Like decades before, the 1980s and 1990s were a time when quartz-powered and digital timepieces were all the rage, while traditional Swiss mechanical replica watches were largely in hibernation, but not as rich in watch design milestones as they were in the 1960s and 1970s. However, there were always a few exceptions that proved the rule, one of which was TAG Heuer’s sporty model released in 1987: the TAG Heuer S/El, which evolved into a better-known and more popular incarnation, the TAG Heuer Link, in 1999.
Featuring characteristics such as 200m water-resistance, a screw-down crown, a double safety clasp bracelet, a unidirectional rotating bezel, sapphire crystal, and luminescent details, the S/El’s various incarnations, including most quartz models, some digital and a few automatic models, became TAG Heuer’s best-selling watches of the time.
Designed by prolific watch designer Eddie Schopfer, who also designed the TAG Heuer 2000 and many other popular models for TAG Heuer and other brands, the S/El was known for its unconventional, instantly recognizable bracelet, which consisted of interlocking double “S” shaped links, each consisting of two curved steel ingots, with the case Seamlessly integrated, its softly rounded edges are ergonomically designed for a comfortable wrist. In essence, TAG Heuer has created the first watch that is immediately recognizable not necessarily by its dial design or case shape, but by a single bracelet link.
When TAG Heuer developed a specially designed watch for Hadid and presented it to her at the grand opening of their flagship store on Oxford Street in London, TAG Heuer chose the redesigned Link Lady as the template.
The chronograph model shares the same case design and dimensions as the Calibre 5 men’s model and is available in black or blue dial options with sunburst accents. The replica watch features a classic minute repeater dial layout with a subdial with a small seconds hand at 3 o’clock, chronograph minutes at 9 o’clock, and chronograph hours at 6 o’clock.
TAG Heuer’s postmodern Link collection occupies an important position between classic sport and high design luxury – a position that may not be fully defined yet, but the design may evolve and will surely continue to take shape as the family grows.