In 1988, TAG Heuer introduced a new flagship model for its dive watch catalog, the S/el (Sports Elegance), which the company described as an elegant range of watches that could be worn “with the dinner suit or the wet suit”. Three years later, in 1991, TAG Heuer would introduce the 4000 Series, a new range that was intended to bridge the gap between the more utilitarian features of the 2000 Series dive watches and the elegance of the S/el line. TAG Heuer had introduced the 1500 Series, as a simpler, entry-level dive watch, which also created a natural position for the 4000 Series in the middle of its collections.
Marketing material described the 4000 Series collection as “a well-tempered character”, offering strength, assertive contours, originality, and a powerful design.
Like the Series 1000 and Series 1500, the 4000 Series collection was comprised of time-only watches, with the collection never being extended to include chronographs. The 4000 Series would continue in the TAG Heuer offering until 1998/99, when it was replaced by the new Kirium collection.
The 4000 Series was released at the height of TAG Heuer’s fascination with the “Six Features” design philosophy, so all these features are incorporated into this collection. These six features were as follows: (1) water-resistant to 200 meters, (2) screw-down crown, (3) double safety clasp on the bracelet, (4) unidirectional turning bezel, (5) sapphire crystal, and (6) luminous pointers, for the markers on the dial, the hands and the bezel.
As the middle child between the more popular 2000 Series and more exclusive S/el collection, the style of the 4000 Series borrows from each of these other collections. The 4000 Series offers a more up-market, softer and rounder satin-finish case than the 2000 Series, but without the more complex lugs or bracelet of the S/el models.
The 4000 Series collection was straight forward -- there was one basic design offered in three sizes, with either a quartz or automatic movement and with various colors for the cases and dials. The defining design feature of the 4000 Series watches is the “split logo”, with the “TAG” element (in green) being fixed in position as part of the case and the “Heuer” element (in red) being part of the bezel, so that it rotates. No other TAG Heuer collection incorporates this approach.
The automatic version of the 4000 Series featured an ETA 2824 movement -- the same movement still used today as the Calibre 5. As well as the obvious “automatic” on the dial, the 4000 Automatic had a slightly different dial design, with an inner minute scale added. While this made the Automatic stand out, it did lose some of the purity of the Quartz version.
The Quartz version had the word “Professional” on the dial and also had a metal border around the hourly lume markers, which was not used on the automatic watches.
The 4000 Series watches were usually sold with a stainless steel bracelet, but they were also offered with a leather or sharkskin strap.