Beyond the Tourbillon…

Pioneering avant-garde requires imagination boldly expressed. Micro-blades instead of hairsprings. Belts instead of gears. Magnets instead of hairsprings. Never because it is new, always because it is better. Faster, more precise, more reliable, more beautiful. The quest for simplicity, not complexity…

The TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum
100th-of-a-Second Chronograph

&

The TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS
100th-of-a-Second Concept Chronograph

 

AVANT-GARDE HAUTE HORLOGERIE, the award-winning TAG Heuer atelier behind some of the 21st-century watchmaking’s biggest breakthroughs, delivers a double slam this Baselworld by commercializing the first-ever magnet-driven 100th-of-a-second chronograph & conceptualizing the first-ever double magnetic tourbillon.

 

Over the last decade, TAG Heuer’s Avant-Garde Haute Horlogerie workshop–an 25-person team of scientists, engineers and designers–has pulled off some of the most revolutionary coups in watchmaking history. The core of that achievement is its high-precision MIKRO Series, a platform of powerful technological innovations that turn many of horology’s centuries-old hypotheses about how watches must work on their head.

Among the atelier’s most recent breakthroughs:

The TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph (2011): the first integrated column wheel mechanical 1/100th of a second wrist chronograph with flying central hand display.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrotimer Flying 1000 (2011): a new in-house concept watch capable of 1/1000th accuracy.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrogirder (2012): winner of the Aiguille d’Or, watchmaking’s most prestigious award, the only chronograph precise to 5/10,000th second, equipped with a never-before-seen regulating system made of micro blades that beats at an incredible 1,000 hertz

The TAG Heuer Carrera MikrotourbillonS (2012): a dual-chained, dual-frequency, double-barreled and double-tourbillon chronograph–the fastest, most accurate tourbillon ever made.

TAG Heuer Carrera MikrotourbillonS

This year’s TAG Heuer Baselworld breakthroughs are based on another one-of-a-kind innovation from the grand masters: the Carrera Pendulum (2010), the world’s first escapement to work with magnets instead of a traditional hairspring.

This revolutionary COSC-certified regulator overturns 3 centuries of conventional watchmaking tradition. In a classical spiral hairspring system (invented by Christian Huygens in 1675), the effect of gravity due to mass is a dominant issue. With the Pendulum, the problem no longer even exists–there is no loss of amplitude. The result is a significant increase in precision (division of time) and performance (frequency accuracy and stability).

Still, the original TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept posed problems that many thought insurmountable. In particular, thermal sensibility: magnetic fields are influenced by temperature differences, which affect performance. Over the last 3 years, however, TAG Heuer’s scientists and engineers have worked on this problem, experimenting with new magnetic atoms, metal alloys and carefully dimensioned and machined geometries. The result is a new overturning of conventional wisdom: an invisible, magnet-driven spiral that moves the balance wheel at a low amplitude and high frequency that ensure a perfect accuracy and stability. Overall, the magnetic oscillator’s performance comes close to matching traditional hairsprings of the highest quality. Even better–it is much easier to manufacture and impervious to shock, gravity and geometric deformations.

For the time being, this technology is only commercially applicable for frequencies higher than 10 Hz. Fortunately, this is TAG Heuer’s uncontested domain: the brand has completely dominated the world of ultra-precision for years.

TAG Heuer Pendulum Movement

To showcase this advancement, TAG Heuer is presenting a double launch of the new chronograph technology at Baselworld: one commercially available, the other in the concept stage. Backed by many TAG Heuer patents, both are delivered in the motor-sports inspired chassis of the brand’s iconic Carrera collection.

