Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “Aiguille d’Or”

Last Updated on June 22, 2019 by Calibre 11

TAG Heuer was last night awarded the 2012 “Aiguille d’Or” (“Golden Hand“) award at the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie in Geneva. This is the highest watchmaking honour awarded annually and is the first time that TAG Heuer has won this prestigious award.

The Mikrogirder is a landmark watch that not only sets a new benchmark for precision (the chronograph recording time to 5/ 10,000th second), but does so with a totally new regulating system that beats at an incredible 1,000 hertz.

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”Initially shown as a concept watch earlier this year, TAG Heuer last night confirmed that the Mikrogirder will be released as a production watch in limited numbers in the next few months.

Let’s take a look back at the story of the world’s most precise chronograph and the star of the 2012 Geneva Grand Prix.

Mikrogirder 2000

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”We first saw the TAG Heuer Mikrogirder 2000 at the 2012 Geneva show in January, the latest in TAG Heuer’s range of ultra-precision watches following the 2011 Mikrograph and Mikrotimer.

The design of the Mikrogirder represents the merger of a stopwatch and a wristwatch (as you can see below), with the wristwatch parts of the design based on a traditional Carrera-style case.

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”The defining design element of the Mikrogirder is the “bullhead” chronograph approach, that places the crown and chronograph pushers on top of the case- just like a stopwatch.

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”To read the inside story of the Mikrogirder 2000, click here.

Mikrogirder 10000

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”TAG Heuer showed a second version of the Mikrogirder at the 2012 Basel show, just two months after the initial watch. Now labelled “Mikrogirder 10000”, the new model featured small cosmetic changes (case materials, strap, colours) and, more importantly, some changes to the dial layout making it far easier to read the small increments of time.

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”Despite the name change, the Mikrogirder 10000 (right) has the same movement and therefore same level of precision as the Mikrogirder 2000 (left).

Read more about the Mikrogirder 10000 here.

Regulating with Micro Beams

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”The innovation that allows the Mikrogirder to beat so fast and record time so precisely is the system of small beams, or girders, that vibrate rapidly and precisely to regulate the chronograph.

Thanks to this new regulator, the movement beats 7.2 million times per hour, powering the central seconds hand around the dial 20 times per second. We were the first website to bring you the inside story on how the movement actually worked, following an interview the Head of R&D at TAG Heuer, Guy Semon.

Photos from Geneva

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”CEO Jean-Christophe Babin was on hand in Geneva to collect the award on behalf of the TAG Heuer team, sporting a Mikrogirder on his left wrist and a MikrotourbillonS on the right.

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”

Carrera Mikrogirder 10,000

Mikrogirder Wins 2012 “aiguille D’or”Apart from the award, the big news from last night is that the Mikrogirder 10000 will go on sale later this year- as the TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrogirder. The watch will be priced at CHF150,000- around USD160,000- and be available…”soon”.

At this stage, the production watch is unchanged externally from the Basel prototype. Adding “Carrera” to the name seems to be linked to the build-up to 2013, which is the 50th anniversary of the Carrera model.

Just as TAG Heuer brought the Monaco V4, Carrera Mikrograph and Mikrotimer to market, it’s great that the company has been able to turn the Mikrogirder concept into a working production (albeit in limited numbers) model.