Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recon 5 Pilot Watch by Prometheus Watch Company

Prometheus Watch Company presents Recon 5, a flieger/pilot watch by following the watch making traditions of Switzerland.

The first flieger watches appeared during the Second World War and were produced by five brands: IWC, Stowa, Wempe, Laco and Lange & Söhne.

Having as a starting point those traditional flieger designs Prometheus Watch Company brought to life their evolution with the Recon 5 watch with its marked clear and simplistic lines. This pilot watch is powered by a Swiss Unitas 6497-1 movement with Côtes de Genève finish and is made in the Swiss Jura mountains in order to assure absolute performance. Suggested retail price is €322.80 (approximately USD387.36). Technical details
Case diameter: 44 mm
Case height: 10.5 mm
Super Luminous dial and hands
2 Years Warranty
Sapphire Crystal on dial and case back
Swiss Made
Brown Leather Strap

Friday, June 25, 2010

Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Quartz

C5 Malvern Automatic was the first watch ever built by Christopher Ward and it laid the foundation for the company’s bid to make luxury watches that everyone could afford. The new C5 Malvern Quartz is now taking that aim to a whole new level – its price tag of just £150 is almost too good to be true.

The C5 Malvern Quartz is everything that the original C5 Malvern Automatic is but in a quartz version. The new watch has exactly the same attention to detail and quality, as the original, featuring a convex sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating, a surgical grade 316L stainless steel case and a screw-in crown. The only real difference is the Ronda 715, five-jewel Swiss quartz movement which is accurate to within 0.3 seconds a day.

As with all Christopher Ward watches, the C5 Malvern Quartz comes with a 60-day no quibble return policy and a 60-month warranty. Every watch has a unique serial number and as part of Christopher Ward’s personal service, it is often possible to request a particular number.The C5 Malvern Quartz provides the perfect introduction to the world of Christopher Ward and allows you to experience what it feels like to wear a piece of precision engineering on your wrist.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Piaget Polo FortyFive Chronograph Marcos Heguy Limited Edition

Piaget’s ambassador to the world of polo, superstar sportsman Marcos Heguy, comes from Argentina’s most famous polo dynasty. He was first awarded his 10-goal rating in 1987. During his long career playing at home and abroad, he has won most of the most important tournaments at the top end of the sport. Marcos is also captain of the Pilará Piaget team in Argentina’s famous Triple Crown series.

To celebrate its involvement at the pinnacle of the sport, Piaget launched in 2009 new models of its famous Piaget Polo wristwatch, a range first created in 1979. This sporty Piaget Polo FortyFive is the firm’s first Polo watch with a case made of titanium rather than gold. The chronograph version has a self-winding calibre 880P movement with a 50-hour power reserve.

In an innovative and fitting tribute to one of the sport’s greatest players, Piaget has created a special 45-piece limited edition of its Piaget Polo FortyFive wristwatch, and revealed it during the USPA Piaget Gold Cup tournament in Florida. This exclusive model features blue counters on a black dial incorporating the words “10 Handicap”. The sapphire crystal case-back, revealing the watch’s movement, bears the name “Marcos Heguy” and Marcos’ signature. The watch is available for watch connoisseurs from the beginning of June.
With its name emblazoned across Pilará Piaget team shirts in the world’s highest-rated polo series and sponsorship of the Piaget Gold Cup in the US, Piaget is now even more firmly established as one of the most prominent corporate supporters of the sport of polo, the world’s oldest and fastest team game.

Technical details
  • Titanium case
  • Satin-brushed titanium bezel with polished steel godrons
  • Screw-lock crown in titanium and rubber
  • Black and blue dial, luminescent applied hour-markers
  • Sapphire crystal case-back with metal-coated Marcos Heguy signature
  • Shaped push-buttons in titanium and rubber
  • Functions: Hour, minute, flyback chronograph, small seconds (counter at 6 o’clock), dual time zone (24-hour indication at 9 o’clock)
  • Water resistance: 100 m
  • Manufacture Piaget 880P mechanical self-winding chronograph movement
  • Movement thickness: 5.65 mm
  • Casing diameter: 12”’ (ø 27 mm)
  • Number of jewels: 35
  • Alternance: 28,800 vph (balance with screws)
  • Approximately 50-hour power reserve (double barrel)
  • Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws, coat of arms engraved on the oscillating weight
  • Steel triple-folding safety clasp with summer/winter position
  • Rubber strap with steel inserts
  • Ref. G0A34620

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thomas Prescher Triple Axis Tourbillon Regulator : The world's only triple-axis flying tourbillon wristwatch

Swiss luxury watch maker Thomas Prescher presents Triple Axis Tourbillon Regulator: The world's only triple-axis flying tourbillon wristwatch A triple-axis tourbillon is extremely rare; a triple-axis tourbillon wristwatch even more so. However, Thomas Prescher's triple-axis flying tourbillon is not simply extremely rare – it is absolutely unique.

Prescher's Triple Axis Tourbillon Regulator features one of the world's most exclusive and most difficult complications to assemble, set to stunning advantage in a jet-black natural onyx dial that contrasts beautifully with the pink-gold case. Regulator-style hours and seconds are each indicated in their own separate sub-dial, while the constantly animated tourbillon tracks the minutes during its one-hour rotation.

Thomas Prescher has both an affinity and a talent for complicated tourbillons: while his classmates were submitting simple movements for their watch at the end of apprenticeship school, Prescher presented a half-flying tourbillon that confirmed his position as the top of the form. In 2003 he presented the world's first pocket watch with a flying double-axis tourbillon. On seeing Prescher's pocket watch, one of his colleagues mentioned that he thought a double-axis tourbillon was impossible in the constrained space of a wristwatch. Prescher not only met but surpassed the challenge a year later with a wristwatch trilogy of single-axis, double-axis and triple-axis tourbillons.

At this extreme level of micro-mechanical sophistication and miniaturisation, watchmaking ceases to be about timekeeping and becomes pure art. Or perhaps that should read "arts", because we have both the sublime static beauty of a fine painting in the harmonious forms and colours, as well as the graceful movements of the ballerina in the whorled path traced by the mesmerizing triple-axis tourbillon dancing apparently weightlessly in space.

Technical Specifications:
Model: Triple Axis Tourbillon Regulator
Features: Calibre TP 3W6A.3; mechanical hand-winding indicating hours, minutes and seconds; flying tourbillon with constant-force in carriage; tourbillon flying on all axes; tourbillon with shock protection.

