TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz VS Automatic?

Can you spot the 7 differences between two of the hottest selling TAG Heuer sports watches?

Despite all the similarities between the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz or Automatic, these are two very different watches. The mechanics used to display the time are as different as night and day. Yes, the most noticeable differences are on the outside and they are only a few. What really makes both these different is what's "under the hood" so the 165 million dollar question remains:

With this in-depth comparison, we will be comparing two of the best selling TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches. One is a quartz model and the other is an automatic/self-winding model. You can see both watches using the buttons below.


Let's start with what makes these two watches similar before getting into what makes each of these watches different from one another. Firstly, the overall look of each of these watches is nearly identical. They both have the exact same sporty look with the same case size, hands, hour markers, and the same stainless steel bracelet. In terms of additional functions, they both have a date window at the 3 o'clock position. They both are made of the same material and have a water resistance of 200m / 660ft. As for the inside of the watch, the difference is in the caliber which is the watch's movement, its power source.

Let's first explain the differences between the two types of movements.


A quartz watch uses a quartz movement which is powered by a watch battery and a quartz crystal. The battery sends an electric current to the quartz crystal which then creates a vibration or as watchmakers call it; an oscillation. Quartz is a high-frequency crystal and it resonates at 32,768 revolutions per second giving higher accuracy.


An automatic movement, on the other hand, is purely mechanical and doesn’t require any batteries to power the watch. An automatic movement which is also called a self-winding movement is wound up when first used, usually via the winding crown, and then is "recharged" via a rotor using the kinetic energy generated as you wear it.

These are the big differences in terms of the internal organs of the watches and as you can see they are quite different on the inside. Many watch lovers prefer a mechanical movement such as an automatic/self-winding watch since it has fascinating micro-mechanics that provide an esoteric value to the watch. They can often look through the transparent case back on many watches and marvel at the mechanics all moving together. It's actually one of the reasons many people start collecting watches in the first place.

They differ in appearance in some of the more minute design details.


7 Differences Between The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz and the F1 Automatic

  1. Logo: The Formula 1 Quartz has the logo in green and red, TAG Heuer's brand colors. The Formula 1 Automatic has the TAG Heuer logo in white.
  2. Crown: The TAG F1 Automatic has an indented stripe on the winding crown that is not seen on the crown of the TAG F1 quartz.
  3. Bezel: There bezel on the TAG F1 Quartz has more numerals on it than the bezel of the automatic.
  4. Second Track: You will see split-second intervals on the second track on the Formula 1 automatic but not on the quartz which only shows standard seconds with no split seconds.
  5. Dial: The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic has the words "TAG Heuer Formula 1" printed in white and "Calibre 5" printed in red just above the 6 o'clock position beneath the hands. The Formula 1 Quartz only has the words "TAG Heuer" printed in white with the words "Formula 1" printed in red just beneath it.
  6. Date Window: The Date window on the TAG F1 quartz uses a larger easier to read font than the date on the F1 automatic/self-winding version.
  7. Hands: The difference with the hands is very subtle. The Tag Heuer Quartz and Automatic both have the same exact hour and minute hands. It's the second hand that has a slight difference. While both models have a red-tipped second hand, only the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic has the TAG emblem at the other end of the second hand.

Remember: Despite these 7 differences in appearance, these are two very different watches. One is an automatic mechanical watch that has a mechanical movement and the other has a battery-powered quartz movement.

legendTAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic (bottom left), Formula 1 Quartz (top right)

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