Fresh Photos: TAG Heuer Brings the Bad Ass to LVMH Watch Week New York
The avant-garde watchmakers are leaving the competition behind with a slew of supercharged timepieces.
Hot on the heels of new product presentations in Singapore, LVMH Watch Week brought its 2023 road show to Manhattan this week. And what a week it has been!
We’d gotten a sneak peek from the Singapore event, but it doesn’t beat holding the new launches in our hands. And while TAG Heuer presented a slew of new watches at both events – including the highly anticipated reboot of the Monza – we were most impressed by the new Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph and the Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary Edition.
We have our reasons. And we will share them with you now.
Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
Last year at Watches and Wonders, TAG Heuer introduced the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph. And why not? Solar is making huge inroads in the luxury market (think Cartier).
TAG Heuer’s first entry into the solar sphere took the technology to new levels. Or should we say depths? We spoke to TAG Heuer Chief Marketing Officer George Ciz about how the brand has adapted its legendary Aquaracer Professional 200 for solar power: “It’s a little chameleon. It’s more than a dive watch. It’s for outdoor wear, but you can also dress it up.”
For the Solargraph released in 2022, the brand had to invent a new calibre – the TH50-00 solar movement – to make the watch work in any lighting environment. This calibre is powered by the sun via a translucent black dial, which sports the Aquaracer’s signature stripes. And now, not even a year later, TAG Heuer has impressed us by introducing a brand new Solargraph made almost entirely from Grade 2 titanium.
Of course, the new model keeps the same 40mm case size and 200m water resistance as the previous steel Solargraph. However, the 2023 version is a vast improvement in durability (titanium is hard wearing and possesses anti-corrosive properties, a must for water-adjacent sports) and comfort (the material is about half the weight of steel).
So, although enthusiasts, more often than not, gravitate towards TAG Heuer for its association with motorsports, it’s always great to see them move the needle in the world of water as well!
Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary Edition
During the New York leg of LVMH Watch Week, CMO George Ciz also teased that TAG Heuer is planning several special releases to mark the Carrera’s 60th Birthday. And the new piece released in Singapore is a revisiting of a late 1960s watch designed by Jack Heuer himself: the reference 2447 SN. “We are going to tell the whole Carrera story throughout the year,” Ciz told Watchonista. “This is just the first chapter.”
Featuring a 1970s shape and 1969s panda dial with a slightly more polished execution, the Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary Edition is like a roadmap for how brands can update an old design with intelligence and restraint. For example, instead of the original’s acrylic crystal, this Anniversary Edition has a more premium raised profile “glass box” in sapphire crystal to evoke that 1970s appearance. Moreover, the retro-styled pushers, beige lume, and the slimline tension ring around the dial’s outer edge also add to the throwback vibes.
However, despite paying homage to the past, when it comes to being on the cutting edge, it’s what’s inside that matters, and the Carrera 60th Anniversary runs on the Heuer 02, TAG Heuer’s in-house automatic chronograph calibre. This tiny but powerful motor shares many of the signatures of the Jack Heuer-designed ref. 2447 SN but presents this column-wheel chronograph with a partially skeletonized rotor that mimics the shape of a steering wheel. It also boasts an impressive 80-hour power reserve and a COSC chronometer certificate.
Monza Flyback Chronometer
The Carrera and the Autavia have long been part of TAG Heuer’s core collections. Meanwhile, the Monaco is the brand’s best-known chronograph. And yet, the maison’s ties to racing run so deep that even a lesser-known drive watch like the Monza is still considered legendary by collectors.
Introduced in 1976, TAG Heuer brought back the Monza at LVMH Watch Week in a very bold way: a 42mm carbon case, a skeletonized dial, and black DLC-coated steel pushers. So, while the new Monza Flyback Chronometer doesn’t look like any Monza from the past, it does share the original’s dare-devil spirit.
The new Monza also takes the idea of openwork in an interesting direction, focusing mainly on legibility. The tachymeter and pulsometer scales stay out of the way by circling the outer ring. Meanwhile, red and blue accents pop up throughout the dial to provide contrast.
For instance, the two sub-dials at 3 and 6 o’clock employ a translucent blue fumé sapphire crystal, the indices have blue lacquer, and the trapezoidal date window at 9 o’clock is framed in red. Finally, the blue indices and the date window are coated with Super-LumiNova for low-light readability. It’s all very sporty.
Of course, there’s no point in having a skeletonized dial if you don’t have a movement worth showing off. The Monza gets its drive from TAG Heuer’s in-house Caliber Heuer 02 COSC-certified Flyback. The column wheel is red, making it look even racier!
“That’s the magic of this Monza,” commented Ciz. “That we could make something so strong without losing the essence of the original.” The brand is so behind this reimagined Monza that it is not limited but rather a regular production piece.