THE EVO­LU­TION

The new in­dus­try stan­dard in the horo­log­i­cal world is the 80 hours power re­serve. TAG Heuer has a brand new fac­tory built to kick-start their 80 hours as­sault.

Esquire Malaysia Watch Guide - - Special Report - Words by Leong Wong

TUCKED IN THE NORTH­WEST cor­ner of Switzer­land and a stone’s throw away from the French bor­der, is the sleepy vil­lage of Chevenez. Ac­cord­ing to the cen­sus col­lected in 2003, the head-count of the denizens was 673. But tin 2013 there was a sud­den surge in its pop­u­la­tion, which bumped it up to just un­der 1,000. No, they weren’t in­vaded by French refugees, nor was there a baby boom in the vil­lage. In fact there is a new fac­tory be­ing erected there, in the mid­dle of a pic­turesque moun­tain­ous val­ley, which is near im­pos­si­ble to find if you are not fa­mil­iar with the swiss coun­try­side. TAG Heuer has found a new home for its ever ex­pand­ing fam­ily right here in Chevenez. The new fac­tory is brand new and the en­trance greets you with a fu­tur­is­tic out­look, with a sculp­ture de­pict­ing a man work­ing at his desk, and be­hind it a com­plex of sim­i­lar struc­tures an­odised in dark colours with a sym­met­ri­cal roof line. The fac­tory was ac­tu­ally part of the TAG Heuer- owned fac­tory Co-Tech which is lo­cated in another part of Switzer­land.

Here TAG Heuer Chevenez pro­duces the brand new CH 80 move­ment and this move­ment will be the work horse for fu­ture mod­els and their so­lu­tion to their move­ments de­pen­dency. The fac­tory pro­duces a tar­get of some 60,000 move­ments per an­num and is on its way to a max­i­mum tar­get of 100,000 units of move­ments to be achieved by next year. Is this the be­gin­ning of the new age of TAG Heuer, once again on their way to global dom­i­na­tion in the en­try level lux­ury watch mar­ket?

CAR­RERA

The star and the best sell­ers at TAG Heuer have added a cou­ple of nov­el­ties to their ex­ist­ing sportier range . They are beau­ti­fully clas­sic in their clean de­sign with a touch of sporti­ness. It has a seconds scale on the flange.

Cal­i­bre 5

Au­to­matic 39mm

Busy and out­ra­geous de­signs seem to have taken a back­burner re­cently, one of the brand’s most de­ci­sive moves is its lean­ing to­wards the truly pure and clas­sic line. The clean line with its round case and match­ing bracelet brings us almost back to the ’60s, and it has that univer­sal ap­peal that most will find ir­re­sistible. Its ver­sa­til­ity can see it be­ing worn dur­ing the day­time, cor­po­rate hours and after hours, and still see you through the en­tire week­end. The black opa­line dial here is dec­o­rated with pol­ished faceted ap­pliqué hour in­dexes and it re­peats on the hour, minute and sec­ond hands. It’s driven by an au­to­matic me­chan­i­cal move­ment with a date at three o’clock. The clas­sic beauty is housed in a slightly down-sized 39mm brushed pol­ished stain­less steel case and it is wa­ter resistant to the depth of 100M.

Cal­i­bre 7

Twin-Time Au­to­matic 41mm

Tak­ing the three hands a step fur­ther and still re­main­ing as el­e­gant as ever is the Twin-Time Au­to­matic, a prac­ti­cal fea­ture that gives you the home­time and a sec­ond time­zone in any city. A clas­sic charmer, with the an­thracite sun­burst dial giv­ing a strong back­ground to the faceted pol­ished hour, minute and sec­ond hands and hour mark­ers coated with lu­mi­nes­cent and GMT in­di­ca­tor in steel with red tip, yet still re­tain­ing that ‘sport’ el­e­ment with the seconds scale on the outer flange. The stain­less steel 41mm case houses a Cal­i­bre 7 Twin Time au­to­matic me­chan­i­cal move­ment.

Cal­i­bre CH 80

There is a race in the in­dus­try to come up with an 80 hour power re­serve from a sin­gle bar­rel, not un­like the race to pro­duce a sin­gle en­gine car with the high­est mileage per gal­lon in a car, which has been hap­pen­ing for the last decade. With new tech­nolo­gies ma­te­rial sci­ence, the world of watch­mak­ing is slowly mov­ing into un­charted ter­ri­to­ries. The Cal­i­bre CH 80 is a fine ex­am­ple of the new breed of watches, which hold— not only far su­pe­rior power sup­ply —but have also man­aged to keep the thick­ness of the move­ment down, mak­ing it slim­mer than ever. (For fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion in the new tech­nol­ogy that goes into the CH 80, read the full blown ver­sion in our Tech­no­log­i­cal In­no­va­tions.) This hand­some watch has a white dial with three black coun­ters—hour counter at nine o’clock, minute counter at three o’clock and the con­tin­u­ous seconds at six o’clock. The dial is fur­ther marked with ap­pliqué black hour in­dexes and the hour, minute and chrono hands in steel coated with lu­mi­nes­cent and red cen­tral chrono hand and a date win­dow be­tween four and five o’clock. This new in-house man­u­fac­ture move­ment with au­to­matic chrono­graph me­chan­i­cal move­ment is en­cased in a brushed pol­ished stain­less steel body.

Monaco V4 Tour­bil­lon

In 2004 some­thing hap­pened in the horo­log­i­cal scene that re­ver­ber­ated through­out the world. Tag Heuer re­vealed the Monaco V4, which shocked ev­ery­one in the in­dus­try. It was sup­posed to be a one-off to show the world what the watch­maker can do, but once the world spot­ted it, they de­manded more. As a re­sult the Haute Hor­logerie depart­ment was set up, but this ac­tu­ally deals very lit­tle with the tra­di­tional art of watch­mak­ing, in­stead us­ing sci­ence to deal with the chal­lenges that face watch­mak­ers. In 2009 Monaco V4 be­came fully com­mer­cialised. Hence, this has cre­ated a whole dif­fer­ent branch of watch­mak­ing, avant-garde watch­mak­ing. Though it’s still a very new phi­los­o­phy the idea is be­gin­ning to grow amongst the younger watch­mak­ers.

In­spired by a car en­gine’s ‘V’ con­fig­u­ra­tion, the four bar­rels are ar­ranged in two sets of ‘Vs’ and held to­gether by two ‘V’ bridges driven by a belt each, and the main­plate slopes in­ward to the cen­tre to give the en­tire move­ment a ‘V’ con­fig­u­ra­tion. This year cel­e­brat­ing its 10th An­niver­sary, Monaco V4 is given a new fea­ture, a tour­bil­lon has been dropped into the move­ment mak­ing it more pre­cious than ever. It is also belt driven and a world first, which gives a smooth tran­si­tion of power all-round. That’s the name of the game, the avant-garde Haute Hor­logerie. The watch is en­tirely in black with a grade 5 ti­ta­nium with car­bide coat­ing and black-coated dial, the hands and mark­ers are black­ened as well but coated with white lu­mi­nes­cent.

Pre­vi­ous page: Car­rera Cal­i­bre CH80 Chrono­graph.

Above: Cal­i­bre 5.

Be­low: Assem­bly line at TAG Heuer.

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