Calibre TP 3W6A.3
Movement dimensions: 37mm x 6.5mm
Parts: 327
Jewels: 43
Power reserve: 40 hours
Mainspring barrels: 2 (connected in parallel)
Balance wheel: copper-beryllium CuBe2
Balance frequency: 21’600 bph/3hz
Balance spring: flat hairspring
Plates and bridges: gold-plated brass
Smallest screw: 0.0009 grams
Tourbillon, constant-force mechanism and oscillator
Axes: 3
Tourbillon rotation height: 12.2mm
Full revolution: 1st axis one minute, 2nd axis one minute, 3rd axis 60 minutes
Constant-force mechanism: positioned in the tourbillon cage
Constant-force system: Jeanneret's inertia acceleration
Constant-force loading: 6 times per second
Diameter of balance wheel: 9.5mm
Diameter of tourbillon cage: 13.4mm
Weight of tourbillon 1st axis: 0.347 grams
Weight of 1st and 2nd axis: 0.766 grams
Weight of 1st, 2nd and 3rd axis (incl. bearing): 2.879 grams

Number of bearing jewels: 43 total – 1st axis: 5 x balance, 4 x escapement, 4 x constant-force mechanism; 2nd axis: 2 x flying arm; 3rd axis: 4 x drive mechanism, 4 x setting mechanism; movement: 10 x time indication mechanism, 10 x gear train

Case, dial and strap
Case: 18K pink (4N) gold (also available in platinum 950)
Case dimensions: 43mm x 16.5mm
Sapphire crystals: Top-domed and display back with anti-reflective treatment both sides.
Water-resistance: 1atm/10m/30 feet
Dial and hands: Natural black onyx, 50 per cent thicker than usual for a richer/deeper black, 18K gold-applied indices, 18K gold Dauphine-style hands, 18K gold engraved name and serial number plate (also available with hand-guilloched or custom decorated solid silver dial).
Strap and buckle: Hand-crafted black alligator uppers and lower, 18K pink gold (or 950 platinum) tang buckle to match case material.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ressence Platform Watch Zero Series

Swiss luxury watch brand Benoît Mintiens RESSENCE announced that, the first 'Zero Series' of its much appreciated Platform watch is now in production and will be available as from the beginning of September.

This first production will be limited to 50 watches plus pre-series that will be used mainly for certificate procedures. Suggested retail price is 9900€ to 11500€ (excl. VAT) depends on models.
The RESSENCE Zero series is available in four different finishes:-
  • Type 1001: Black Display
  • Type 1002: Silver Display
  • Type 1003: Warm Titanium Display
  • Type 1004: Dark Gray Metallic Display
The main difference between the Zero series and the prototypes is the redesigned module. The new module is conceived like a calibre and has been re-engineered by Swiss movement standards. By redesigning the module, the watch has become 0.8 mm thinner. Apart from the thinner case,the crown is slightly larger, the strap went form 20 to 22 meter.

RESSENCE Type 1001
  • Case: Polished Stainless steel 303
  • Module: Anodised Aluminium 60.82, colored black mat
  • Display: Superluminova Graphics, white digits
  • Strap: Natural Calf black hand made
  • Suggested retail price: 9900€ excl. VAT
RESSENCE Type 1002
  • Case: Polished Stainless steel 303
  • Module: Anodised Grade 5 Titanium , satin finish, Grade 5 Titanium rings machined finish
  • Display: Superluminova black graphics, black digits
  • Strap: Hand made flexible carbon fibre
  • Suggested retail price: 11500€ excl. VAT
RESSENCE Type 1003
  • Case: Polished Stainless steel 303
  • Module: Anodised Grade 5 Titanium , mat finish warm metal color, Grade 5 Titanium rings polished finish
  • Display: Superluminova black graphics, black digits or Superluminova white graphics, white digits
  • Strap: Hand made textile/leather , gray color
  • Suggested retail price: 11500€ excl. VAT
RESSENCE Type 1004
  • Case: Polished Stainless steel 303
  • Module: Anodised Aluminium 60.82, satin finish, metallic colour PMS 8402
  • Display: Superluminova white graphics, white digits
  • Strap: Natural calf hand-made
  • Suggested retail price: 9900€ excl. VAT

Saturday, June 19, 2010

TAG Heuer Watches: Brand Profile, History and Products

TAG Heuer, the leader in prestigious sports watches and chronographs since 1860, is one of the largest and fastest growing luxury Swiss watch brands. The Swiss watchmaking legend draws upon its active engagement in the world of sports to create the most accurate measuring instruments and sports watches in the world. TAG Heuer is the first watchmaker ever to master luxurious chronographs with an unsurpassed precision of 1/10th, 1/100th and 1/1,000th of a second. From the Olympic Games in the 1920s to its role as official timekeeper to within 1/10,000th of a second for the legendary Indy 500, TAG Heuer, in a constant quest for innovation, excellence, performance and prestige, continues to aim ever higher, as reflected by its 6-year partnership with 2008 Formula 1 World Champion, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and its 25-year partnership with team McLaren and its drivers Lewis and his teammate Heikki Kovalainen. TAG Heuer, more than ever, epitomizes prestige and performance through partnerships with 2007 F1 World Champion & Scuderia Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Räikkönen, world number golfer Tiger Woods and WTA tennis star Maria Sharapova, Nascar idol Jeff Gordon, F1 driver and Eyewear ambassador Sébastien Bourdais, F1 driver Sebastian Vettel, as well as Hollywood icons Leonardo DiCaprio and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. TAG Heuer is a privileged member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), the most exclusive club in the Swiss watchmaking industry.

History of TAG Heuer Watch brand
In 1860, at the age of 20, Edouard Heuer founded a watchmaking workshop in Saint-Imier, in the remote Jura mountains of Switzerland. It was the start of TAG Heuer’s extraordinary story, which transformed the company originally named Heuer, after its founder, over 125 years into the company we know today. At this period in time, all watches were wound with a key. In 1869, two years after he moved his workshop to Bienne, Edouard Heuer changed the course of watchmaking history forever with his first patented invention: a keyless, crown-operated winding system. A huge success at the 1873 Universal Exhibition in Vienna, this new generation of timepieces soon became the most coveted in the world. When powerful American watch manufacturers moved aggressively into the European market, Edouard Heuer responded by pushing through innovations in every area of design, engineering, and manufacturing, thus helping to make Switzerland the world leader in the watchmaking industry.

As sporting competitions rapidly expanded—on water, grass, cinder running tracks, and roads—measuring time accurately became increasingly important. Edouard Heuer acted upon this and, in 1882, he became one of the first to produce pocket chronographs in large quantities. In 1887, he patented one of the most important innovations in watchmaking: the famous Oscillating Pinion still used to this day by leading manufacturers in the production of mechanical chronographs. Starting in 2010, this pinion will be used in the Calibre 1887, the fourth movement developed and produced in-house by TAG Heuer. The revolutionary device has allowed the chronograph to function very neatly by replacing the two large wheels of the anterior movements. With this breakthrough invention, TAG Heuer became the reference standard in chronographs and timing instruments for high-level sports. In 1889, at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, the company was awarded a silver medal for its pocket chronograph collection. When Edouard Heuer died in 1892, his creative vision and passion for innovation had laid the foundation for a watchmaking dynasty—one that was destined to make an indelible mark on the century that followed.

After Edouard Heuer’s death, the company ownership passed to his two sons, Jules-Edouard and Charles-Auguste Heuer. Their daring and intuition brought TAG Heuer to the forefront of high-quality sports timing and chronographs. The two brothers were convinced that the company’s future would unfold outside Switzerland. During a trip to London, Jules-Edouard and Charles-Auguste wrote to their mother: “It is useful to see, from time to time, how things are done elsewhere; you learn a great deal.” They forged strong ties with local importers in other countries, such as Henry Freund in the United States. By this time, they had also seen an opportunity in sports, where there was an even greater demand for precision in timekeeping. The Time of Trip, patented in 1911, was the first 12-hour dashboard chronograph for cars and aircraft. It indicated the time and the duration of the journey. This innovation was a great success with aviation clubs. In 1919, the Zeppelin R34, with a Time of Trip on board, made the first flight over the North Atlantic. In 1929, Hugo Eckener equipped his Graf Zeppelin with this instrument before completing the first round-the-world trip in an airship.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the timekeeping world was confronted with the challenge of increasing precision. Consequently, Charles-Auguste set a goal for his employees: “Make a stopwatch capable of a timekeeping precision five to ten times greater than anything that exists today.” Thus, in 1916, the Mikrograph and Microsplit, and Semikrograph and Semicrosplit, were born. These were the world’s first mechanical stopwatches that were accurate to 1/100th of a second and 1/50th of a second, respectively. At that time, other timing instruments could only measure to the nearest 1/5th of a second. This new development revolutionized science, industry, and watchmaking, and made TAG Heuer the natural choice as an official supplier of chronographs for the Olympic Games in Antwerp (1920), Paris (1924), and Amsterdam (1928). Thousands of Mikrographs were produced over the next six decades, until their discontinuation in 1969, thus providing TAG Heuer with a unique expertise in manufacturing movements that beat at 360,000 times an hour. The first alpine slalom and downhill ski races were timed by TAG Heuer, starting in 1928. Then, in the 1930s, the company proved itself, serving as the timekeeper of the speed-skiing race in St. Moritz and the Bobsleigh World Championship in Caux.

