Not one to crack under pressure, TAG Heuer has successfully mastered the art of accuracy, with its new CARRERA CALIBRE HEUER 02T TOURBILLON NANOGRAPH; a state-of-the-art chronograph, featuring a completely new hairspring made of carbon composite. Released just weeks ago, at GENEVA WATCH DAYS, this truly amazing new timepiece represents the next generation of tourbillon watches. Patented and produced in-house by TAG Heuer, the new hairspring regulates the Heuer 02T manufacture movement, which is fitted with a tourbillon mechanism and meets the official standards for classification as a chronometer.
Today, manufacturing a hairspring, is an extremely expensive process, which is why majority of the time, they’re outsourced. It is the heart of a mechanical watch and probably the most difficult part to produce because its minute tolerances directly impact the overall precision of a timepiece. TAG Heuer’s new carbon-composite hairspring, produced from a gas, replaces the well-known Elinvar and silicon versions found in many movements these days. The lightweight, low-density hairspring is virtually unaffected by gravity and shock. In TAG Heuer’s lab, watches were tested up to 5,000 g/1 m fall onto a hard surface. The result: metal hairsprings bent, silicon hairsprings broke, while the carbon-composite hairspring remained completely intact. Furthermore, it assists in perfect concentric oscillations which eventually improves the precision of the watch.
The carbon-composite hairspring is produced with the collet already attached; usually, this small part, which attaches the metallic hairspring to the balance wheel axis, requires complicated assembly and generates further inaccuracy. Being completely anti-magnetic, it eliminates the issue of inaccuracy being introduced after a watch comes into contact with a magnetic source. Optimal thermal behaviour and aeroelasticity have also been achieved by pairing the carbon-composite hairspring with an aluminium alloy balance wheel.
Describing the importance of this technology, Guy Sémon, CEO of the TAG Heuer Institute, said: “The development of this world premiere has taken years, with its ambition of improving the performance and accuracy of mechanical watches. The innovations created in the TAG Heuer Institute can be likened to a stairway, with each innovation always leading to another. The carbon-composite hairspring is a first step that will lead us to yet more in-house improvements still in the process of being developed.”
A self-winding mechanical movement, the Heuer02T offers a power reserve of 65 hours, which is rather impressive, given that it runs a chronograph as well as a tourbillon.
A seamless rendition of black, ‘carbon’ and bright neon green, the watch is presented in a 45mm PVD-coated titanium case. The lugs and carbon bezel with tachymeter scale are also in black PVD Titanium. The nanoscopic (one million times smaller than a millimetre) hexagonal pattern of the hairspring’s carbon- composite material is mirrored in the design of the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph. Aside from the carbon-composite hairspring, the most distinguishing feature of this chronometer-certified chronograph is its multilayer dial and movement combination, which features sandblasted and fine-brushed hexagons on the movement plate visible through an open-worked dial. The pattern can also be seen on the oscillating mass, which has been treated with black PVD and is visible through the sapphire caseback.
Alluding to haute horlogerie creations of the past, a bright neon green colour adorns various elements of the watch, including the aluminium bridge and the inscription on the tourbillon movement. The aluminium alloy balance wheel stands out with its white gold inserts, while SuperLuminova® markings ensure that the movement is visible day and night.
Guided by its legacy of avant-garde watchmaking, TAG Heuer has entered a new era of forward-thinking invention leading to unparalleled accuracy in mechanical watchmaking.
PRICE: RRP $33,450 Australian Dollars
FACTS AND FIGURES
TAG Heuer Calibre Heuer 02T tourbillon manufacture movement with new in-house hairspring made of carbon composite, chronometer-certified automatic tourbillon chronograph, diameter 31 mm, 33 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 65-hour power reserve, hexagon decorations on movement plate and oscillating mass
Chronograph with hour and minute counters, tourbillon, hour, minute and seconds
Diameter 45 mm, case and lugs in black PVD titanium, carbon bezel with tachymeter scale, sapphire crystal with anti reflective treatment on both sides, water-resistant to 100 metres (10 bar)
Black open-worked dial with hexagon pattern, black flange with 60-second scale, black gold-plated chronograph minute and hour counters and tourbillon frame, rhodium- plated indexes and hands filled with SuperLuminova®, hexagon pattern
Black calfskin leather and rubber strap, carbon buckle with black PVD titanium folding clasp
Special packaging with integrated watch winder