 


The TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum

TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum

AN EXCLUSIVE TAG HEUER PATENTED TECHNOLOGY: THE FIRST HIGH-FREQUENCY CHRONOGRAPH REGULATED BY MAGNETS

 

The first high-frequency chronograph moved by magnets, the TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum is inspired by the TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph, the first integrated column wheel mechanical 100/s wrist chronograph with a flying central hand display. Like all MIKRO creations, it is a dual chain platform with a balance-wheel system for the watch (28,800 beats per hour (4Hz) with a 42 hour power reserve), and a hairspring-less pendulum system for the chronograph (360,000 beats per hour (50hz) with a 90 minute power reserve). The crown rewinds the chronograph: the watch is run on a classic COSC-certified automatic movement powered by an oscillating weight. There are 371 components in the dual-chain structure, each designed, crafted and assembled by TAG Heuer’s Haute Horlogerie team of master watchmakers and engineers.

TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum

The 45mm case is in sandblasted, fine-brushed and polished titanium. The Grade 5 metal is also used for the pushbuttons and rubberized crown. The curved sapphire crystal is double anti-reflective curved sapphire crystal. The anthracite grey dial is fine-brushed on one side with Côte-de-Genève finishing under the pendulum–the first-ever magnetic oscillator without hairspring, which is on proud display at 9 o’clock. The chronograph minutes counter is at 3 o’clock, the chronograph seconds at 6, and the chronograph power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. The 100ths of a second are displayed by a sweeping red central hand–and measured out on an a 1/100th of a second scale on the anthracite flange. A high-tech strap in soft, hand-sewn anthracite alligator with black titanium folding clasp finishes the sporting look. This is classic, standard-bearer Carrera, always contemporary, always at the leading edge of technology and design.

 

 

The TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS

TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS Concept Baselworld 2013

AN EXCLUSIVE TAG HEUER PATENTED TECHNOLOGY: THE FIRST EVER MAGNETIC DOUBLE TOURBILLON

 

By far the  most intricate and iconic complication of Haute Horlogerie, a tourbillon is a mechanical system for regulating the speed at which a watch beats: it overcomes the effects of gravity by placing the balance wheel and escapement inside a rotating cage. Until the TAG Heuer Carrera MikrotourbillonS launch last year, tourbillons were only made because of the beauty of the mechanism: they were considered ‘novelty’ features, slow and imprecise showcase of ornate complexity. The TAG Heuer Carrera MikrotourbillonS changed that overnight–it was faster and more accurate than any tourbillon ever made.

Now the brand has taken the technology a step further.

TAG Heuer Pendulum Movement

The TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS is a TAG Heuer Carrera MikrotourbillonS with 2 magnetic Pendulums replacing the hairsprings, one for telling time and one for timekeeping. Composed of 454 working components and based on unique TAG Heuer-patented technology, its watch chain turns at 12Hz and its chronograph chain turns at 50Hz (60 minutes power reserve). The chronograph tourbillon, the world’s fastest, controls the 1/100th of a second, beats 360,000 an hour and rotates 12 times a minute.

TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS Concept Baselworld 2013 back

 

The case is forged from a revolutionary material, a chrome and cobalt alloy used in aviation and surgery. It is fully biocompatible, harder than titanium, easier to shape and as luminous as white gold. The case design, with its stopwatch-like placement of the crown at 12 o’clock, is based on the 2012 Aiguille d’Or winner, the TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrogirder, and the Carrera 50 Year Anniversary Jack Heuer edition. The two tourbillon Pendulums and their solid rose gold bridges (18K 5N) are visible through the fine-brushed anthracite dial. The hand applied “100” at 12 o’clock is also in solid rose gold. The chronograph minutes counter is at 12 o’clock, chronograph seconds at 3, and the chronograph power reserve at 9. The 1/100th of a second scale appears on the silver flange. The strap is hand-sewn anthracite grey alligator, very high-tech in style and soft to the touch.

 

This is a spectacular showcase of Swiss craft and TAG Heuer savoir-faire. The Baselworld unveiling of the brand’s latest concept piece has become a “can’t-miss” moment among watch lovers. The new TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS is sure to give them a lot to talk about.