Over the last few weeks we’ve brought you the details of new models that bolster TAG Heuer’s offering in the entry-level segment of the market. But this week we’re going to the right to the other end of the scale with TAG Heuer’s new flagship watch- the 2014 Carrera Mikropendulum Tourbillon. The new Bullhead chronograph is a development of 2013’s MikropendulumS, the wonderful double- tourbillon regulated by TAG Heuer’s magnetic Pendulum system.
The Mikropendulum Family
2010 Grand Carrera Pendulum
The Grand Carrera Pendulum caused a sensation when it was first shown at the 2010 Basel show: a revolutionary concept that replaced the traditional regulating mechanism comprising a hairspring, with magnetic regulation. Although was quickly dismissed by critics as a fanciful technology that had little chance of ever seeing the light of day, the Grand Carrera Pendulum was a bold statement by TAG Heuer that it would continue to push the boundaries of watchmaking as it had with the 2004 Monaco V4.
While it was an amazing concept, there were clear issues with the Pendulum that needed to be developed. The challenge with the magnetic regulation system was the impact of variations in temperature on the accuracy of the watch, obviously something fairly fundamental in a watch! The Grand Carrera Pendulum has never been sold, but work did continue on perfecting the Pendulum system.
2013 TAG Heuer Carrera Mikropendulum
The first production models to use the Pendulum system were two Carrera Mikropendulum Chronographs, launched at Basel 2013. The Chronograph-duo offer 1/ 100th second precision displayed by a flying central chronograph hand and an elaborate dial, designed to display the Pendulum system.
Best of all, the Carrera Mikropendulum is a relative bargain, priced at CHF33,000 (CAR2B82) and CHF38,000 (CAR2B83). While these prices are clearly out of the reach of most watch buyers, they are significantly less than other TAG Heuer haute horlogerie models, which can be up to 10X more.
2013 TAG Heuer MikropendulumS
To further demonstrate the flexibility of both the Mikro platform and the Pendulum system, TAG Heuer also launched this watch at Basel 2013- the MikropendulumS, with the capitalised “S” used to denote the use of two tourbillon Pendulums, as you can see below.
Carrera Mikropendulum Tourbillon
And now for 2014 we have a new offering- the Carrera Mikropendulum Tourbillon, thankfully a simpler name than the previous model. The new watch has a 45mm titanium case and a dial that draws inspiration from other Bullhead Chronographs in the TAG Heuer range, such as the 1887 Bullhead below.
The design of the case and dial is significantly simpler than the MikropendulumS- note the traditional chronograph pushers and case design that does away with the “girder” design of other Bullhead models. The bold Rose Gold bridges of the MikropendulumS have also been replaced by smaller, more subtle bridges.
The dial has applied double-numeral markers that are used to read the 1/ 100th Chronograph, therefore scaling from 0-100.
The Carrera Mikropendulum Tourbillon (Reference CAR5B81) has a reported price of CHF400,000, which if correct is a significant premium to similar haute horlogerie models, such as the MikrotourbillonS which costs CHF220,000. Despite this premium, it could also be said that prices become less relevant in a segment like this.
2014 Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Geneve
The TAG Heuer Mikropendulum Tourbillon has been preselected as one of eight entries in the Tourbillon category at the 2014 “Watch Oscars”, otherwise known as the Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Geneve. TAG Heuer has three entries in GPHG- the Mikropendulum Tourbillon, the Monaco V4 Tourbillon and the Carrera 1887 Racing. We’ll keep you up to date with the results as they come to hand.