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TAG Heuer Heritage Director Nicholas Biebuyck shares his love of identifying rare and significant timepieces

Heritage director Nicholas Biebuyck shares his love of identifying rare and significant timepieces for TAG Heuer, and its deep connection to his other great passion: motorsports.

Nicholas Biebuyck

Photo: TAG Heuer

UK-born Nicholas Biebuyck began his journey with TAG Heuer in March 2021. In his early years however, and after completing a
degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Birmingham, England, Biebuyck began building his career between London and Hong Kong. After serving as a senior specialist at auction houses Bonhams and Christie’s, Biebuyck joined Blackbird Watch Manual, as business development director.

Photo: TAG Heuer

Overseeing the brand’s museum and archives dating back to 1860, the TAG Heuer museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerand,
traveling exhibitions, and more generally, communication around TAG Heuer’s watchmaking and deep cultural history, it’s little
wonder that Biebuyck has earned a reputation as an expert in the heritage world of TAG Heuer, and how it relates to the business
today. A passionate watch collector and keen enthusiast of classic cars and motorcycles, Biebuyck is able to combine his two great
passions as heritage director.

What inspired your transition from working in major international auction houses to joining TAG Heuer as heritage director?

I started as a watch enthusiast first and foremost more than 20 years ago now, so I have been lucky to see the watchmaking industry from a few different perspectives now. Between auction houses in London and Hong Kong with Bonhams then Christie’s,
managing a private collection and being part of the media before joining TAG Heuer, gave me valuable insight. I decided to join the brand because of my great love for the Maison, thanks to its incredible connection to motorsport and timekeeping, as well as the realisation that it has so much potential for the future, that I wanted to be a part of unlocking.

Nicholas Biebuyck

Photo: TAG Heuer

How do you integrate your background in engineering and passion for watches into your role at TAG Heuer?

Having a technical understanding and passion for engineering, while not being an actual watchmaker, has allowed me to build
strong relationships with our design and development teams, as well as with key technical suppliers. It also lends a perspective to
projects that can blend the historical aspect of our iconic collections, with more technical and artistic elements. This has best
been shown in the latest Monaco Rattrapante.

As the heritage director, how do you ensure the preservation of TAG Heuer’s rich cultural heritage?

Today at the museum, we have approximately 3,500 watches in the museum collection, along with approximately 1,000 objects, and more than 100,000 paper documents and other media pieces. This entails meticulously cataloguing and conserving historical artifacts, documents, and timepieces dating back to 1860. By curating engaging exhibitions such as the upcoming one in Shanghai next week, I aim to share TAG Heuer’s cultural legacy with a diverse audience, while preserving the authenticity and integrity of the brand’s heritage.

Nicholas Biebuyck

Photo: TAG Heuer

What are the key milestones and innovations in TAG Heuer’s history that you find most significant?

We have many key moments in our more than 160 years of history that show our brands incredible connection to innovation since its inception. From the patented innovations in the late 19th century, pioneering devices such as Time of Trip and Mikrograph, the birth of the icons in the 1960s including Autavia, Carrera, and Monaco, and the innovative marketing in the 1990s and 2000s with legendary campaigns, ambassadors and partnerships, we have always been laying down the foundations for the future for the whole watchmaking industry.

How do you collaborate with other departments within TAG Heuer to align heritage with contemporary initiatives?

Collaborating with other departments is crucial to align heritage with contemporary initiatives. We work closely with Carole Forestier, the director of haute horlogerie and movement strategy, with the Monaco Rattrapante stemmed from the many hours we spent together at the museum, examining historical timepieces and discussing a love of fine watchmaking and what it means for TAG Heuer. This collaborative approach enables us to leverage the brand’s heritage to inspire innovation and creativity, while
maintaining a strong connection to TAG Heuer’s rich legacy.

Nicholas Biebuyck

Photo: TAG Heuer

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or initiatives you’re particularly excited about at TAG Heuer?

We want to truly connect with our customers and fans, and we want to do so beyond watchmaking. Our goal is to create meaningful memories. This year, we will be at the Monaco Grand Prix with our esteemed partner Oracle Red Bull Racing and will also be returning at the Historic Grand Prix de Monaco, an important race in our hearts. They are both the perfect representation of what we stand for, modernity and avant-garde with a deep heritage to demonstrate our legitimacy. And of course, we will have further moments to share with everyone, but this will be a surprise for later in the year.

How do you see the future of luxury watchmaking evolving, and how does TAG Heuer plan to stay at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the industry?

Today, the luxury industry is evolving rapidly, driven by advancements in technology and we must always take into consideration changing consumer preferences and emerging market trends. TAG Heuer plans to stay at the forefront of innovation and creativity by leveraging its heritage and expertise. By focusing on craftsmanship, innovation, and storytelling, we aim to continue pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking while adapting to the evolving needs and desires of our customers.

Nicholas Biebuyck

Photo: TAG Heuer

What has been your favorite launch since joining the brand?

It is difficult for me to pick one as there have been so many great memories since I joined TAG Heuer. Last year, we had the Carrera 60th anniversary witnessing the launch of the amazing Glassbox, as well as a yearlong celebration including the launch of the book on the history of the collection, and other great new models such as the Carrera Porsche Chronosprint. This year, the Monaco Rattrapante debuted; a watch very close to my heart and which perfectly shows our relationship with our history and incredible cutting-edge innovation.

What’s the highlight of this year’s Watches & Wonders edition?

This year, we celebrated our return to haute horlogerie with the unveiling of the TAG Heuer Monaco Rattrapante. This groundbreaking timepiece not only demonstrates TAG Heuer’s commitment to innovation and craftsmanship, but also challenges
conventions in the watchmaking industry. With its unique design, the Monaco Rattrapante sets a new standard for excellence: its
innovative Calibre TH81-00 movement, crafted entirely in titanium, and its sapphire caseback allows the watch to weigh only 85g, a true technical feat. Overall, the Monaco Rattrapante stands out as a testament to TAG Heuer’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking, and it was one of my proudest moments in my professional career to be involved in the project.

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