Many watch brands tend to revisit their back catalog for inspiration or to reissue certain timepieces, but they rarely go this back in time. This new TAG Heuer Mikrograph is a 100th anniversary watch, limited to exactly 100 produced pieces, as a homage to this horology brands living legacy.
This watch takes us back to Heuer’s beginning as a motorsports timer in 1916, so much so, that it features a vintage Heuer logo and a “Made in Switzerland” inscription. But, the brand name “TAG” is nowhere in sight, just like this particular watch originally debuted. Recall that TAG only acquired a majority stake of the Heuer brand in 1985, while the Heuer brand had already been established since 1860 by Edouard Heuer, in St-Imier, Switzerland.
It’s been a while since TAG Heuer released a high speed chronograph. Since Jean-Claude Biver took over as CEO, his main goal has been brand awareness through multiple synergies and brand endorsements. So, in a way this new vintage release is a return to where the TAG Heuer was headed a few years ago.
The Carrera type 45mm case is made of stainless-steel with a bullhead layout and features a transparent caseback, which allows to see the inner working movements. It features a thin bezel and long lugs for a sleek feel.
But, with a few turns the case can be removed and placed on a desk holder or a dashboard, in order to mimic racing indicators. A large spherical ridged crown is found at the 12 o’clock position, in between the “mushroom” push-pieces, reminiscent of the pioneering Heuer counters.
Time and tools are exhibited on a white lacquered dial with painted Arabic numerals for all its complications. And pointing out the various timings are blue steeled hands, for an enhanced legibility. This design represents the alliance of revolutionary technology and functional design seen in the sports timekeeping instruments of the 1920’s. Its automatic bidirectional caliber features: hours, minutes, a sub-seconds at the 3 o’clock position; a power reserve indication located at 9 o’clock; a 30-minute counter at the 12 o’clock position; and a date window located between the 4 and 5 o’clock marks.
TAG Heuer Mikrograph
This “TAG Heuer Mikrograph” (Ref#: CAR5A1A.FC6374) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, with 62 jewels and 480 components. It features two balances: one regular 28,800vph balance for the time and a 360,000vph balance for the chronograph. The Mikograph movement is COSC certified and can power the chronograph up to 90 minutes, while the regular timekeeping can sustain a power reserve of up to 42 hours, when fully wound.
The 90 minute autonomy of the chronograph may seem short, but bear in mind all the energy necessary to pull off a 1/100th of a second measurement, at an ultra-high speed heartbeat. Mounted to the watch is a grey leather racing strap, secured by a stainless-steel push-button clasp. It’s also a limited edition of only 100 produced pieces and has been available for sale since this September 2016.
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