In many ways, high-end watchmaking is a lot like Formula One. Just as the cutting edge technology developed for high-speed racing eventually filters down to mainstream production, so too do the mind-blowing concepts explored in the world of haute horology. For instance Cartier’s ID One and Two concept pieces, both inspired by the desire to make mechanical replica watches more efficient, have resulted in improvements that have or soon will find their way into the brand’s various product lines.
A Step Too Far ?
The third and final one is easily the most practical and as a result probably the most attractive to the end consumer: the Mikrograph is able to measure increments of time accurate to 1/100th of a second. The brand set a new record back in January with this piece as it was the first mechanical chronograph to achieve this level of accuracy. Certainly replica TAG Heuer is deserving of its name: Technique d’Avant Garde. The movement uses two different balance wheels, with separate escapements and transmission systems.
Only a few manufactures can compete with its innovative talent, its will to solve technical problems, and, simply, its results. TAG Heuer doesn’t follow any path but its own. Still, it seems that in spite of the evolution of these 3 masterpieces, TAG Heuer limits its stratospheric R&D capabilities to predominantly playing on more common grounds.
If you’d like to read more about this piece please check out Calibre 11’s always excellent coverage here. Nevertheless, as we mentioned at the start of this article, this staid thinking has not stopped the brand from making some pretty significant contributions to improvements in watch-making technology. Considering that guideline, indeed it appears very clearly that the Pendulum was maybe too much of a concept best replica watches made only for elite watch nerds.
In terms of Guy Semon, Head of R&D (40 people) explains, “the visible added value is a priority in every new models.” Translation : innovation, yes, but that the customer can see. The V4 appeared more “understandable”, while the Mikrograph clearly “talks” to anyone with its super fast seconds hand.
A truly impressive piece and deserving of an article all to itself, the Flying 1000 represents yet another example of the brand completely changing the rules of the game and leaving competitors with their mouths agape at the starting line. Take for instance their most recent unveiling; the spectacular Mikrotimer Flying 1000 capable of measuring time increments accurate to an incredible 1/1000th of a second!
The first one, the Pendulum, clearly set its sights high in terms of the level of mechanical mastery and ingenuity involved. Perhaps too high, as a matter of fact: other major industry players have not followed TAG’s lead in developing their own, similar technology, and to date even the brand itself has not advised of any plans to innovate additional models with the famous magnetic-driven balance wheels. The fruits of TAG Heuer’s labour have been made evident of the last few years as they unveiled three major new pieces; the Pendulum, the V4 and the Mikrograph.
The second one, the Monaco V4, took a slightly easier path and used 3 existing principles that were for the first time combined together in the one case. First is the use of a linear weight for the automatic movement. Second, the V4 uses mini ball bearings instead of “rubies”. Third, the movement uses a series of transmission belts instead of pinions. High performance indeed, but in truth nothing really that has not been seen before.