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