In 1931, Professor Auguste Piccard, a specialist of cosmic radiation, led the first stratospheric flight. To commemorate the world-record altitude of 15,781 meters in a balloon, the city of Bienne gave Professor Piccard a gold TAG Heuer chronograph. In 1947, TAG Heuer presented him with another chronograph featuring hands with no radium, so it would not interfere with the cosmic-ray measurements. Hergé based the Professor Calculus character in the Tintin comic books on Professor Piccard. In 1933, the company launched the Autavia (a combination of “AUTomobile” and “AVIAtion”), the first onboard stopwatch for cars and aircraft. This instrument was often mounted with a Hervue watch on a chrome base and affixed to a dashboard.

Heuer Autavia

TAG Heuer’s cutting-edge chronographs soon appeared on the wrists of famous people around the world, including Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry Ford, Prince William of Sweden, and King Bhumibol of Thailand. From the racetrack to the water, TAG Heuer continued to innovate. Since regatta timekeeping on Lake Geneva in the 1920s, sailing has inspired the company to use new materials and create new functions, as in 1950, when TAG Heuer unveiled its patented Mareograph, a unique sailing chronograph derived from the earlier Solunar watch, which let fishermen know when fish were feeding. Called the Seafarer in the United States, the new chronograph was the first with a tide indicator and a five-minute countdown function for sailing competitions.

In 1955, TAG Heuer unveiled the Twin-Time, a GMT model that displayed two time zones simultaneously. In 1958, the company presented its famous onboard timer, the Rally-Master, consisting of a Master-Time (eight-day clock) and a Monte- Carlo (12-hour stopwatch). The following year, Hubert Heuer and his nephew, Jack Heuer (son of Charles-Edouard), set up Heuer Time Corporation, a new American subsidiary based in New York. On February 20, 1962, American astronaut John Glenn wore a TAG Heuer stopwatch when he piloted the Friendship 7 spacecraft on Mercury-Atlas 6, the first manned U.S. orbital mission, making TAG Heuer the first Swiss watchmaker in space!

In 1963, Jack Heuer turned his creative focus to the world of cinema, designing the Film-Master, which measured film sequences in 16 mm and 35 mm. This made the brand a Hollywood and Bollywood favorite, with TAG Heuer timepieces worn in many movies and by today’s stars, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Shah Rukh Khan. The following year, Jack Heuer turned to his overriding passion for motor racing with the inaugural launch of the legendary TAG Heuer Carrera.

A tribute to professional motor racing’s most grueling road race, the legendary Carrera Panamericana Mexico of the 1950s, this stunning piece of unconventional watchmaking technology was worn by numerous racing drivers. It remains one of TAG Heuer’s most popular, timeless, and iconic creations. In 1965, Jack Heuer unveiled a prototype of the Slalom Timer at the Basel Watch Fair. It was the company’s first miniaturized electronic timing instrument accurate to 1/100th of a second. The electronic revolution had begun. One year later, Jack Heuer stunned the watchmaking world again, this time by introducing the Microtimer, the world’s first miniaturized electronic timing instrument accurate to an extraordinary 1/1,000th of a second. The most famous sports event after the World Cup and the Olympic Games is the America’s Cup. TAG Heuer was the Official Supplier of chronographs to the Intrepid team, which won the America’s Cup in 1967.

In 1969, the Swiss driver Jo Siffert signed on as a TAG Heuer brand ambassador, becoming the first racing driver sponsored by a watch manufacturer. At the beginning of the ’60s, Jack Heuer reached an agreement with two other Swiss watch manufacturers to create the world’s first automatic chronograph movement. They gave their top-secret project the confidential code name “99.” The new Chronomatic Calibre 11 was launched in 1969. This first chronograph movement with an automatic micro-rotor mechanism powered both the TAG Heuer Carrera and Autavia, and also the legendary Monaco. This original automatic chronograph with a square, water-resistant case achieved a near-mythological status when Steve McQueen wore it in the film Le Mans (1971).

In 1971, Enzo Ferrari asked Clay Regazzoni, Swiss winner of the Italian Grand Prix, to find timing instruments for the 24 Heures du Mans race. TAG Heuer technology was ideally suited to the task, as demonstrated by the Le Mans Centigraph, which was able to measure time to 1/1,000th of a second. As Ferrari’s Official Timekeeper from 1971 to 1979, the brand played a key role in the team’s unprecedented string of world-championship victories, and saw its name linked to Ferrari legends such as Gilles Villeneuve, Niki Lauda, and Jody Scheckter. Meanwhile, in Bienne, TAG Heuer continued to innovate. In 1973, the Microsplit 820 was unveiled, the first pocket quartz timing instrument precise to 1/100th of a second. In 1975, TAG Heuer launched the Chronosplit, the world’s first quartz wrist chronograph with a double digital display LCD/LED. The LCD on top showed the time of the day and the LED showed the stopped time to a precision of 1/10th of a second. Enzo Ferrari personally ordered 15 of these special Ferrari models. Other famous customers, such as Paul Newman, soon joined the ranks of Chronosplit owners. Just two years later, the company presented the world’s first digital-analog chronograph, the Chronosplit Manhattan GMT, forerunner of the Kirium Formula 1 chronograph.

The launch of the 2000 series in 1982 reinforced the unparalleled sporting spirit of the brand. This contemporary sports watch became an industry benchmark due to its six features: water-resistance up to 200 meters, a unidirectional turning bezel, luminescent hands and markers, a screw-in crown with a double gasket to ensure water resistance, a double-safety clasp, and scratch-resistant, sapphire-crystal glass. In 1984, Mike Birch broke the world record for the greatest distance sailed in 24 hours in his Formule Tag, the first Kevlar®-and-carbon-fiber catamaran. In 1985, TAG Heuer teamed up with McLaren Mercedes, forming what would become one of the longest-running and most successful partnerships in Formula One history; TAG Heuer was soon linked to some of the team’s most famous drivers, including Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Mika Häkkinen. Launched in 1987, the S/el (sport and elegance) watch made its mark in the world of watchmaking, thanks to its signature feature: a double S-shaped bracelet. This famous watch reinforced TAG Heuer’s position as the industry reference for sport, elegance, and prestige. The S/el was the favorite model of the legendary Ayrton Senna, who signed on as a TAG Heuer brand ambassador in 1988. In 1989, TAG Heuer became the Official Timekeeper for World Cup alpine skiing events in the United States and Canada. In 1991, it also added the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and in 1992, the Formula One World Championship. TAG Heuer used the most advanced technology to achieve a level of reliability comparable to that of atomic clocks. The timing of Formula One races, for example, was controlled by a GPS-satellite detection system, ensuring precision to a millionth of a second. In 1995, TAG Heuer was part of sailor Chris Dickson’s challenge in the Louis Vuitton Cup, which reached the semifinals.

