TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 5 Review

Start your engines. We’re about to dissect in detail the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm in this review.

Is the TAG Heuer Formula 1 a good watch? We’ve had done some comparisons of a few different TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches in the past. Today we will just focus on one model. Let’s get started, shall we?

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 5 Review

There are many TAG Heuer F1 watches that have a sporty look and can be worn just about every day. However, there is one model in this series with a design that has captured my eye. The one that we are focusing on today is reference number waz2011.ba0843 and features a bracelet made of stainless steel and dark grey ceramic.

The dark grey sunray dial uses applied luminous index hour markers for all hour markers except the 12 and 6 o’clock positions which use luminous Roman numerals. A white printed seconds and split seconds track circles the perimeter of the dial and a red downward facing triangle with a white interior is printed at the 12 o’clock position.

Polished steel is used for the hour and minutes hand and they are filled with a glow in the dark material. The second hand had a red tip and a TAG Heuer icon as a counterweight on the opposite end. At the 3 o'clock position there is a date window that has a thin rectangular-shaped outline in white. This date function can be set using the winding crown the same way you would use it to set the time of the day.

Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm Review

The new 43mm case has a water resistance of 200m/600/ft and has a solid steel case back with a radial brushed finish and a formula 1 checkered flag pattern engraved on it around the TAG Heuer Branding.

What is the TAG Heuer automatic movement? Just above the 6 o'clock position, located between the central hands and the luminescent number six numeral, there are the words TAG HEUER FORMULA 1 printed in uppercase all in white with the words CALIBRE 5 just beneath it printed in uppercase letters in red. This is the name of the movement.

Some of the other models in the F1 Automatic 43mm collection have a small running seconds sub-dial at the 6 o'clock position. There are currently three models with this sub-dial variation. Reference # waz2014.ba0842 has a blue dial, waz2013.ba0842 has a white dial and model # waz2012.ba0842 has a black dial. These three models are running on the Tag Heuer Calibre 6 movement and not the Calibre 5 like the model we are showcasing here and model waz2011.ba0842 which is very similar to this one here, just without the two-tone bracelet.

Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm Review Case Back

When you first receive your TAG F1 automatic watch, it will most likely be completely unwound. You'll need to wind it up using the crown fully before it will start working. This watch features a screw-down crown that locks in securely to the case to avoid water from entering into the case and damaging the movement.  Therefore, before attempting to wind the watch, make sure to first push down and turn the screw-down crown counterclockwise to unscrew it from the case, then wind it while the crown is in its pushed down position/neutral position. 

How do you wind the Formula 1 automatic? The watch can be wound by turning the crown clockwise about 30-40 times using the winding crown on the side of the case. This should fully tighten the mainspring and allow the watch to function for the duration of the power reserve. As the watch runs the spring will incrementally release tension into the gears which will get the hands moving. The automatic winding rotor should engage the self-winding feature once the watch is on your wrist. As you move around the rotor spins and keeps "topping-up" the tension in the watch's mainspring. 

How do you use a Tag Heuer Formula 1? The same crown that is used for winding the watch is also used for setting the watch so you would have to make sure the crown is no longer in its screwed-down position, then pull out the crown and as you wind it, you will see the hands move. Once the desired time is set, push the crown back in and screw it down again to lock it in place and secure the case.

The crown has a raised Tag Heuer logo mark on it as can be seen in one of the up-close and personal high-resolution photos below. It also has vertical grooves in it to allow you to have a firm grip on it when winding the watch.

This watch provides enough water resistance for some light snorkeling but not much more than that. The steel crown has a recessed red band in the center and has grooves designed into the shape making it easy to grip when winding the watch.

The radial brushed steel grey ceramic bezel has an engraved diving scale and tag icon engraved at the start position of the unidirectional rotating bezel.

Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm Review Crown Bezel

One of the most beautiful yet subtle aesthetic features of this model is the finishing and material combination used on the bracelet. The outer links are brushed stainless steel, the dark grey ceramic inner links have polished steel caps. The combination of these two materials and finishing creates a contrast that is quite exquisite.

The bracelet first up to an 8-inch wrist and is fastened with a push-button deployant buckle that is branded with the TAG Heuer wordmark.

The TAG Formula 1 Automatic 43mm is powered by the TAG Heuer Calibre 5 automatic movement which has a 38-hour power reserve. This 26 jewel self-winding caliber beats at 28,800 and is an ébauche movement based on the SW200.  

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Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm Review Bracelet


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