First Look: TAG Heuer Mikrogirder 2000

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   17 January 2012   |   16 Comments  

Meet the TAG Heuer Mikrogirder 2000 Concept watch- a dual-assortment, ultra high-beat watch with a Chronograph beating at 7.2 million times every hour, meaning that the watch can time events to 5/ 10,000th of a second. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the new TAG Heuer Mikrogirder is not that TAG Heuer have put out a watch twice as fast as the Mikrotimer- it’s the fact that they’ve done it with a movement that- again- reinvents mechanical movements. The 2011 Mikrotimer had no balance wheel. The 2009 Pendulum had no hairspring. The 2012 Mikrogirder has neither.

As you’d expect, the party trick of the Mikrogirder is the flying central chronograph hand, which rotates 20 times per second- twice as fast as the Mirkotimer.

TAG Heuer talk about the movement in terms of being accurate to 5/10,000th of a second, rather than 1/ 2,000th of a second. Same thing you might say, but the claim is that for the first time it is possible to break apart the 1/ 10,000th fraction of time. Having said that, there is a large “2000” at the top of the dial and in the name, so you can see it however you prefer.

Reading the Mikrogirder

The Mikrogirder has a different dial layout to the Mikrotimer, so let’s step through the sub-dials that you see above:

  • 12 o’clock Sub-Dial: This measures Seconds. Each marker represents 3 seconds, so the hand rotates once every 90 seconds
  • 3 o’clock sub-dial: This shows seconds plus 1/10th of a second – one complete revolution of this hand is equal to three seconds
  • The Flying central hand shows time in 1/100th, 1/ 1000th and 5/10,000th of  a second

To get the timed event you have to add together the 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock readings (giving you x.x seconds) and then add the reading from the flying hand. While its hard to see from the photo above, the flying hand in the photo shows 285 1/10,000th of a second…meaning that the dial above shows 0.0285 seconds (a theoretical example of course, given normal human reaction times).

Design

While the Mikrogirder at first looks similar to the 2011 Mikrotimer, look a little closer and you see a couple of distinguishing features. The first is that the watch is a “Bullhead” Chronograph, with the crown and chronograph pushers located on top of the case.

The second aspect you notice is that the case is not symmetrical, with the top part of the case rising at an angle.

I spoke with designer Christoph Behling who said that he was looking for a way to combine the look of the traditional Carrera case with the look of the vintage Heuer stop-watches. And that is why the Mikrogirder looks like a stop-watch sitting on top of a Carrera base case.

The dial has an attractive anthracite finish, with the case matched to a rubber strap similar to the one used for the Mikrotimer.

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