In 1991, TAG Heuer launched the advertising campaign “Don’t Crack under Pressure,” depicting the intense concentration exerted by athletes and emphasizing the mental, rather than physical, side of sport, pushing barriers to reach new heights of performance and greater standards of excellence. The next campaign, “Success. It’s a mind game,” began in 1995, and was not only striking but also entirely original. The advertisements depicted the mental pressure that athletes subject themselves to in order to win.

TAG Heuer relaunched three of its classic series: TAG Heuer Carrera in 1996, Monaco in 1998, and Monza in 2001. In 1999, the company introduced the Link series, a bold reworking of the hugely successful S/el design. In 2003, it was the Autavia’s turn, once worn in the ’60s by Swiss Formula One driver Jo Siffert. These watches were revised and modernized to offer functions that met contemporary needs, yet they remained faithful to the spirit of the original pieces and the brand’s unique heritage. In 2001, the Kirium Formula 1 represented the future direction of sports-watch design and a major technical achievement: a modern analog watch with digital chronograph functions and 1/100th-of-a-second precision. That same year, TAG Heuer became Official Timekeeper of the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Anton, Austria.

In 2002, the Micrograph F1, a descendant of the legendary Mikrograph of 1916, was awarded the Design Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. It combined the aesthetics of a celebrated watch with the functions of a high-performance professional timekeeping instrument, and featured lap-measuring with a precision of 1/100th of a second, as well as a high-end digital screen for maximum readability. During this year, the company sponsored the BMW Oracle Racing team for the America’s Cup with Chris Dickson and Peter Holmberg. To commemorate the partnership, TAG Heuer offered sea-racing fans a limited edition of the Link Searacer Oracle chronograph worn by all team members.

Just as the S/el—renamed Link—introduced a new era in watchmaking, a revolution was shaking up the otherwise peaceful world of golf. His name? Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer in history. A worldwide TAG Heuer brand ambassador since 2003, Woods is unique, yet his motto speaks to us all: “The most important thing in life is to make yourself do better.” TAG Heuer has followed this same philosophy for almost 150 years. The Link Calibre 36 chronometer, designed by Jack Heuer and endorsed by Tiger Woods, is a superlative example of the brand’s relentless drive for perfection. Launched in 2002, the advertising commercial “What Are You Made Of?” communicated the brand’s daring personality and made a big impression internationally. In 2003, it starred Tiger Woods, shown hitting a golf ball that flies around the Monaco race circuit at the speed of a Formula One car. That same year, the long-awaited Sportvision line of optical and sun eyewear was launched, thrusting TAG Heuer’s sporting prestige into an entirely new domain. The Physics range of the eyewear series received a prestigious Red Dot Design Award. In 2003, TAG Heuer launched the Microtimer, fitted with the first Swiss electronic movement offering a remarkable precision of 1/1,000th of a second. A masterpiece of the miniaturization of complex electronics, the Microtimer is based on technology adapted from the demanding world of Formula One racing.

In 2004, the company took on a new motor-racing challenge when it became the Official Timekeeper of the Indy Racing League (IRL) and the legendary Indy 500. No other racing circuit requires timing precision to 1/10,000th of a second. TAG Heuer took the watchmaking world by surprise when it launched a revolutionary concept watch at Baselworld 2004: the Monaco V4. Inspired by the brand’s motor-racing heritage (the watch’s name comes from the engine-like V-formation of the movement’s four barrels), this mechanical watch overturned basic watchmaking principles by featuring driving belts, linear mass, and ball bearings instead of conventional wheels and pinions. A totally new type of watch movement, it is considered the most astonishing advancement in mechanical watchmaking of the last decade, and it received a Red Dot Design Award in 2005.

The Monaco Sixty Nine, another concept watch, went into full production in 2004, just a year after being unveiled at Baselworld. The first reversible watch with two different movements—one side features the Monaco dial with its mechanical hand-wound movement, the other the digital dial of the Microtimer with its 1/1,000th-of-a-second quartz chronograph movement—won the desirable Design Watches Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. At Baselworld 2005, TAG Heuer presented the most accurate mechanical timepiece ever crafted: the Calibre 360 Concept Chronograph. This timepiece is the first mechanical wrist chronograph to measure and display time to 1/100th of a second, thanks to the exceptionally high frequency of its balance wheel, which oscillates at 360,000 beats per hour, 10 times faster than any other chronograph. One year later, TAG Heuer picked up an esteemed Red Dot Design Award for this concept chronograph, and the movement has since been certified as a chronometer by C.O.S.C. (the Official Swiss Chronometer Control institute). Then, at Baselworld 2006, the most talked-about timepiece was the superlative Monaco Calibre 360 LS (Linear second) concept chronograph, a daring new timepiece with an all-new architecture that proudly displayed its unrivaled Calibre 360 LS precision technology. The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 360 Rose Gold Limited Edition, a prestige version of the Calibre 360 Concept Chronograph, was unveiled the same year and won the Sports Watches Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

In 2005, TAG Heuer gave depth and allure to its “Sports and Glamour” emphasis by signing new brand ambassadors: tennis superstar Maria Sharapova, Hollywood legends Uma Thurman and Brad Pitt, and racing aces Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Räikkönen. The same year, Uma Thurman’s favorite timepiece, the Haute Couture Diamond Fiction, was awarded the Ladies’ Watches Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Fifty-four of its 879 diamonds display the time by channeling the light emitted by 54 LEDs. In 2005, the first-ever Professional Golf Watch was launched, developed with the rigorous participation of Tiger Woods. It would go on to win a Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award (2006) and a Fennia Prize (2007). TAG Heuer also named two new brand ambassadors from Formula One: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. They joined fellow competitor Kimi Räikkönen, the official driver for Scuderia Ferrari and 2007 FIA World Champion, who designed a new line of TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear.

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre S revolutionized watchmaking with a groundbreaking innovation in chronograph movements: an in-house caliber which made it possible to measure and display watch, chronograph, and regatta functions with the same hands, thanks to its revolutionary “hybrid” construction comprising 230 electromechanical components. Patented for its synchronized bidirectional engines, reading format, and design concept, the chronograph won the prestigious Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award in 2007. Baselworld 2007 was the stage for the 20th anniversary celebration of the TAG Heuer Link series. To commemorate the event TAG Heuer unveiled “SKIN,” the most avant-garde booth ever built for the prestigious watch fair. This new booth won a Silver Award in EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 23rd Annual Exhibit Design Awards competition in 2009!

It also dazzled the watchmaking world with the launch of the Link Calibre S, a new chronograph movement accurate to 1/100th of a second that combines the precision of quartz with the sophistication of mechanical functions. The TAG Heuer 360 Museum opened its doors in 2008 at the brand’s headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds during a special ceremony attended by Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. The world’s first 360-degree watchmaking museum celebrates a century and a half of TAG Heuer history. Operated by a battery of 12 computers processing over one million images an hour, it is a unique and exhilarating showcase of the TAG Heuer story.

