The sensational announcement of TAG Heuer’s partnership with Intel and Google has unsurprisingly made international headlines. Present during the announcement were David Singleton, Research Manager at Android, and Michael Bell, vice-president and General Manager of Intel’s New Devices Group. The group from the Silicon Valley were ecstatic about the performance of Jean-Claude Biver, President of LVMH’S watch division and TAG Heuer’s CEO, who was at his best and managed to captivate them. It was however the new 45-mm CARRERA Calibre Heuer that drew all our attention and that deserved admiring. Indeed, right after the presentation, our in-house photographers had a special photo shoot session scheduled just for it. To top it off, the piece pays tribute to the founding father Edouard Heuer and sports the number “01” because it is the first watch of an entirely new collection.
Designing a modular case with 12 embedded elements is a break-through in TAG Heuer’s usual watchmaking that involves only one-element cases. Such an upheaval has obviously broadened the scope of variations to a large extent as well as enabling the brand to play unwearyingly with multiple combinations of materials, colors and finishes. After all, since its creation in 1860, the brand has proven that technicality and avant-garde have never been limited to its name (as we know, TAG stands for “Techniques d’Avant-Garde”).
Concerning the style of piece, a watch from the Carrera collection cannot be other than sporty, even if it is more transparent and open worked than previous models. The piece preserves its competitive aesthetics boosted by a design that allows the beholder to see the chronograph’s controls and its open worked date disc on the dial.
The piece’s back comprises a red column wheel that acts as a beacon while the chronograph’s bridge and skeletonized black weight reveal the mechanism’s workings. It costs less than CHF5,000, which considering it is a 100% in-house chronograph proves that the brand is fully engaged in competition and has hence invested in achieving industrial excellence.
The Caliber Heuer 01 is a self-winding mechanical engine equipped with a date that is indicated through an open-worked disc. It also features a column wheel and a 50-hour power reserve. Its dial sports encompasses a minute timer at 12 o’clock, an hour timer at 6 o’clock and a small current second timer at 9 o’clock as well as a red-rimmed date aperture at 3 o’clock.
The rhodium-plated indexes are red too, though coated with Superluminova and alternating with white. The whole micromechanical development, driven by a black rotor, is housed in a 100-meter water-resistant case that comes with a rubber strap closed by a deployment buckle. Its perforations and security pushers evoke the spirit of racing drivers.