Wednesday, 13 June 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON: TAG Heuer Kirium Quartz Chronograph


Kirium pricing on the pre-owned market is all over the place as far as I can see. On the one hand you have the 'run of the mill' Kiriums fetching £200-250 and some of the more interesting pieces making £500-600, meanwhile the top of the line (and by far my favourite) the F1 Kirium seems to get cheaper every time I see one for sale. I really do not understand it. A watch that retailed for somewhere around £1800 is now attainable for sub £500 which should by rights be dragging the whole range down but it just doesn't seem to be working out that way.

The only explanation must be that the market just either doesn't understand the watch, or understands it but doesn't like its digital dial. It's all the more confusing to me because of the fact that I wear mine with all the digital displays off all the time and that watch looks a million bucks!

I mean, I know I'm biased because I've got one and because it was my first TAG and all that, but seriously, that watch is by far the classiest looking Kirium out there. As far as I can see it's the watch bargain of the year right now, so much watch for so little money. Trust me, you should absolutely get one - you will not be disappointed.

Which is not to say I don't admire others, and one which I took a shine to recently, was the CL1112 which again I found while scouting around eBay looking for bargains. 

This one was bidding at around £165 for a long time, and while I knew it wasn't going to stay at that level, I figured it might be possible to pick it up around the £300 mark, or maybe just a little North of that...

The watch was described as being in very good condition, which the photographs seem to support, and had recently had a new battery - and the seller had made a very smart call in asking the jeweller who replaced the battery to take a photo while the back was off.

I remember years ago I nearly bought the black dial version of this, at the time I was looking to get a less expensive TAG I could wear everyday and I figured I could wear the £950 quartz chrono version and keep the F1 Kirium for best. It didn't work out that way of course, but over the years I've thought about maybe picking one of these chrono models up and what better one to pick up than this gorgeous blue dial version.

In hindsight, I should have known this one wouldn't settle at the £300, not with that dial... but I was pretty surprised when at the last minute the watch shot right up to £450. I mean, it's a nice watch, but that is really more than I anticipated it fetching. But then eBay is like that I guess, it only needs two people who really want the watch to push the price right the way up.

Amusingly, our old friends at 'Infinite Shopping' have one of these for sale on eBay right now (albeit with the less desirable black dial) and they want £3490 for it. Admittedly it is supposedly 'New with tags', but even so... what a joke. I wonder if any of their customers ever buy sober?

I was 100% serious about bidding for this one, I even checked the number of links in the bracelet and it came up bang on the money, ready-sized for my wrist, but I wasn't expecting that price hike. On reflection I think I'd rather have paid £349 for the 38mm S/EL than £450 for this CL1112, if only because I already have a Kirium in the collection, but even so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed.

True I'd prefer it if the case was brushed rather than polished, and the white date wheel at the four position isn't the greatest placement, but still, this is a fine looking watch and the price wasn't completely unreasonable.

Alas, another TAG Heuer slips through my fingers and it's back to the drawing board!

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