Introduced in 2007, the TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA is a premium collection of sophisticated timepieces, inspired by the spirit of modern GT cars and powered by the exclusive TAG Heuer Calibre RS, the first line of mechanical movements engineered with a rotating system. The indicators of this exclusive, GT engine–inspired rotating system enable watch-wearers to read small seconds and view a second time zone or chronograph time effortlessly, providing them with at-a-glance access to precision timing. At Baselworld 2008, the company presented the TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph, the first automatic chronograph capable of measuring and displaying 1/10th of a second, thanks to its “Caliper” rotating scale. In 2008, it won the distinguished China’s Most Successful Design Award, the Best Chronograph Prize at the Salón Internacional de Alta Relojería in Mexico, the Sports Watches Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, and a Red Dot Design Award in 2009.

TAG Heuer was further encouraged in its quest for excellence when it became a privileged member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), the most exclusive club in the Swiss watchmaking industry. TAG Heuer recorded another milestone with the launch of the MERIDIIST collection of mobile phones and accessories. As innovative in its design as its highend technology, the world’s first Swiss-made luxury communication instrument is the crowning achievement of 150 years of watchmaking know-how. 2008 was also an important year for TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear: The C-Flex concept received a SILMO Golden Award, the most prestigious prize in the eyewear industry. That year, TAG Heuer ambassador, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, won the highest honor in motor sport, clinching the FIA World Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix to become Formula One’s youngest world champion. For TAG Heuer, prestige and performance are two constant factors that are also clearly apparent in terms of distribution strategy. Since the end of the ’90s, the company has developed a network of highly selective boutiques, focusing on major cities. In 2008, TAG Heuer decided to create a new boutique concept to bring its watchmaking culture to the whole world. The result: a timeless space which combines the past, present, and future. The first boutique was unveiled in Westfield, London, the largest shopping center in Europe. Then, after Singapore (Ion) and Tokyo (Ginza), the new concept traveled to several other cities around the world. To date, there are 73 TAG Heuer boutiques in 26 countries.

Four decades after capturing the world’s attention by appearing on the wrist of cinema legend Steve McQueen in the racing feature Le Mans, TAG Heuer’s iconic Monaco chronograph was reissued in 2009 as a limited-edition timepiece. The perfect marriage of vintage sex appeal and modern cool, the 40th-anniversary chronograph features the same revolutionary elements as the classic 1969 Monaco, including the original Calibre 11 movement Dubois Dépraz. The first-ever self-winding automatic chronograph with microrotor, the Calibre 11 provides wearers with precision timing comparable to the standards of professional chronometer instruments. The latest iteration of the Monaco also pays homage to TAG Heuer’s history by featuring the brand’s original Heuer logo, which is flanked on the dial by two silver counters at 3 and 9 o’clock. The dark blue dial is further highlighted by fire-red minute, second, and hour hands, as well as luminescent markers and horizontal indexes. Stainless-steel push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, a date window at 6 o’clock, and curved, sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment complete the watch’s look. The company chose Baselworld to present its Monaco Twenty Four Concept Chronograph. Based on the iconic exterior of Steve McQueen’s square-shaped Monaco, the concept watch’s unique tubular design and extreme shock-protected components are directly inspired by GT race-car technology. TAG Heuer also launched the new Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5, the ultimate luxury watch inspired by the essence of water sports. Water-resistant to 500 meters, each model in this collection is equipped with the attributes of a high-performance diving watch, including a helium valve and a unidirectional turning bezel that ensures precise elapsed dive-time measurement. Highly luminescent markers on the hands and indexes, as well as an orange-tipped second hand, provide at-a-glance readability, either under water or in dim light. Additionally, the sapphire crystal and case back are scratch-resistant and anti-reflective for optimum visibility. Together with Jack Heuer, and as a tribute to the pioneer of the automatic chronograph, TAG Heuer has decided to produce the Calibre 1887, a movement developed entirely in-house. At the same time, engineers in the TAG Heuer Quality Department are working on the Monaco V4. The Calibre 1887 and the Monaco V4—along with the new Calibre Mikrograph 1/100th, an improvement of the Calibre 360 from 2005—will form a trilogy of exceptional movements that TAG Heuer presented in 2010, on the occasion of its 150th anniversary.

Shot by renowned fashion photographer Tom Munro, the “What Are You Made Of?” campaign perfectly invokes TAG Heuer’s spirit through a distinctive use of lighting and the resolute facial expressions of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova in their respective ads. Each ambassador is photographed looking away from the camera with an introspective gaze, as if deep in thought about his or her next challenge. Instead of wearing a timepiece, the ambassadors hold it in their hands, emphasizing that a TAG Heuer is an extension of themselves and their personal journeys. Leonardo DiCaprio, the newest member of the TAG Heuer dream team, embodies this brand’s notion of human achievement; he shares the same philosophy as TAG Heuer master watchmakers, who constantly question the process and strive to do better. To this end, Leonardo DiCaprio and TAG Heuer have forged a new partnership to support environmental charities.

TAG Heuer Watches: Milestones
1860: Edouard Heuer opens watchmaking shop in Saint-Imier. Marries Suzanna Scherz, daughter of a notary from Aeschi, in the Bernese Alps.
1864: Edouard Heuer moves his business to Brügg and names it Edouard Heuer & Cie.
1867: Edouard Heuer establishes his business in the watchmaking region of Bienne. 1869: Heuer obtains patent for first independent crown-winding mechanism for pocket watches.
1870: Edouard Heuer buys house at 6 rue des Vergers in Bienne.
1876: Edouard Heuer establishes London subsidiary, E.D. Heuer, London.

1878: On September 1, Edouard Heuer establishes partnership with Fritz Lambelet and opens luxury watch and gemstone workshop. Edouard Heuer elected to the Bienne town council. Louise Honorine, Edouard Heuer’s daughter, joins business as office apprentice and soon enters company management.
1882: Edouard Heuer is one of the first watchmakers to mass-produce pocket chronographs.
1883: Company earns silver medal at the Amsterdam World’s Fair for its collection of pocket chronographs
1885: Heuer, Lambelet & Cie. dissolves. Company resumes using the name Edouard Heuer & Cie.

1887: Heuer obtains French and German patents for famous Oscillating Pinion. Affected by the death of his daughter, Louise-Honorine, Edouard Heuer turns over control to his son Jules-Edouard.
1888: Heuer obtains Swiss and English patents for repeater watch with an automatic striking mechanism.
1889: Heuer receives silver medal for its collection of pocket chronographs at the Paris World’s Fair.

1890: The La Sirène trademark is registered.
1891: After training in business, watchmaking, and gemology at the London firm of Edwin W. Streeter, Edouard Heuer’s third child, Charles-Auguste, becomes a Heuer employee.
1892: Edouard Heuer dies on April 30 at the age of 52.
1893: Charles-Auguste Heuer joins company management
1895: Heuer obtains patent for one of the first water-resistant cases. Heuer’s catalogue already features pocket watches and brooch watches for women.

1901: La Chimère, Alligator, La Cigale, and Shamrock trademarks are registered.
1902: Jules-Edouard and Charles-Auguste Heuer become exclusive owners of Edouard Heuer & Cie. Watch sales total 152,000 Swiss francs.
1907: Gemstone sales achieve record level of Swiss francs
1908: Company obtains patent for pulsometer, still used in medicine today.

