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First Look: MikroPendulumS Tourbillon Concept

TAG Heuer has produced it’s most ambitious haute horlogerie watch to mark the final Concept watch to be launched under the stewardship of CEO Jean Christophe Babin- the Carrera MikroPendulumS Tourbillon (Ref.CAR2B81).

The watch takes the already advanced MikrotourbillonS of 2012 and pushes the envelope a step further by replacing the hairsprings in each tourbillon barrel with a Pendulum oscillator.

The MikroPendulumS (of course, not to be confused with the MikroPendulum) is a double tourbillon capable of 1/ 100th second accuracy contained in a Bullhead case reminiscent of the Mikrogirder 10,000.

The watch is a final statement from TAG Heuer on its watch-building credentials. The brand that 13 years ago didn’t know how to build a basic Chronograph, has now not only mastered the most complex of watch movements (the tourbillon), but added a radical regulating system that most of the industry thought was impossible- the magnetic oscillating system of the Pendulum.

Case

The new MikroPendulumS is another development of the Bullhead case first seen on the Mikrogirder of 2012. The case has a 45mm diameter and is made from Chrome- Cobalt in a variety of sandblasted, brushed and polished finishes.

The only part of the case not made from chrome cobalt are the two pushers, which are titanium/ Note that the design of the pushers (below) has changed from the design we’ve seen on other Bullhead models.

The sapphire caseback shows off the movement and rotor.

The side of the case features the same “girder” style as seen on the Mikrogirder 10000, albeit in a different pattern.

Evolution front black 04

Dial

front fine black 20The dial of the new watch is made up of two parts. The top two-thirds of the dial is relatively straight forward- a brushed Anthracite dial with  three sub-dials:

  • 12 o’clock: Chronograph minutes
  • 3 o’clock: Chronograph seconds
  • 9 o’clock: Chronograph power reserve

A Silver/ White inner bezel provides the scale to read the 1/ 100th second fractions.

It’s the bottom one-third of the dial where things get interesting:

There are two “tourbillon pendulums” on display, each framed by a Rose Gold bridge. The dial of drops away to reveal the inner workings of the watch.

Movement

The MikroPendulum is made up of 454 components and is built on the Mikro platform- the sixth Calibre to be built on that architecture:

  • Mikrograph: 1/ 100th second- traditional hairspring
  • Mikrotimer: 1/ 1,000th second- traditional hairspring
  • Mikrogirder: 5/ 10,000th second- Vibrating micro-blade regulating mechanism
  • MikrotourbillonS: 1/ 100th second- double Tourbillon
  • MikroPendulum: 1/ 100th second- traditional hairspring/ Pendulum
  • MikroPendulumS: 1/ 100th second- Double Tourbillon Pendulum

Above you see the two tourbillon Pendulums- the watch on the left and the chronograph on the right. Note that lack of hairspring inside the balance wheels.

Above you see the two  Tourbillon Pendulums placed inside the watch. The specs on each is as follows:

  • Watch: 86,400 b.p.h (12 hz.); rotates three times every minute; power reserve 24 hours
  • Chronograph: 360,000 b.p.h (50 hz.); rotates twelve times every minute; power reserve 60 minutes

Hmmm, the watch frequency looks odd, right? Most watches vibrate at only 28,000 bph, so why such a high-frequency movement? The reason is that the challenge in commercialising the Pendulum oscillator has been to get the movement to work consistently at a variety of temperatures. In testing, TAG Heuer discovered that consistency could be achieved, but only at high frequencies- more than 10hz. So for that reason, we have a watch movement beating at 86,400 b.p.h- an unusual one.

Concept Only?

side cad black 15So, is the MikroPendulumS only a Concept, or will it make it into production, like the Carrera MikroPendulum (below)? Given that the technology is already deemed reliable enough for production, and given that TAG Heuer are already making the MikrotourbillonS, it’s hard to see why we won’t see a production version some time in the next 12 months.

Live Photos

098Paul Boutros, a Senior Moderator over at Timezone.com took these great shots and kindly agreed to share them with us- thanks Paul!

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50 Years of Carrera

The TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS is part of the 50th anniversary range of TAG Heuer’s most famous model- the Carrera. Click on the image below to learn all about the history of the Carrera and see the entire 2013 Carrera range.

50 Years Carrera

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Check out all of the Baselworld 2013 releases from TAG Heuer at our dedicated page here 

 

 

 

 

  • Jorge Falletti

    Quiero saber el precio

  • Philmo

    86,400 bph!

    Incredible!

    And with a 24 hr reserve!

    What will physics/technology/ingenuity present to us next?

  • That's the key question for the new CEO: What next? I feel like this watch closes a chapter in the Mikro movements, as they link together TAG Heuer's push into high precision and alternative methods of regulating…but what's next?

    Personally, I'd love to see these movements commercialised so that they are in the USD10,000-20,000 range…slightly more attainable.

    What's next indeed?!?

  • Patrick

    I dont know where I've been but what is this talk about Jean Christophe Babin not being the TH ceo in the near future? ??? Where is he going? Why is he leaving? And who is taking his place? I thought JCB has done an amazing job taking TH to the next level. Any help you could provide would be great!

  • Hi Patrick,

    Yes, JCB finishes up at the end of June to take up the position of CEO of Bulgari- another part of the LVMH conglomerate, so he is staying "in the family".

    No word on the replacement yet, but big shoes to fill!!

    dc

  • Derek koonin

    Interesting. I used to work for the Sulka Division of Richemont. Never realized Tag was also owned by Richemont. Just purchased a Tag after having purchased most of their other brands.

    • Michael

      TAG aren't owned by Richemont. They are an LVMH brand.