First of all size. The original version clocks in at 45mm across, and wears high. Sure, the titanium case construction and relatively short lugs make it light and tight on the wrist, but it’s still a big watch – too big for a lot of people. This version doesn’t have that problem. At 43mm it’s still a large watch, but not overwhelmingly so. This small change alone will please a lot of people, and I’d be really interested to see which size is more popular with customers in a year’s time. One concern with a smaller diameter is that you lose some of the balance, depth and richness of the dial design – this is a real concern on a skeletonised dial, which is full of intricacies. Thankfully though, not much is lost. The detail at the centre of the dial remains the same, only the ‘framing’ is altered, with a narrower outer ring and shorter hour batons. I do think the indices on the 45mm version are a little more balanced, but that’s a minor detail.
The other aspect that really stands out is the colour. Not only is the bezel now offered in brown or blue (as well as black), but dial details have been picked out in colour too – adding contrast, drama and a whole lot of character. Both are especially suited to the leather straps, and are particularly sophisticated packages. While the new Heuer 01 43mm versions lack the drama and excitement of top line releases like the Autavia, they’re an excellent, wearer-friendly evolution of TAG Heuer’s bold new look. Discover more.