MikrotourbillonS- Full Details

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   1 July 2012   |   15 Comments  

Three months after the first images of the TAG Heuer MikrotourbillonS leaked out at Baselworld, we can show you detailed photos of the final watch: the first Tourbillon- in fact a double tourbillon- produced by Heuer/ TAG Heuer.

The MikrotourbillonS (as TAG Heuer insist on spelling the name to emphasis that the watch has two tourbillons) movement is yet another development of the high-precision “Mikro” platform that powers the range of ultra-high frequency Chronographs, ranging from the 1/ 100th second Mikrograph through to the 2/ 10,000th Mikrogirder. The Mikro platform is a dual-frequency movement with two barrels- one for the watch and one for the Chronograph.

CAR5A51.FC6323_TAG_HEUER_CARRERA_MIKROTOURBILLON_MOOD_PACKSHOT_2013We have seen that TAG Heuer has experimented with a range of technologies to regulate the Mikro movements, for example the small vibrating metal beams in the Mikrogirder. This time, TAG Heuer regulates the movement with one of the most famous complications of all- the tourbillon. For a quick refresher on what a tourbillon is, click here.

Design

While the movement inside the MikrotourbillonS is quite radical, the watch itself is relatively conventional- a 45mm Carrera case finished in Rose Gold. Adding contrast to the Rose Gold is a black metal called Tantalum- an exotic metal used in the capacitors of many modern electronics. Tantalum is mainly found in Western Australia and is highly resistant to corrosion.

The dial consists of two halves- the right side is finished in an anthracite Côtes de Genève pattern, and houses the sub-dials and power reserve indicator, while the left side is dedicated to the two tourbillons.

The dials on the MikrotourbillonS are as follows:

  • 3 o’clock: Chronograph minutes
  • 6 o’clock: Chronograph seconds
  • 12 o’clock: Power reserve indicator

The Central flying hand (shown below) displays 1/10th and 1/100th second increments.

A further feature of the MikrotourbillonS is the crown, which charges both the watch and the Chronograph, depending on the direction that it is wound.

Movement

The movement is the key part of this watch and what makes it special. The MikrotourbillonS uses two tourbillons- one to regulate the time, and one to regulate the Chronograph.

Like the other Mikro movements, the escapement for the watch vibrates at a conventional 28,000 vibrations per hour (4hz). The regulation for the watch is provided by a tourbillon which rotates once every minute.

The Chronograph escapement vibrates at 360,000 vibrations per hour (50hz) and is regulated by a tourbillon that rotates once every 5 seconds (making it the fastest tourbillon in the world), allowing a precision of 1/ 100th second. Power reserve is 45 hours for the watch and 60 minutes for the Chronograph.

And who makes this movement? TAG Heuer say that there are 439 components in the MikrotourbillonS movement, with 437 of them being made in-house. The only components purchased are the two hairsprings. Below are shots of the 50hz Wheel from the Chronograph and one of the Bridges from the watch.

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