Heuer Time of Trip

1910: Henri Freund & Bros. becomes Heuer’s U.S. distributor. Products feature the brand name "The Rose" on dial or " Rose Watch Co." on movement.
1911: Heuer introduces the Time of Trip, first airplane and automobile dashboard chronograph. Heuer obtains patent for calendar that charts length of pregnancy and expected delivery date. Jules-Edouard Heuer dies.
1912: Heuer launches production of bracelet wristwatches for women. Company is named Ed. Heuer & Co. Rose Watch Company. Heuer logo first appears on letterhead.
1913: Heuer publishes first newspaper advertisement.
1914: First Heuer bracelet chronographs appear, featuring a Valjoux 15 calibre movement with a crown at 12 o’clock.
1915: Patent for shock-resistant case (26328). Charles-Edouard Heuer, Charles Auguste’s oldest son, joins company after two years of training.
1916: Charles-Auguste Heuer invents first sports stopwatches accurate to 1/100th of a second, the Mikrograph and the Microsplit (with split-seconds), followed by the Semikrograph and the Semicrosplit (with split-seconds), accurate to 1/50th of a second.
1919: The Zeppelin R 34, with a Time of Trip on board, makes the first flight over the North Atlantic.
1920: The British army and postal service purchase 2,200 Heuer Time of Trip clocks. Pocket chronographs, with splitseconds and chronometer certificates produced by Heuer, are chosen as official timekeeping instruments for the Antwerp Olympic Games. The brand, The Rose, is dropped. Paul Vallette models with LeCoultre movement are designed for the U.S. market.

1923: Hubert Heuer, Charles-Auguste’s second son, enters the company as the U.S. sales director. Charles-Auguste Heuer dies. The simple limited partnership Edouard Heuer & Co. is established on September 13, led by Charles-Edouard and Hubert Heuer.
1924: Heuer stops manufacturing pocket watches and focuses on wristwatches. Smith & Sons orders 1,200 Time of Trip clocks for airplanes. Pocket chronographs, with split seconds and chronometer certificates produced by Heuer, are chosen as the official timekeeping instruments of the Paris Olympic Games.
1927: Company’s name changes to Ed. Heuer, manufacturer of Jules Jürgensen watches.
1928: Pocket chronographs with split-seconds and chronometer certificates produced by Heuer are chosen as official timekeeping instruments of the Amsterdam Olympic Games. Heuer watches are put to the test as Official Timekeeper of ski, bobsleigh, and automobile races.
1929: Heuer logo takes final form. Graf Zeppelin carrying Hugo Eckener on a record setting around-the-world trip (20 days, 4 hours) is equipped with a Heuer Time of Trip.
1930: A watertight case for bracelet watches is produced.

1931: The city of Bienne presents Prof. Auguste Piccard with a gold Heuer chronograph with a 17-line movement to commemorate his flight into the stratosphere with Bienne physicist Paul Kipfer.
1933: The Autavia, the first dashboard instrument for racecars, and Hervue, featuring a movement that does not need to be wound for 8 days, are launched.
1934: Ed. Heuer & Co. participates in the Swiss Watch Fair in Basel for the first time, presenting a wide range of sports stopwatches, chronographs, and dashboard watches.
1935: Heuer develops chronograph for pilots with a turning bezel.
1936: Jules Jürgensen brand is sold. Company returns to former name, Ed. Heuer & Cie.
1939: Heuer chronographs chosen by Committee of the National Exhibition in Zurich. Company introduces water-resistant wrist chronograph.

1942: Heuer includes a warranty with all chronographs sold in Switzerland.
1945: Heuer introduces triple calendar (day, date and month) chronograph. All Heuer products signed on the movement, dial, and case. General Dwight D. Eisenhower purchases a Heuer chronograph with a steel case.
1947: Heuer launches production of automatic wristwatches. Prince Wilhelm of Sweden and Harry S. Truman both wear a gold Heuer chronograph.
1948: Heuer introduces the Auto-Graph, a wrist chronograph watch with a tachymeter scale and a hand that can be preset manually. Receives first Desco orders from Japan.
1949: Launch of the Solunar, the first\ watch equipped with a tide indicator. One thousand pieces are produced. The chronograph Mareograph, featuring a tide level indicator and countdown function, is introduced afterwards and only launched in 1950. This model is called the Seafarer in the U.S.

Heuer Seafarer

1955: Obtains a patent for the Twin-Time, a GMT watch that displays the time in two zones simultaneously. Heuer provides 3 stopwatches accurate to within 1/10th second for the third South Georgia Survey.
1957: Heuer launches the Ring–Master stopwatch, a world first that features seven interchangeable rings with scales that can be adapted to time various sports. Prince Bertil of Sweden wears it the following year.
1958: Heuer receives a patent for the Monte-Carlo dashboard stopwatch, with a central 60-minute hand and a 12-hour jumping disc. Together with the 8-day Master-Time dashboard clock, the pair is called the Rally-Master. Heuer redesigns the Auto-Rallye dashboard stopwatch and launches the Super-Autavia dashboard chronograph. Jack Heuer, Charles-Edouard’s son, joins the company.
1959: Heuer launches the Game-Master, a wrist stopwatch for radio, television, and film directors. Heuer Time Corporation is established in the U.S.

1962: Autavia wrist chronograph introduced. Astronaut John Glenn wears a Heuer sport wrist stopwatch as he orbits the Earth three times on board the spaceship Mercury Friendship 7. Heuer is the first Swiss watch in space.

Heuer Autavia wrist chronograph

1963: Heuer launches the Film-Master stopwatch, which allows Hollywood directors to measure and track 16- and 35-millimeter film sequences. The Sebring, a dashboard stopwatch with a split-second hand, is introduced.

1964: Heuer launches the Heuer Carrera chronograph. Heuer and Léonidas merge, creating Heuer-Léonidas SA. Sales figures double.
1965: Innovation introduced in the Heuer Carrera model: the world’s first bracelet chronograph with digital date display printed on a rotating disc.
1966: Heuer obtains a patent for the Microtimer, the first miniaturized, electronic sports timer accurate to 1/1,000th of a second.
1967: The Intrepid and its skipper, Emil Mosbacher, win the America’s Cup with Heuer chronographs on board.
1968: Autavia GMT is introduced. The wrist chronograph features a rotating bezel for second time zone. Heuer designs a chronograph for Bundeswehr pilots (the army of the Federal Republic of Germany). Camaro chronograph is launched. Heuer-Léonidas receives a major order for calibre Valjoux 7700 from China and the U.S.

1969: The world’s first automatic chronograph movement with a micro rotor, the Chronomatic Calibre 11, is introduced. The Monaco, the world’s first chronograph with a square, water-resistant case, is introduced. Well-known Swiss race-car driver Jo Siffert wears Heuer chronographs and becomes the company’s first official ambassador.

Heuer Monaco,world’s first chronograph with a square, water-resistant case

1970: Steve McQueen wears a Monaco chronograph and racing overalls with the Heuer logo in the film Le Mans, directed by Lee H. Katzin. On April 24, Heuer-Léonidas SA issues 4,000 shares (nominal value of 250 Swiss francs) at a price of 925 Swiss francs. Jack Heuer becomes CEO.

Heuer Chronosplit Manhattan

1971: Calculator and Easy-Rider chronographs are introduced. Heuer is the Ferrari racing team’s Official Timekeeper until 1979, and drivers Clay Regazzoni and Jacky Ickx wear the company logo on their overalls. Swiss ski team uses Heuer chronographs.

1972: Heuer creates the Le Mans Centigraph, an electronic chronograph accurate to 1/1,000th of a second, for the Ferrari racing team. Launch of the Montreal and Temporada chronographs and the Microsplit 800 chronographs, the world’s first pocket quartz-timing instrument. Heuer products are exported to 102 countries.

1973: Heuer launches the Microsplit 820, the world’s first pocket quartz timing instrument accurate to 1/100th of a second.

