Central to TAG Heuer’s identity is innovation—which is quite fitting since TAG stands for Techniques d’Avant Garde. At the same time, the brand maintains a strong connection to its past, whether through its ties to motorsports or by reviving some of its most famous design references in contemporary Swiss made replica watches. Today, the task of keeping TAG Heuer’s legacy alive falls on C the shoulders of Nicholas Biebuyck, the brand’s Heritage Director.
Biebuyck was born in Essex, just outside of London, and later on studied mechanical engineering at Birmingham University. He then took a job in manufacturing before finding a job at Bonahms, one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques, in London. At first, Biebuyck worked in the motoring department and then in AAA fake watches. From there, his journey continued with a short stint in aviation, a return to Bonahms in Hong Kong, a position at British auction house Christie’s, managing a private collection, followed by launching a publication focused on watches and providing to consultancy to auction houses and brands. Then, in 2021, he moved to Switzerland to join TAG Heuer.
And the rest is history—as in, Nicholas Biebuyck is now in charge of preserving the history of TAG Heuer and making sure that the brand’s heritage is part of its avantgarde approach to watchmaking.
Could you also give us a brief overview of your role as the Heritage Director of TAG Heuer and the key responsibilities associated with it?
Nicholas Biebuyck: There are a few different facets to the role of Heritage Director. First and foremost, it is the preservation of the company DNA through the paper archives, artefacts and UK luxury replica watches which–between all of those—total tens of thousands of assets. Next is to share that with the world, through our museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland and through global traveling exhibitions. Next is around media production such as videos, interviews and books, as well as supporting the marketing team for storytelling around campaigns. I do provide insight to the product team with briefings in advance of major collection changes and also work with the collector community to ensure we are receptive to them as a brand and help where we can.
Before joining TAG Heuer, you spent a considerable chunk of your professional career at several international auction houses. Are we correct to assume that this is where your appreciation for vintage timepieces and brand histories comes from? Can you also give us a short recap of your time as an auction specialist and how you eventually ended up at TAG Heuer?
NB: I have been passionate enthusiast of watchmaking since I was a teenager, having read an article about [English horologist] George Daniels when I was young and becoming fascinated with the idea that one person could make something so complicated by themselves. I would then fortunately make contact with someone at Bonhams in London who would help me get my first job in the industry. At the time, I was not in a position to collect extensively, but I was focused on vintage sports chronographs and, of course, Heuer was of great interest due to their connection to motor racing, which is another great passion of mine. As I gained a reputation for this area of the vintage market, I would eventually meet the team at TAG Heuer and when they were looking for a new Heritage Director in 2020, I got a call to interview for the role.
If you look at cheap TAG Heuer replica watches‘ releases in any given year, there are novelties that are incredibly avant-garde, such as the Carrera Plasma, and there are those inspired by the history of motorsports, such as the Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary. How do you balance these two halves of the brand’s identity?
NB: Both are connected to the idea of innovation, a topic that runs throughout the history of the brand. When we see a Carrera inspired by the original release in 1963, it harks back to the tension ring to improved water resistance, the pure legible dial and the robust design of the piece. The Carrera Plasma continues this legacy using the latest technology once again to push the technical and creative boundaries of watchmaking, this is what continues to define our brand.
One of our favorite TAG Heuer models this year is undoubtedly the Carrera Chronograph, especially the black “reverse panda” model. And discovering the nods to vintage models is always satisfying. How do you decide on which design elements to revive for a watch like this?
NB: This came out of the 60th Anniversary copy watches for sale that was launched in January. When I was initially approached to ask which model we should pay homage to for such an important occasion, it was hard to decide between the panda and reverse panda designs. In the end we chose the panda for the January limited edition, and the reverse panda with a tachymeter scale for the new glassbox release at Watches and Wonders. We also have many other codes from the Carrera DNA that carry over, such as the peaked lugs, absolute legibility, robust design and innovation that all run through the collection.
What is your personal favorite among TAG Heuer’s 2023 releases?
NB: I have been wearing the reverse panda glassbox 39mm Carrera a lot. It is a watch I really enjoy, particularly the size and the way that it sits on the wrist. Over the summer, I have also spent a lot of time with the black skeleton Monaco that was released in May, as the color has been great for the season and the titanium case makes it easy to wear. Both of these best replica watches are great continuations of iconic collections and perfectly embody the DNA and spirit of the brand today.
What would you say is the difference between actually being inspired by vintage designs and simply reusing design elements from timepieces that were at one time popular? Where do you draw the line here?
NB: It is easy for a brand today to laser scan an historic watch in the archives and CNC a new one. This requires very little effort, but is a disservice to consumers who—when buying a new watch—should get the latest advances in watchmaking. To be able to distill what a legendary model such as the Carrera stands for and update it for a new generation of enthusiasts is not easy, but is vital work. We have to be respectful of the past while integrating modern codes. And I think the new 39mm Glassbox Carrera or the Monaco Rattrapante shows this balance perfectly.
TAG Heuer is also known as a pioneer in connected watches. Are there any design elements or functionalities of current generation connected watches that will become integral parts of TAG Heuer’s heritage and inspire future timepieces?
NB: The TAG Heuer Connected fake watches wholesale has allowed us to reach younger audiences and bridge the gap between connected and traditional watchmaking, thereby modernizing the concept of traditional super clone watches shop within these audiences.
On a more personal note, what do you consider to be the highlight of your time as TAG Heuer’s Heritage Director?
NB: Being able to support the brand storytelling and share the amazing history of the maison is always a pleasure for me. There are so many parts from the company’s past that are not well known and can help us strengthen the brand for the future. Being able to spend time with the press, collectors and partners around the world is something that brings me joy, whether it is at Formula 1 races, market visits or industry events.
What’s a little-known historical fact about TAG Heuer, or its watches, that you’d think fans of the brand would love to learn about?
NB: I always like to raise the topic of our solid gold reference 1158 CHN from the 1970s, which indelibly linked us to motor racing and was such a personal object for so many of the most celebrated drivers of the period. There is an apocryphal story that their blood type was engraved on the back. But actually, this is a misnomer; they have beautiful personal dedications from Jack Heuer and would often be the last thing they took off and the first thing that was worn again around the race, proving how important these replica watches for men actually were to these heroes.