Jaen-Claude Biver’s return to TAG Heuer as its CEO has seen the brand making waves in various areas, from the deluge of new partnerships to the Connected smartwatch. The latest furore that Biver has raised concerns the Carrera Heuer-02T, which serves as proof that there is no cow too sacred for this man in his bid to have TAG Heuer reconquer the mass luxury segment of the watch industry.
The gist of the matter is this: TAG Heuer has released a tourbillon costing just under CHF15,000 — an unheard of price point well below the next most affordable Swiss-made toubillon. The variant used here is a flying toufbillon (which lacks a bridge on its upper side), mated to the CH80 calibre that was mothballed soon after its was unveiled in 2014. The choice of the CH80 movement was a logical one. The chronograph is the signature complication for TAG Heuer, after all, and existing stocks of perfectly good CH80 movements were available for the modification, with plans to use the remaining ones as base calibres in future projects.
The tourbillon itself has a lightweight carbon/titanium hybrid construction that affords the Carrera Heuer-02T a 65-hour power reserve despite havinga 28,800vph frequency and just one barrel. To top things off, TAG Heuer has even sent each Heuer-02T movement for COSC certification. Design-wise, the Carrera Heuer-02T resembles the Carrera Heuer 01 , with a busy dial sporting multiple facets and angles that impart a sporty, technical look. To balance the flying tourbillon at six o’clock, the barrel is exposed at 12 o’clock under a V-shaped bridge that is reminiscent of the Monaco V4 Tourbillon. The watch’s case is made up of 12 modular components , and hints at the possibility of future designs with variations in materials or finishing techniques, whether on the case middle, bezel, pushers, or elsewhere.
The tourbillon was once emblematic of high watchmaking and remains a visually arresting device (issues of its efficacy aside). Its prestige has been eroding steadily, however, beginning with the arrival of Chinese-made ones on the market, and the ability of increasingly sophisticated CNC machines to manufacture the cage’s tiny components. The arrival of the Carrera Heuer-02T might just open the floodgates for the tourbillon to become mainstream.
- Dimensions: 45mm
- Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph
- Power Reserve: 65 hours
- Movement: Self-winding Calibre Heuer-02T with flying tourbillon
- Material: Ttanium
- Water Resistance: 100 meters
- Strap: Black alligator leather on black rubber hybrid with titanium deployant buckle
This article was first published in WOW.