Heuer Microsplit 820

1974: Silverstone chronograph is introduced. Heuer also sponsors the McLaren Formula One team. Record year for Heuer-Léonidas, with sales above 26 million Swiss francs. Charles-Edouard Heuer dies.
1975: Chronosplit LED/LCD, accurate to within 1/10th of a second, is introduced. Monza chronograph is launched.
1976: The Daytona, the Regatta, the Chronosplit LCD, accurate to within 1/100th of a second, and the Microsplit LCD, a pocket quartz timing instrument accurate to within 1/100th of a second and designed by Richard Sapper, are introduced.
1977: Chronosplit Manhattan GMT, the first quartz bracelet chronograph with both analog and digital displays,m accurate to within 1/100th of a second, is launched. The Kentucky, Jarama, and Cortina chronographs are introduced, and the Split Lap Unit 77 digital chronograph is designed for Ford.
1978: Heuer presents the 1000 series, the first quartz diver watch, water-resistant up to 200 meters. Introduces the Senator and Verona series.
1979: Pasadena series is launched.
1980: As part of the Swiss Timing organization, Heuer is the Official Timekeeper at the winter Olympics in Lake Placid and the summer Olympics in Moscow. During a state visit to Switzerland, Spanish king Juan Carlos congratulates Jack Heuer on the company’s products.

1982: 2000 series is launched. The new Lémania SA acquires all Heuer-Léonidas SA shares, preserving the brand and Heuer-Léonidas jobs.
1983: The Golden Hours series of 18-karat gold prestigious watches and chronographs for collectors is launched.
1984: 1000 M professional diver’s watch, 3000, and Pilot series are launched.
1985: Titanium, Airline, and Executive series, and the 125th-anniversary collection, are introduced. Heuer joins the TAG Group (Techniques d’Avant-Garde) and becomes TAG Heuer. The company sponsors skipper Mike Birch and his catamaran, the Formule TAG, the first Kevlar®- and-carbon-fiber catamaran. TAG Heuer and McLaren Mercedes begin the longest partnership in Formula One history.

1986: TAG Heuer Formula 1 series, combining steel and glass fiber, is launched. TAG Heuer enters the skiing World Cup, sponsoring French and Austrian skiers Marc Girardelli, Helmut Höflehner, and others.
1987: The S/el(sport/elegance) series is introduced. The Six Features advertising campaign is launched.
1988: The Tristar series is launched. McLaren driver Ayrton Senna becomes TAG Heuer’s ambassador. TAG Heuer and Carl Lewis sign a sponsorship contract in September.
1989: The 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph version of the S/el series is launched. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper for the Alpine Ski World Cup in the U.S. and Canada.
1990: The 1500, 4000, and Super 2000 series are introduced.

TAG Heuer 1500 Series

1991: The “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” ad campaign, featuring Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, is introduced. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
1992: The 6000 series is introduced. The FIA, the International Automobile Federation, selects TAG Heuer as the Official Timekeeper for the Formula One World Championship (1992–2003).
1993: TAG Heuer sponsors the renowned French skipper, Titouan Lamazou, in the Jules Verne Trophy regatta. Mika Häkkinen joins McLaren and becomes a TAG Heuer ambassador.
1994: TAG Heuer introduces the 6000 in 18-karat solid gold at its new booth at the World Watch and Jewelry Show in Basel.
1995: The advertising campaign “Success. It’s a Mind Game,” is launched. TAG Heuer participates in the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup with Chris Dickson and the TAG Heuer Challenge.
1996: The famous TAG Heuer Carrera chronograph is reissued. TAG Heuer becomes a public company.
1997: TAG Heuer launches the Kirium series with the support of a remarkable team of athletes, photographed by Herb Ritts
1998: Monaco series reissued in a limited edition of 5,000. The 2000 Classic, 2000 Exclusive, and 2000 Searacer series are introduced.

1999: The S/el series is renamed Link and its design changes. 2000 Sport series and a new line dedicated exclusively to women, Alter Ego, are launched. The Alter Ego line features prominent spokeswomen, including Monica Seles and Kristin Scott Thomas. TAG Heuer joins the LVMH group (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), the world’s leader in luxury goods. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper of the World Ski Championship in Vail, Colorado.

2000: The Kirium Ti5, the first watch made of a polished titanium alloy, Ti5, from the McLaren Formula One team, is launched. Jean-Christophe Babin becomes president and CEO of TAG Heuer.

2001: The Kirium Formula 1, a modern analog watch with a digital chronograph accurate to 1/100th of a second, is introduced. The Monza is reissued and the Link Searacer is launched. Jack Heuer becomes honorary president of TAG Heuer. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper of the World Ski Championships in St. Anton, Austria.

2002: The Micrograph F1, a digital chronograph accurate to 1/100th of a second, wins the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the Design Watches category. Targa Florio, Monza Calibre 36 and Link Calibre 36 are launched, all accurate to 1/10th of a second. Sportvision sunglass line introduced. TAG Heuer ambassadors David Coulthard, Zhang Ziyi, Inés Sastre, and Steve McQueen are featured in the brand’s new ad campaign, “What Are You Made Of?”

2003: The 2000 Aquagraph and the Microtimer, a timekeeping instrument for the wrist, accurate to 1/1,000th of a second, are launched. Autavia is reissued. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper for the World Ski Championships in St. Moritz and sponsors the Oracle BMW Racing team in the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup. No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods becomes a TAG Heuer Ambassador.

2004: The concept watch Monaco V4, with a belt-driven mechanical movement, and the TAG Heuer SLR chronograph for Mercedes-Benz, are introduced. The 2000 series becomes the Aquaracer. Introduced in 2003, the Monaco Sixty Nine, the first reversible chronograph watch with two kinds of movement and accurate to 1/1,000th of a second, wins the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the Design Watches category. TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper of the Indy Racing League and the renowned Indianapolis 500.

2005: The Calibre 360 Concept Chronograph, the first mechanical wrist chronograph accurate to 1/100th of a second, is introduced The first Professional Golf Watch, developed in collaboration with Tiger Woods, is launched. The concept watch Diamond Fiction earns the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the Ladies Watches category. TAG Heuer taps Uma Thurman, Brad Pitt, Maria Sharapova, Kimi Räikkönen, and Juan Pablo Montoya as new brand ambassadors. TAG Heuer is an official partner of the China Team in the America’s Cup.

2006: The Monaco Calibre 360 LS concept chronograph is introduced. The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 360 Rose Gold Limited Edition, winner of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Sports Watches, is launched. TAG Heuer clocks a 2/10,000thof- a-second gap between the two winners of the Race of Champions Nations’ Cup.

2007: TAG Heuer launches the TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA with Calibre RS, the first mechanical movement engineering with Rotating Systems. Link Calibre S and Aquaracer Calibre S Regatta, chronographs with electromechanical movement, are launched. The Aquaracer wins the Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award. New booth, TAG Heuer SKIN, Inaugurated at Baselworld. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso join Kimi Räikkönen as TAG Heuer ambassadors.

2008: The TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph, the first automatic chronograph capable of displaying 1/10ths of a second, featuring the Caliper rotating scale, is introduced. Its honors include the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the Sports Watches category. TAG Heuer opens its TAG Heuer 360 Museum. TAG Heuer joins the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). TAG Heuer launches the MERIDIIST luxury mobile phone and accessories. TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear’s C-Flex concept receives a SILMO Golden Award.

