The latest concept from TAG Heuer has been unveiled at Baselworld, showing off an innovative new direction for the tourbillon construction. Hailed for their beauty and complexity, tourbillon movements can occasionally favor style over substance. Rather than accept this TAG Heuer continues to develop new strategies to make more precise high-frequency watch movements.
TAG Heueur's atelier Avant-Garde Haute Horology is the 25-person workshop behind most of the company's major developments, including the high-precision Mikro Series. For their latest project—the Carrera MikroPendulumS concept—the team has replaced hairsprings in the movement with two magnetic pendulums. With one to tell time and one to keep it, the magnetic pendulums represent a rare first in watchmaking. Set on rose gold bridges below a segmented anthracite dial, it's fair to say that the added accuracy of these elements doesn't detract from the model's aesthetic appeal.
The layout of the face is an absolute showstopper. In the bottom left, the whirring chronograph tourbillon—the world’s fastest—beats 360,000 each hour and rotates 12 times per minute. Divided just below the center line, the top half of the face features a power reserve meter, second counter and minute counter. The crown placement on the MikroPendulumS takes a cue from stopwatches as it sits fixed at the top of the dial.
With 454 working components, the MikroPendulumS is a fascinating experiment in the potential of tourbillon movements. Also released was the Carrera MikroPendulum, a production version that likewise uses a magnetic pendulum to regulate the movement.
Images courtesy of Tag Heuer