TAG Heuer VS Hublot: Which is Best?
Join us for a detailed and insightful comparison of TAG Heuer VS Hublot watches that will be an eye-opener for all considering either one of these two luxury watch brands.
Let’s start an open and honest comparison of Hublot VS TAG Heuer. These are two very popular watchmakers and each for their own reasons. We will compare them in several contexts since every time we are asked “Which is better, TAG Heuer or Hublot?” the proper answer really exists in the context of the question.
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When it comes to precision, we need to separate each brand into two categories: quartz watches (battery-powered movement) and mechanically powered watches (powered by using the incremental release of spring tension in the movement). First, a brief explanation for the uninitiated, just in case.
Ironically, the movements that are more accurate are also less expensive to produce. Of course, these are the more affordably priced quartz calibers that came to the marketplace in the 1970s. These use a battery that sends a charge to a quartz crystal causing it to resonate at a very high frequency, a frequency much higher than that which any mechanical movement ever developed can produce on its own.
The more traditional movements are the mechanically powered calibers such as automatic (also known as self-winding) calibers and hand-wound (also known as manual wind) calibers.
These traditional movements have lower accuracy than a battery-powered model and have a different set of standards for gauging its accuracy. In many cases, watchmakers take their calibers to be tested at a 3rd party facility if they feel it will meet high standards. One of the most widely used labs is called COSC and they have a designation that they award to watch movements that meet what is considered very precise having a deviation of -4/+6 seconds per day in total deviation. This designation is called a Chronometer (not to be confused with a chronograph which is a stopwatch function). Not all watchmakers will pay the extra money to send their watches to a 3rd party testing facility like COSC. Even Patek Philippe, the Rolls Royce of luxury watchmakers chooses to do their testing in-house and has higher than COSC specs in terms of precision.
TAG Heuer does have some watches that are COSC Chronometers such as the Calibre 5 movements. At the same time, they also have some watches that are powered by quartz movements that have much higher accuracy than COSC chronometers. Hublot, on the other hand, doesn’t have any COSC certified movements as of yet, but both brands have both mechanical and quartz watches. Typically watch enthusiasts prefer to wear mechanical watches because of the esoteric value of how the movements are made and being able to watch them in action through a transparent sapphire case back is quite fascinating.
Hublot and TAG Heuer are both well-known watchmakers that produce quality watches. However, the Hublot watch company made its way into the industry a little later than TAG Heuer, and despite them making waves and shaking things up in their own way, they fall a little short in terms of brand recognition. While they did build for themselves a valuable brand and design unique and attractive watches, TAG Heuer has significantly more brand value and brand recognition. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one is more prestigious than the other. Rather, it means that more people know the brand more than the other.
In a recent report with a list of the Top-50 Swiss brands in the world today, TAG Heuer made it to position #34 and had an estimated brand value of 764 Million CHF (Swiss Francs). Hublot was not far behind at position #40 with a brand value of 401 Million CHF.
However, Hublot’s brand value showed a growth rate of +8% compared to TAG’s +2% and that was significantly higher than TAG Heuer. Perhaps one day they will outpace them. This higher growth rate can perhaps be attributed to Hublot’s marketing strategy which seems to pivot away from the way Tag Heuer operates. How was this done?
Hublot is known to put out lots of limited-edition watch designs that pay tribute to celebrities, athletes and honor their achievements. In addition, they produced more special and limited-edition watches paying homage to many organizations and raising charity for a noteworthy cause. This marketing tactic has shed a brighter light on their brand and brought it into the consciousness of the masses. While they do have many steel models, they used lots of fusion in their construction and metallurgy and are known to have many watches made of non-traditional materials and alloys such as the highly scratch-resistant ceramic found in their King Gold alloy. Some of their most popular collections include the Big Bang, Classic Fusion, and Big Bang UNICO, and their Spirit of the Big Bang, many of which have a Black Magic edition.
*Source: Interbrand, an agency that measures brand value and brand recognition. [ See https://www.rankingthebrands.com/PDF/Interbrand%20Best%20Swiss%20Brands%202016.pdf ]
A watch brand’s prestige is affected by a few things. These include the age of the brand, its history, its contributions, and innovations to the age-old craft of watchmaking. Additionally, who wears that brand, who respects that brand, who endorses them, how they measure amongst the most prestigious watchmakers in all these areas of comparison. By setting the bar high with the best in the business, we can get a sense of where the rest of the brands stand.
