Time to go pop: TAG Heuer and Kith's Formula 1 watch collaboration

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Kith watch embraces a rainbow of bright colours

The Tag Heuer Formula 1 Kith watch in bright colours
(Image credit: Tag Heuer)

TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 watch rarely gets the attention it deserves, but that’s changing thanks to a collaboration with US fashion retailer Kith that recaptures the pop vitality of the 1980s original.

The Formula 1 was, along with the Swatch, the watch that saved the watch industry, it’s Memphis-inflected pop colours and motorsport sheen proving that design and desirability could offer a future for a beleaguered industry. Despite selling in vast numbers and generating the cash that underpinned TAG Heuer’s phenomenal growth in the decades since, Formula 1 has been mostly ignored as the brand looked to celebrate more respectable milestones, such as the Microtimer, the Carrera (which turned 60 with a TAG Heuer x Porsche collaboration) and the Monaco, not even getting a mention in the table-sized monograph, TAG Heuer – 150 Years.

brightly coloured Tag Heuer Formula 1 Kith watch

(Image credit: Tag Heuer)

The plastic, steel and quartz Formula 1 might represent everything the brand was trying to move away from as the millennium came around, but it was a design of the times as well as a cash generator, those chunky plastic bezels with their resounding clicks and bright colours catching the eyes of a whole new generation that would otherwise have been lost to G-Shocks. That appeal, as well as easy availability, almost inevitably caught the attention of a new generation.

Kith’s founder, Ronnie Fieg, started his watch collection with a red and black version, and the collaboration restores much-needed energy to a much-undervalued design. Rebranded with a special Kith / Heuer logo, the watches use cases from the original supplier and even feature bezels produced from the same moulds as used in the 1980s, although other details have been brought up to 2024 standards, including a sapphire glass over the dial and smart new packaging. 

green watch

(Image credit: Tag Heuer)

There are ten new watches in total, fitted with either steel bracelets or rubber straps, available either through Kith stores or through TAG Heuer’s network, with each of the Kith versions being limited to 250 pieces (except for the bracelet versions, of which there will be 350). Kith colour combinations include sports-car red; black-and-yellow; green, yellow, matte black and cream. 

TAG Heuer will have green and blue plastic-strap versions and a very smart, cream and red bracelet edition. I suspect there’ll be more than a few serious collectors after a little nostalgic fun. Kith.com has virtually sold out but watches are already appearing on resale sites and Kith has a whole range of T-shirts, caps and jackets celebrating the partnership.


brightly coloured watches

(Image credit: Tag Heuer)

James Gurney has written on watches for over 25 years, founding QP Magazine in 2003, the UK’s first home-grown watch title. In 2009, he initiated SalonQP, one of the first watch fairs to focus on the end-consumer, and is regarded as a leading horological voice contributing to news and magazine titles across the globe.