(A continuation of the article “Surrounding the SIHH...”) Not far from there, TAG Heuer spectacularly customised a large hall in the 1960s colours of its flagship watch, the Carrera, launched fifty years ago by the still dashing Jack Heuer. It was the occasion for the brand to emphasise its integrated, column-wheel chronograph movement, the Calibre 1887. This particular calibre garnered a lot of attention because it is based on plans purchased from Seiko. TAG Heuer remained steadfast and transparent throughout the media onslaught, stressing the in-house production of the entirely revisited calibre, which is now at full capacity.
One of the most interesting uses of this new calibre is in a series of Carrera chronographs launched for the anniversary. On the first row of this new family is the Carrera Carbon Calibre 1887 Concept Chronograph. Featuring asymmetrical horns and push-pieces and crown at 12 o’clock, it is inspired by the futuristic Carrera Mikrogirder (winner of the Golden Hand at the last Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix). The main characteristic of this model is that the case, case back, and bezel are made of ultra-fine strips of reinforced carbon fibre that are only 0.007 mm thick. The production of these strata involves the creation of the components in 3D, which are heated, then compressed to obtain their extreme rigidity by chemical reaction. The total weight of each 45-mm piece is only 76.9 grammes! Four other models have been launched, all equipped with the Calibre 1887, comprising a ceramic bezel, or in the form of a Racing Chronograph, a simple chronograph, or the classic Heritage version.
We also came to this stand to meet Guy Semon, the grand guru of the brand’s research and development unit. He showed us a new version of the famous V4 in “full graphite”, with the world’s smallest transmission belts. Semon is always busy with new avenues relating to regulation that he is working on with his team of 52 people, who produce about 350 haute horlogerie pieces per year. He filled us in on some of the new products in the pipeline, but immediately declared that this information is off the record—way off the record—because he has decided to show only what is coming up for sale in the near future. So expect to see something rather amazing at the next BaselWorld. We cannot say more because when Guy Semon, with his imposing stature, says “off the record”, it would be better to heed his words.
Source: Europa Star February - March 2013 Magazine Issue