First Look: Mikrotimer Flying 1000

Posted by: David Chalmers   |   24 March 2011   |   18 Comments  

Imagine if a few weeks after delivering its 336 km/h FF supercar, Ferrari announced a new concept car with a top speed of 3,360 km/h. Ten times faster, but exponentially more challenging to get this ten-fold increase in speed.

TAG Heuer have achieved the watch-making equivalent of this feat with the announcement today of the TAG Heuer Mikrotimer Flying 1000, a new in-house concept watch capable of 1/1000th accuracy. You may recall that the Mikrograph set new record back in January for being the first mechanical chronograph to achieve 1/100th accuracy, a record that has been smashed. While there is speculation that other brands may show 1/100th concepts at Basel this week, TH has moved the game on.

Even more amazing is this fact: the first time that TAG knew that the Mikrotimer Flying 1000 actually worked in reality rather than on paper was on 11 March 2011- only 12 days ago. Had the watch not worked straight out of the box, a different concept watch would have been brought to Basel- a luxury of choice that most brands would kill for.

Over the last 12 days, the team estimate that they have put in 5 month of working time to get the concept watch ready for Basel. To again use an automotive analogy, it’s the equivalent of turning up the Geneva motorshow with the paint still wet on the new car.

The speed and high-frequency of the watch is mind-boggling- 500hz beating at 3.6 million beats per hour- 10 times faster than the Mikrograph and 100-times faster than an El Primero. And yes, that means that the central chrono. hand completes a full rotation 10-times every second.

Mikrotimer Design

If the Carrera Mikrograph is a classical nod to the earlier times of pocket watches, the Mikrotimer is the opposite- a highly modern design with an innovative case system (the case design and the movement itself are covered by 12 patents). Design-wise, the Mikrotimer looks like a development of the basic Carrera shape. The case is black titanium carbide and features titanium horns in contrasting silver

Reading the Mikrotimer

The dial has two central Chronograph hands. The first green central hand measures the 1/100th and 1/1000th of a second on the external scale. The second, smaller central hand indicates elapsed minutes and 1/12s of a minute (i.e. 5 seconds).

The time is read on the dial by adding together the 1/ 10th of a second from the 5-second sub-dial at 6 o’clock to the 1/100th and 1/1000th read from the central hand on the external dial. Its not as easy as simply reading off the 1/100th of a second from the dial of the Mikrograph, but it does allow the dial to remain relatively un-cluttered and places a priority on being able to more easily read the smaller increments of time.

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