A SPIN ON THINGS

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

TAG Heuer has un­veiled the most at­tain­able Swiss-made tour­bil­lon – the Car­rera Heuer-02t

Jean-claude Biver’s re­turn to TAG Heuer as its CEO has seen the brand mak­ing waves in var­i­ous ar­eas, from the del­uge of new part­ner­ships to the Con­nected smart­watch. The lat­est furore that Biver has raised con­cerns the Car­rera Heuer-02t, which serves as proof that there is no cow too sa­cred for this man in his bid to have TAG Heuer re­con­quer the mass lux­ury seg­ment of the watch in­dus­try.

The gist of the mat­ter is this: TAG Heuer has re­leased a tour­bil­lon cost­ing just un­der CHF15,000 – an un­heard of price point well be­low the next most af­ford­able Swiss-made tour­bil­lon. The vari­ant used here is a fly­ing tour­bil­lon (which lacks a bridge on its up­per side), mated to the CH80 cal­i­bre that was moth­balled soon af­ter it was un­veiled in 2014. The choice of the CH80 move­ment was a log­i­cal one. The chronograph is the sig­na­ture com­pli­ca­tion for TAG Heuer, af­ter all, and ex­ist­ing stocks of per­fectly good CH80 move­ments were avail­able for the mod­i­fi­ca­tion, with plans to use the re­main­ing ones as base cal­i­bres in fu­ture projects. The tour­bil­lon it­self has a light­weight car­bon/ti­ta­nium hy­brid con­struc­tion that af­fords the Car­rera Heuer-02t a 65-hour power re­serve de­spite hav­ing a 28,800vph fre­quency and just one bar­rel. To top things off, TAG Heuer has even sent each Heuer-02t move­ment for COSC cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

De­sign-wise, the Car­rera Heuer-02t re­sem­bles the Car­rera Heuer 01, with a busy dial sport­ing mul­ti­ple facets and an­gles that im­part a sporty, tech­ni­cal look. To bal­ance the fly­ing tour­bil­lon at six o’clock, the bar­rel is ex­posed at 12 o’clock un­der a V-shaped bridge that is rem­i­nis­cent of the Monaco V4 Tour­bil­lon. The watch’s case is made up of 12 mod­u­lar com­po­nents, and hints at the pos­si­bil­ity of fu­ture de­signs with vari­a­tions in ma­te­ri­als or fin­ish­ing tech­niques, whether on the case mid­dle, bezel, push­ers, or else­where.

The tour­bil­lon was once em­blem­atic of high watch­mak­ing, and re­mains a vis­ually ar­rest­ing de­vice (is­sues of its ef­fi­cacy aside). Its pres­tige has been erod­ing steadily, how­ever, be­gin­ning with the ar­rival of Chi­nese-made ones on the mar­ket, and the abil­ity of in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated CNC ma­chines to man­u­fac­ture the cage’s tiny com­po­nents. The ar­rival of the Car­rera Heuer-02t might just open the flood­gates for the tour­bil­lon to be­come main­stream. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Cal­i­bre Heuer-02t with fly­ing tour­bil­lon; 65-hour power re­serve

CASE 45mm in ti­ta­nium, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 100m

STRAP Black al­li­ga­tor leather on black rub­ber hy­brid with ti­ta­nium de­ploy­ant buckle

PRICE $21,800 (black ti­ta­nium) to $40,800 (rose gold bezel)

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