Last Updated on June 22, 2019 by Calibre 11
What I love about the Carrera Mikrograph is the combination of its classical styling with functionality. TAG Heuer are old hands at re-editions, but this is not a watch copied from the past, despite having that timeless style. It’s an understated design that is quite unlike any TAG Heuer in terms of looks. Even better is that the watch is designed around the movement. If you’re going to make a watch that can measure time to 1/100th of a second, then you have to be able to read the small increments of time, something TAG Heuer managed by orientating the dial towards being a Chronograph first.
Hopefully a stainless steel version at a smaller price will find its way to market, but given that TAG Heuer had to release a second version of the Mikrograph to keep up with demand, it’s best not to hold your breath.
TAG Heuer are normally pretty good at marking anniversaries- the 40th Anniversary Monaco in 2009, the Monaco in 2005 to mark what would have been Steve McQueen’s 75th birthday, the 40th Anniversary Carrera in 2004 and of course last year’s big bash for the 150th anniversary of the brand.
But while there is plenty of recognition for Heuer related milestones, what about the milestones of the modern incarnation of the company? 2010 marked 25 years of TAG’s acquisition of Heuer- but I can understand that this would have confused people when the brand wanted to talk about 150 years in 2010.
But what about 2011 marking 25 years of the Formula 1 series, a watch that probably saved the company during the 1980s? Will we see a 30th anniversary Aquaracer in 2012 to mark the date of the first 2000-Series in 1982? Or the 25th anniversary of the Link series?
OK, these milestones are not as special as an anniversary like the 150th, but its important that TAG Heuer recognises both the history of Heuer and of the watches that kept the company going during the 80s and 90s…even if those watches are not as instantly memorable as the Carrera, Monaco and Autavias of the 1970s.
Top Five Stories
1. Grand Carrera Calibre 36 Review: Despite being published in the middle of 2010, the review of the GC Calibre 36 is still far and away the most read story on Calibre 11.
2. Grand Carrera Pendulum: Another 2010 story clocks into second place….didn’t anyone like our 2011 stories? The Pendulum is still being developed by TAG Heuer, with the main challenge still being the variability of its accuracy in varying temperatures. My fridge magnets stay resolutely in place during both summer and winter, so let’s hope that a solution is found.
3. Mikrotimer Flying 1000: The big story from Basel 2011, which was posted from the floor at the press conference. TAG Heuer organised a live launch on Facebook, which is a great way of bringing an “industry” event like Basel to watch fans.
4. Grand Carrera Series Review: Despite reviewing the entire range, including a PVD, Titanium and Gold example, I found myself preferring the “entry-level” Calibre 6 Grand Carrera. First launched in 2008, expect to see a new Grand Carrera range in 2012 or 2013 at the latest
5. 2011 Carrera Calibre 1887: One of my favourite stories…and one that has attracted more than 170 comments. We were the first website to work out what was going on with the various versions of the Carrera 1887 and debunk the rumours that the first photo of the V3 Carrera 1887 was that of an early prototype sent out by “mistake”.
My Favourite Stories
The stories that I enjoy writing the most are the ones that give an insight into the back story of a particular watch- something to take readers beyond the lightly massaged press releases that still make up most of the watch articles you’ll find online.
My favorite for the year was the post on the TAG Heuer Edge– the watch that never was. Pieces of the story of these watches had floated around for a while, but it wasn’t until we managed to find the one person left at TAG Heuer who worked in the company during this time that we were able to separate fact from fiction. For what it’s worth, I’m still not a fan of the Edge, but that doesn’t detract from the story.
I also enjoyed writing the post on the TAG Heuer Spirotechnique and finding out for the first time how Auricoste and TAG Heuer ended up with the same watch. I didn’t expect to find out that both companies actually outsourced production to Zodiac! It also timed in nicely with the new Auricoste Spirotechnique, a design which I love and tagged as the first TAG Heuer re-edition not made by TAG.
My final “favourite” was Mark Moss’ great article on the Quartz Revolution. Mark has an amazing grasp of both the historical and the technical angles of watches, as well as the rare ability to tell a complex story concisely. It was great to have some of Mark’s stories on Calibre 11 this year, and hopefully he’ll be inspired to continue into 2012.
Re-Editions- What’s Next?
Having raided the Monaco, Autavia and Carrera designs from the 1960s and 70s, I didn’t expect TAG Heuer to go back to the 1930s for the inspiration for the 2011 Monza. In fact, I didn’t expect that we’d see a Monza again so soon after the original was discontinued a few years back.
So what’s next? I mentioned last year that I’d love to see a TAG Heuer re-edition- something like a modern TAG Heuer 1000- and while I think its unlikely, it would be a cool watch to replace the much-missed Aquagraph.
While not exactly a re-edition, I have heard that there will be a watch to mark Jack Heuer’s 80th birthday next year…and there is one model more closely associated with Mr. Heuer than any other…
The 2012 year gets off to a busy start in Geneva in two weeks time, and all being well Calibre 11 will be there to show you the new Formula 1 series which is due to be unveiled. I’m not sure what else TAG Heuer have in store, but have heard that there may be a new concept watch for Geneva. Rest assured that we’ll be doing everything possible to bring you the latest news- and bringing it to you first.
It’s been a busy year for the website- lots of new readers, a new server, thousands of pages of catalogs added and even a few older stories updated. I can’t think of another non-forum watch website that gets as many reader comments as Calibre 11 and I love when you guys take the time to share news of your latest watch, the problems that you’re having, or questions about the old watch you found in dad’s drawer (sadly for many of you, it looks like dad spent a lot of time in the replica watch markets of Asia!), so thank-you for stopping by to read and share.
Thanks also to Topper’s Jewelers, Ace Jewelers and Time2 whose support of Calibre 11 makes it all possible- the only reason that I can invest into continually improving the site is because of their support, so if you are in the market for a new watch, make sure that you give them a chance to impress you with their service. Finally, thanks to TAG Heuer in Switzerland, Asia and Australia for their support and generosity in lending me watches for review. Now that I’ve proved that I won’t run off with a quartz F1, I look forward to a 12-month test of a Carrera Mikrograph in 2012.
So thanks for reading in 2011 and best wishes to everyone for a successful 2012.