|With two new patents, the TAG Heuer “Caliber 360″ Concept chronograph creates a new landmark in mechanical watchmaking.|
There is always a buzz around the TAG Heuer booth at Basel. TAG Heuer is truly a brand which is on the move, always. The brand has tremendous legacy of being associated with the Formula 1 track, which revolves around two qualities – cutting edge technology and daringness in motion.
The brand is suitably represented by its flamboyant and charismatic President & CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin. In more ways than one, Babin’s personality is mirrored in the product itself. In a recent exclusive and one to one chat with us, Babin unveils the concept of the year-TAG Heuer “Calibre 360″ Concept Chronograph. This was truly a double whammy for the brand as last year too they presented another TAG Heuer concept Monaco V4 as the concept of the year. It is amazing that TAG Heuer never fails to fulfill the expectations that rise with every passing year.
The “Calibre 360″ Concept Chronograph, the most accurate mechanical timepiece ever, is the first mechanical wrist chronograph to measure and display time to 1/100th of a second. This could become possible, thanks to the exceptionally high frequency of its balance wheel that oscillates at 360,000 beats per hour, 10 times faster than any other chronograph. This rate was until now considered inconceivable. Comments Babin “We wanted to break a new frontier in mechanical chronographs, which has evolved very little in the last 35 years”.
In 2002, TAG Heuer had presented the Microtimer F1 Concept Watch, the first Swiss wrist chronograph accurate to 1/1,000th of a second. It won the Best Design Award at the “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève” and was successfully introduced in market in 2003.
TAG Heuer’s history too has been equally interesting and colourful. It started with its first stopwatch patent in 1869, followed by the revolutionary oscillating pinion of 1887 – still an essential component in today’s mechanical chronographs like the TAG Heuer Calibre 16. In 1916, with the invention of the Micrograph, the first pocket timepiece accurate to 1/100th of a second, TAG Heuer took the first step towards this year’s revolutionary “Calibre 360″ Concept Chronograph. In 1969, TAG Heuer revolutionised chronographs at Basel by being the first to market an automatic chronograph movement, the famous Calibre 11 (Chronomatic) with a microrotor to rewind the barrels.
The Micrograph and the 1969 Chronomatic Calibre 11 had in a way heralded the arrival of TAG Heuer “Calibre 360″ Concept Chronograph-the world’s most accurate wrist chronograph. The revolutionary new “Calibre 360″ Concept Chronograph directly incorporates technology and techniques drawn from both of these prior innovations.
In order to achieve this exceptional level of precision, TAG Heuer has developed a unique and complex movement, the principle of which was set by the Chronomatic Calibre 11 in 1969. Made of more than 234 components and mechanisms, of which 131 are directly from the chronograph movement, it actually fuses two distinctive mechanical movements, each connected to the other but operating independently.
To ensure precision adjustment and independent operation, the basis of the “Calibre 360″ is an automatic movement, the TAG Heuer Calibre 7, with a power-reserve of 42 hours and a heart beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Highly resistant to wrist shock and wear effects, embellished with Côtes de Genève decoration on the oscillating mass, this movement has been certified as a chronometer by the COSC (the Swiss Official Chronometer Control institute).