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TAG Heuer serial numbers: How to identify a real watch

Tag Heuer Serial Numbers

Because TAG Heuer is one of the premier Swiss luxury watch brands on the market, they are also one of the most counterfeited.

With a rich heritage that stretches all the way back to 1860, they are highly desirable. There is a global industry that specialises in producing fake TAG timepieces and, if you don't know what to look for, you could end up in possession of one of these replicas.

One of the best ways to tell whether a TAG Heuer watch is the real deal is by locating and verifying its serial number. We've put together this guide to help you do exactly that, so read on to find out how you can identify a genuine TAG watch.

Where can I find my TAG Heuer watch's serial number?

Each and every TAG Heuer watch is issued with a serial number. This number is engraved on the back of your timepiece's case, often beneath the TAG logo. Depending on the model, your number may not be legible with the naked eye and some magnification might be required to read the digits.

TAG Heuer uses a slightly different system to some other Swiss watchmakers, so you will notice that there are two codes etched on your watch's back, one directly above the other. The bottom number is your timepiece's unique serial number, while the top is the model reference, which is identical for each watch of the model type.

The two numbers typically adopt the format of:

ABC1234

ABC1234

 

What do the serial and model numbers mean?

The two numbers on the back of your TAG Heuer watch have different purposes. Your serial number (the lower code) is a unique identifier for your watch only. It allows TAG to pinpoint exactly when the timepiece was produced and where it was sold. The number usually comprises two or three letters followed by four numbers, although TAG's chronograph watches can have three letters and three numbers or six numbers instead.

Unlike the digits in the serial code, which only has significance to TAG Heuer, your model reference code (the top number) can be deciphered to reveal details about the watch. In 1992, TAG switched to the reference system used today, so all watches manufactured since then will carry this type of code. Vintage (pre-1992) watches varied in their serial number styles, so it's best to check with TAG Heuer directly to identify an older model.

Each digit represents information about the watch as follows:

Digit

Meaning

Possible references

1

Type

W – Watch

C – Chronograph

S – Connected watch

2 & 3

Series

AC – TAG Heuer Formula 1

AF – Aquaracer

AH – TAG Heuer Formula 1

AK – Aquaracer

AL – Monaco

AN – Aquaracer

AP/AJ – Aquaracer

AR/AS – TAG Heuer Carrera

AT – Link

AU - TAG Heuer Formula 1

AV – TAG Heuer

AY – New Aquaracer

AW – Monaco

AZ – New TAG Heuer Formula 1

R – Heuer Monza

V – TAG Heuer Carrera

4

Movement

1 – Quartz

2 – Automatic

3 – Manual Wind

5 – Automatic Chronometer

7 – Electro-mechanical

8 – Connected watch module

5

Size

A – Magnum Carrera

B – Magnum Carrera

C – Kingsize Carrera

0 – Large man

1 – Man

2 – Medium

3 – Woman

4 – Small Woman

6

Case base material

1 – Steel

2 – Steel and plated gold or gold-capped

4 – Rose Gold

5 – Steel and gold

7

Dial colour and type

There are many variants and codes are not always consistent.

Note: This information is based on current TAG Heuer references. For the most up to date information, please refer to TAG Heuer.

Taking the model code CAR2110, it's possible to work out that it's a men's sized automatic chronograph TAG Heuer Carrera with steel casing. The final digit is more difficult to decipher as it refers to both the dial colour and type, of which there are many variants.

Do fake TAG Heuer watches have serial numbers?

Should your TAG Heuer watch not have a serial number, there's a possibility it might be a fake. Firstly, it's worth bearing in mind that some vintage TAGs didn't have a serial number. Secondly, some genuine TAG Heuer watches may have had their serial numbers buffed away for one reason or another, but this is getting rarer. If your watch is from recent years and doesn't have a serial number, there is a good chance that it's a replica.

There are also better-quality replicas out there that have a serial number engraved, sometimes even with some accompanying paperwork. It's worth taking the time to compare the serial and model number with the paperwork that comes with the watch, as they should match. You can use the information above to determine what your model reference means, and if you suspect it doesn't match the look of your watch, it may be a fake.

You should also search your serial number on the internet, as many fake watches make use of one particular serial number. You may find it listed on watch forums or websites that often flag up copycat serials that are known fakes.

If you're still not certain whether your timepiece is real, you should get in touch with TAG Heuer, who may be able to verify it.  You can also take your watch to a trusted jeweller who should be able to tell whether it is counterfeit or not.

Interested in selling your TAG Heuer watch?

Now that you know how to use the serial and model number to verify the authenticity of your TAG timepiece, you may be interested in discovering its worth. At Est.1897, our watch experts can place a value on your watch, which you can then sell quickly and easily through our Sell My Watch service.

We also have a wide variety of pre-owned TAG Heuer watches that you may be interested in if you wish to expand your collection. Got any questions about our service or your watch? Get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

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