crafted watches that are so ornate they could easily be confused with jewelry (which, wouldn’t you know, it also makes as well). Like TAG Heuer, Cartier has a strong global presence, covering over 120 countries worldwide. Again like TAG Heuer, its reputation has taken a bit of a hit thanks to the proliferation of shoddy imitations on the market. Where it differs is in the price department. While TAG Heuer pieces are relatively affordable for a premium brand, Cartier’s are most definitely not. If you want a Cartier to dangle from your wrist, you’d better have a big budget – with high end watches, comes high end prices, and when you’re a brand that’s as closely associated with royalty as Cartier is, there’s no limit to how much you can charge.
As watchranker.com notes, of all its competitors, Omega is the one that TAG Heuer gets compared to most often. And no wonder. Both are Swiss, both make luxurious watches, and both are considered the affordable alternative to the Rolex’s and Patek Philippe’s of the world. They also share a remarkably similar history: After starting within just a few years of each other, their timelines coincided at various points as they both forged alliances in the sporting community, moved from pocket watches to wrist watches, developed a fascination with celebrity ambassadors, and expanded their presence beyond Europe and into the global marketplace. They even both went into space at around about the same time. But for all their similarities, there’s enough difference to keep things interesting. Whereas TAG Heuer has built its reputation on sporty numbers, Omega has a broader appeal. While TAG Heuer tends to rely on the technology of other watch makers, Omega likes to set its own standards. As to which is better…. we’ll leave you to be the judge.
As prestigetime.com notes, Longiness and TAG Heuer are two very comparable brands for several reasons. For a start, both have a long and lasting association with the sporting world. Longiness was the first brand to introduce a watch with a timing mechanism triggered by electric signal – a key point in the brand’s history, and a very noteworthy one for the racing community. TAG Heuer, meanwhile, created the first dashboard chronograph and the first dashboard timer used for automobiles and aviation. They’ve also both keen on using sportspeople and athletes to promote their pieces, while the collections of both brands veer more towards the sporty than the dressy. Although Longiness has yet to establish itself as a global leader in the way that TAG Heuer has, in Europe at least, its one of its fiercest competitors.