TAG Heuer: Chevenez & the Calibre 1888
TAG Heuer Calibre 1888
Calibre 11 had the chance to speak exclusively to Jean-Christophe Babin about the Calibre 1888 and the latest developments in the fast-moving world of movement supply.
Calibre 11: Congratulations on the inauguration of the new site- can you tell us when construction starts? When do you expect the first movement to be produced?
Jean-Christophe Babin: We have a very stretched road-map also because the movement is 100% new, internally designed, developed, prototyped and patented. We want to present the first functional prototypes at Baselworld 2013 and start manufacturing the first finished timepieces towards the end of Q4 2013.
C11: What can you tell us about the Calibre 1888? Is the new movement based on the Mikrograph base (i.e. two barrels) or is it entirely new?
JCB: It’s entirely new, but obviously will benefit from the expertise and certain components developed with the Calibre 1887 and the Mikrograph, because we developed these two movements with a long-term vision in terms of re-usable components. Having said that, the architecture and dimensions will be totally different.
C11: Collectors are very keen to understand the dial layout of the new movement. Is it 3-6-9 (tri-compax), 3- 6 (bi-compax) or something different?
JCB: With the 1887 we have a 6-9-12 basic layout, so with the 1888 we will have a 3-6-9 layout in order to cover 100% of the chronographs potential architectures and layout.
C11: What price points will the new movement be used? Between 1887 and Mikrograph?
JCB: No, not necessarily. Like the 1887 it’s a sophisticated integrated chronograph, but unlike the Mikrograph it’s a single frequency chronograph. Therefore, the primary purpose is not to cover different price points but rather propose all lay-outs possible within a €4,000-€8,000 price range.
For the €8,000 to €15,000 bracket, we have the Calibre 36 developed on the El Primero platform and above that price range, the Mikrograph 100 and Mikrotimer 1000.
So more than ever TAG Heuer will dominate the high-complication world of chronographs with no less than five”engines”, complemented obviously by the movements bought to partners such as Dubois-Depraz, Sellita and ETA. No other brand can offer up to seven or eight totally different mechanical movements.
C11: Have you seen reduction of supplies from Swatch/ ETA in other areas (i.e. other than Hairsprings?) Has supply of the 7750 reduced, and if so has this been replaced by Sellita SW500?
JCB: Of course. ETA say what they do and do what they say with the blessings of COMCO. So yes, this year we’ll receive 15% fewer mechanical movements than last year from ETA. Thanks to our Calibre 1887 fast ramp-up and the Sellita SW500 for which we are a major “launch customer” we have the chance to more than offset the decrease from ETA and fuel our growth consistently with our ambitious strategic targets.
Mikrotourbillon S 100 Update
The answer can be found on Jean-Christophe’s wrist at Chevenez:
“The Mikrotourbillon with its amazing dual semi-flying Tourbillons, including one protecting a 360,000 bph regulator and rotating six times every minute, is well under development and we’ll sell the first ones in the fourth quarter of 2012.
For the Mikrogirder we are still at a concept stage better analyzing chronometry and performance over time prior to take a “go/no-go” industrialisation decision, a process we systematically follow with all our concept watches.”
You can be sure that we’ll follow the development of the both movements closely here at Calibre 11, so stay tuned..