Both TAG Heuer and Hublot are very well-known watchmakers. Both have made watches that were endorsed by celebrities and can at times be seen on the big screen in films or TV series, watch manufacturers will do this as both an intentional product placement and a social proof of sorts to bring their name to the general population and give you something to aspire to own.
Hublot’s younger age was their weakest link when it comes to prestige and despite and IN-spite of this, they did not let that stop them from moving forward quickly. They just had to think outside of the box and do effective things with their marketing and production on a large scale. The end of the previous section in this article on brand popularity discusses this in detail. However, to give a quick answer, Hublot is a more prestigious brand and despite their showing up late to the game, they made use of their time setting themselves apart from other watchmakers and by doing things differently, carved out a place for themselves in terms of prestige.
Is TAG Heuer a luxury brand? They are what many would consider an attainable luxury. They are by no definition a cheap watch but many would share the belief that it is an affordable luxury. Mind you some of their more expensive watches are in the lower-mid five figures ranges but their entry-level watches are the types of watch that most people would be able to purchase at some point.
Is Hublot a luxury brand? If you're asking if Hublot is considered to be a top-shelf watchmaker like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, or Vacheron Constantin? Absolutely not but at this stage, they are certainly on a higher shelf than TAG Heuer.
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Both watchmakers can create high-complication watches and although most of their watches are not, in the not-so-distant past, each of them has created a few notable ones. Below is an image with two fine examples. The Hublot Masterpiece MP-02 Key of Time features a tourbillon and power reserve indicator. The other is the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon Chronograph that is also a COSC certified Chronometer as printed on the dial.
The cost of entry to acquire a watch from these two watchmakers is quite different. The most affordable of the two brands would be TAG Heuer. Their watches start at a retail value of around $1,300 for a men’s TAG Heuer watch and around $1,550 for a ladies’ model. List prices for a TAG Heuer watch go up as high as $26,650 depending on the model. However, these higher-priced models are no longer in production at the moment. Perhaps they will be re-introduced in the future.
Hublot, on the other hand, has a higher list price and the cost of entry for their most affordable watch is approximately 450% more than that of TAG Heuer’s least expensive watches. Women’s Hublot watches start at a list price of $5,900 and men’s Hublot watches start at about $7,300 at the full retail price.
Both Hublot and TAG Heuer watches come with a two-year warranty. There are several more upper-market brands that offer longer warranty periods. Even a few lower market brands such as Omega have been extending their warranty periods but the average warranty period in the watch business is still a 2-year warranty.
Both brands have some watches with great water resistance and some watches with not-so-great water resistance. Typically, if you are looking for a watch with great water resistance, such as one that you can take snorkeling or diving, look for a watch made for such an activity, such as a dive watch. These will have a higher water resistance rating than your average watch. Classic watches do not always offer enough water resistance and may only offer enough for a cold shower or washing your hands.
Both Hublot and TAG Heuer have a few noteworthy diver’s watches but for the most part, their watches are not geared towards professional deep-sea divers but more to diving enthusiasts. TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer collection is where they can be found.
Hublot Used to have a serious hockey puck thick diver’s watch with 4000m of water resistance called the Hublot Oceanographic 4000. However, they no longer manufacture these models. TAG Heuer never had such serious professional diver’s watches.
Both watchmakers have plenty of watches on the pre-owned market and if you are looking to sell your watch you will find that Hublot does not perform that great on the pre-owned marketplace in terms of holding its value. Like any consumer product, a watch loses some of its value one used. Some brands, on average, maintain a higher percentage of their original value if sold on the pre-owned marketplace. Rolex and Patek Philippe are two brands that have excellent resale value. Lower market brands such as TAG Heuer and Hublot do not hold their value as well as Rolex or Patek. However, all hope is not lost.
TAG Heuer has certain watches that are more in demand and more collectible and therefore have a higher-than-average resale value. Some good examples are their iconic Monaco watches and their more classic and vintage watches such as the ones that were under the Heuer brand only (before they merged with TAG to create what is now TAG Heuer). While most people will not usually consider the average resale value of their watches when making a purchase, when it comes to trading in your watch for a new watch one day, this can have an influence on one’s decision and is worth considering.
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