Tuesday, 21 March 2017

BUYING EXPERIENCE: Formula One Calibre 16 Chronograph


TAG Heuer Outlet / Bicester Village 21st March 2017

After my extremely stressful visit to Bicester on Saturday morning, I started to think about the yellow dial Aquaracer again. I found some good pictures of it on the internet and started reappraising my decision not to buy it. 

I came to the conclusion that I hadn't bought it because I was clinging to the idea of an expensive Grand Carrera or the Monaco 24 and I felt buying something more affordable would only delay that goal. But after Saturday, I felt like maybe I should rethink that aim, and so my thoughts returned to the Aquaracer again. After all, I had included it in my top ten TAGs list in January, so surely it was worth another look, just to make sure. Even if I didn't buy it, I felt I needed to give myself one more chance to make sure I didn't regret passing it up at £980, which is a huge saving on the list price of £2175 after all...

And so I found myself driving back to Bicester this morning, trying to clear my head and take a no nonsense approach to the whole thing. On the way in it occurred to me that it might already be too late, after all they only had one piece and it could easily have been sold since Saturday morning.


But no, I arrived at the store and there it was, albeit it seemed to have gone down in price to an even more bargainous £947! I was excited it was still there and that would probably have been that... but then I looked around the cabinet to see if they still had the Formula One with the grey face and the blue second hand (nope, gone already!) and spied the CAU2012 which I've been looking for forever.

I couldn't actually believe it, I had been joking with my friend the day before that I was probably going to go back and buy the yellow Aquaracer, 'unless they had the black and orange F1 in stock', and damn me here it was!

Well, to be honest, any thoughts of buying the Aquaracer went right out of the window, because I can't remember how long I've been looking for this watch. Which, to be honest, kind of gives me my answer... maybe the Aquaracer would have been a mistake after all?

Well, maybe, but I still really like it, and if the opportunity to buy comes up again (once my fund is replenished) I might still give it serious consideration. After all the Calibre-S is a unique movement and I don't currently have an example in the collection...

But on this day there was no way I wasn't going to buy the CAU2012, because as soon as I saw it I fell in love with it. If anything it looked even better than I'd hoped and the orange which sometimes appears a bit wishy washy in photos is very bold and stronger than you might imagine. It's not overly 'bright', it's more of a very deep orange, which I think it needs to be to carry off the look. Often colourful watches can look a bit cheap (even Audemars Piguets) but this one certainly doesn't.

Today's outlet price was £1715, saving me £735 off the list price of £2450, so it says on my receipt.

Truth be told as far as a 'buying experience' goes it was okay, I was in a bit of a rush to get back to work really, so it wasn't as relaxed and enjoyable as it could have been. But to be honest I really didn't care, Obviously I can't fault the price, and I got my watch, my boxes, my booklets and my warranty card (scanned with a iPad and registered) and I was out of there.

Couldn't be happier really, except for one thing. As I fully expected, the clasp on this is just as terrible as my WAH1110-0 was. I can't wear it for more than about five minutes without my wrist turning red and so I've already been on to my local dealer about getting me a BT0717 22mm rubber strap with classic buckle and pin. The price is a very reasonable £48, albeit with a four week delivery. I guess I'll just have to wear a plaster on my wrist in the meantime.

Actually the lady at the jewellers took the details of my watch and she's checking with TAG what other options are available, which is brilliant. Hopefully I will be able to order something soon.