Heritage Director Catherine Eberlé Devaux (Photo: David Altan/Tag Heuer)

Turning 160 amidst a global pandemic, TAG Heuer has made the most of the situation with success. Heritage Director Catherine Eberlé Devaux looks back at the year with some advice for female watch lovers.

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You were in the luxury footwear industry for 15 years prior to joining TAG Heuer in 2014. Were you passionate about watches before this?

I saw them as beautiful and useful accessories; a superb tool to help enrich my silhouette while telling the time. I’d be lying if I said that I knew about complicated watches before. I’m still discovering a lot of its secrets and it has been just pure pleasure for me to be introduced to this world by the amazing watchmakers who work with me at the Heritage Department. It’s a full universe that I’m really grateful to work in. 

I really love the craftsmanship that is behind a product and watches are an amazing example of that. It’s really the connection between brain and hand; how the most beautiful, sophisticated and complicated objects that you have in your mind can become a reality. It’s the possibility of a human being transforming raw material into magic. 

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Steel and rose-gold-plated steel TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph watch, $7,800

And how has 2020 been for TAG Heuer and its 160th anniversary celebrations?

Of course, this is not the year we had planned; no one had planned for such a year. We had a full calendar of events, celebrations, exhibitions… At first, we had to say “freeze that”; then, we had to find a way to do it anyway because this is a message of hope and a message of the brand. TAG Heuer has been around for 160 years, and it has survived many crises and terrible situations—two world wars and several economic recessions—so we could not just let it all go. Using the new technologies that are at our disposal today, we made it happen. This is really somethingI’ll remember. 

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The star of the anniversary celebrations was the TAG Heuer Carrera. What is the importance of this watch to the brand’s heritage?

The Carrera is definitely one of our pillars, a core collection that dates back to the 1960s. It also has an interesting story: The collection started with a name, not with a design or a concept, and this name is a message of adrenaline, racing, elegance, coolness. Over time, the design of the Carrera has evolved, but it’s still the expression of all those ideas. That’s why watch collectors consider it a must-have, whether they’re pure Heuer fans or general watch lovers. The new Carreras, [now equipped with the in-house Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic movement], have opened a new chapter for fans: You have the core collection; you have the core sporty collection, which is linked to the very special bond that we have with motorsports; then you have the limited anniversary editions. 

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Steel and ceramic TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition watch, $8,500, TAG Heuer

What advice would you give a woman looking to buy her next watch?

Look for a watch that has meaning for you. We should really train our eyes to look beyond the diamonds and mother-of-pearl, and really go with what we like; something that is useful and playful for you. I find motor racing chronographs super exciting to wear. The blue Monaco, for example, is a big watch. But it’s also a statement watch that looks stunning on a lady’s wrist. And in the new collection, there’s a Carrera in black with rose gold accents that I love to wear because of its combination of sportiness and that bit of shine. So stop looking at just the ladies’ windows and go to the other side. There, you might find a watch you deserve.