2009: For the Monaco’s 40th anniversary, TAG Heuer reissues the first blue Monaco Calibre 11 in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, introduces the Monaco Twenty Four Concept Chronograph and launches the Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5. TAG Heuer’s Baselworld booth wins a Silver Award in EXHIBITOR magazine’s 23rd Annual Exhibit Design Awards competition. The famous “What Are You Made Of?” advertising are relaunched. The campaign includes new TAG Heuer brand ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio.

Jack William Edouard Heuer, Honorary Chairman of TAG Heuer
Jack William Edouard Heuer was born in 1932 in Bern, Switzerland, as great-grandson of Edouard Heuer, the original founder of TAG Heuer in 1860. He holds an Electrical Engineering degree and a master in production and management from the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich. During his student years he was very active in sports, mainly in skiing, as a member for several years of the Swiss University ski team. His fascination with sports would allow him during his business life to follow in the steps of his father and grandfather who in the very early days of the firm already developed time pieces for sports applications.

Mr. Heuer joined the family firm as a young engineer in 1958. A year later he started the first Heuer sales subsidiary in the United States, the Heuer Time Corporation, which still exists today as LVMH W & J USA. In 1962 he became majority shareholder of Ed. Heuer & Co. SA. Two years later the company acquired its largest competitor, the Leonidas Watch Co., and subsequently the company changed its name to Heuer-Leonidas SA. As managing director of Heuer-Leonidas he was instrumental in pushing for the development of the world's first automatic chronograph which was launched on March 3rd, 1969. In that same year Mr. Heuer's company became one of the first non automotive sponsors of the Formula One racing circuit as the means to promote the Heuer brand on a world wide basis. In 1971 he started a very close and successful technical co-operation with Ferrari in Formula One, which lasted 9 years and sealed TAG Heuer's position in the high technology auto-racing field.

Having anticipated that the technological revolution of solid state electronics would totally change the world's watch industry, he was one of the very early entrants into electronic timekeeping and helped launch several of the world's first electronic timing instruments, such as:

-The Microtimer (1966), a low-cost portable timing instrument measuring to 1/1000th of a second
-The Microsplit 800 (1972), a handheld quartz stopwatch measuring to 1/100th of a second
-The Chronosplit (1975) ,first quartz chronograph measuring 1/100th of a second
-The ACIT (1976), an Automatic Car Identification and Timing System which applied the principle of putting a radio emitter on every Formula One car, to allow for precise timing, lap counting and car identification. This System, although in the meantime modified and permanently improved is basically still the one used today in Formula One timekeeping.
-The Chronosplit Manhattan (1977), an electronic wrist chronograph with analog reading of the time of day and digital readout of the stopwatch function.

In 1982 Mr. Heuer left the company as a result of a major restructuring that took place in the Swiss watch industry when Heuer-Leonidas SA was acquired by the Piaget group. Piaget resold the company in 1985 to the TAG Group (Techniques d'Avant-Garde) which renamed it TAG Heuer SA.Mr. Heuer thereafter joined a Swiss management consulting firm where he became a partner. In addition to his consulting activity in 1983 he started to build a European marketing organisation for a Hong Kong based consumer electronics group called IDT (Integrated Display Technology Ltd). At the time this firm employed only about 200 people. Over the years he opened sales offices for the IDT Group in Germany, Switzerland, London, Paris, Milano and Madrid and was appointed Executive Director for Europe. The IDT Group which employs around 5’000 people is traded today publicly on the Hong Kong exchange.

After retiring as Executive Director for Europe in 2000, Mr. Heuer continued to be active in an advisory role and as a board member of the IDT International Group in Hong Kong until 2005. Over the past years Mr. Heuer stayed in contact with the management team of TAG Heuer and has been instrumental in the preparation of its well known history book “Mastering Time”. In 1999 the LVMH Group acquired TAG Heuer and subsequently Mr. Heuer was appointed in 2001 Honorary Chairman of TAG Heuer with a special advisory role concerning the history and technological heritage of the company in addition to adding the benefit of his long experience in the watch industry.

Jean-Christophe Babin,President and CEO of TAG Heuer
President and Chief Executive Officer of TAG Heuer, the leading global prestigious sportwatches and Chronographs Brand, Jean-Christophe Babin, is himself an accomplished sportsman.

Born 49 years ago in Paris, Jean-Christophe Babin has been leading TAG Heuer, as worldwide President and CEO since November 2000, when TAG Heuer’s shareholder, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) hired him from the German Group Henkel KGaA, where Jean-Christophe Babin was Senior Vice President in charge of Laundry Care Business Unit worldwide as well as of the North American business development.

Jean-Christophe Babin graduated in 1980 from leading European Business School HEC (MBA) to join in 1983 Procter and Gamble where he spent 6 years in marketing and sales of the cosmetic and detergent divisions. He moved to the Boston Consulting Group in 1989 as Manager responsible for key High Tech, Consumer Goods and Service accounts, sharing his time between the Paris and Milano offices.

Jean-Christophe Babin eventually settled full time in Italy as of 1991. In 1994 he joined the Henkel Group as Managing Director of Henkel Spa, the Italian subsidiary of the multinational German Group operating in chemicals, cosmetics, detergents and adhesives. In less than 4 years he grew the Italian operation to the 2nd position on the Italian detergents market and turned the subsidiary into a major contributor to Henkel Group profits. When he was promoted in 1998 Senior Vice President of Henkel KgaA, He became at just 39 the youngest Executive ever appointed by the German Company to that position. Responsible for the strategic Laundry Care business unit worldwide, he launched innovative products which consolidated Henkel European lead in that Category. Also responsible for the Henkel business development in the USA, he settled a joint venture with The Dial Corporation in Scottsdale, AZ, which paved the way to Henkel takeover of the American company announced end 2003.

Appointed leader of TAG Heuer one year after the Swiss company was acquired by LVMH, Jean-Christophe Babin undertook a major image, distribution and product assortment upgrading; he convinced leading sports icon, Tiger Woods, to join TAG Heuer legendary roaster of ambassadors, and associated him to the company product development as well as into the new provocative “What are you made of?” advertising campaign. He sped up product development and innovation, with the launch of a full mechanical range of watches and chronographs, including the 36.000 alternances/hour Link Calibre 36 mechanical and automatic chronograph measuring time at the 1/10th of a second. In parallel, thanks to close partnership with Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen, he set a new milestone in wrist chronographs accuracy with the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève awarded Microtimer F1, the first ever wrist timepiece combining chronograph and timekeeping functions, at the 1/1000th of a second. Distribution-wise he increased TAG Heuer selectivity by reducing the number of authorized dealers by –30% in 5 years, and enhanced the assortment image and appeal by streamlining it from 700 to less than 220 products.

Jean-Christophe Babin accelerated markedly TAG Heuer innovation process, increasing markedly the R&D budgets of the Company, recruiting and partnering with very creative and knowledgeable talents from inside and outside the watch Industry. This was crowned in 2004 by A.T. Kearney Global Consulting Company promoting TAG Heuer as the “Most innovative Swiss Company”, comparing to big names like Crédit Suisse Private Banking or BMW in Germany. This was epitomized by a series of breakthrough watchmaking innovations including the Monaco 69, the Monaco V4, the Calibre 360 and the Calibre S. In parallel Mr. Babin attracted to TAG Heuer the top names of Sport and Cinema to collaborate to product development and promote the Brand in advertising and on the point of sales; with Uma Thurman, Brad Pitt, Shah Ruk Khan, Yao Ming, Juan-Pablo Montoya, Lewis Hamilton, Jeff Gordon, Kimi Raïkkönen, Maria Sharapova and Tiger Woods, TAG Heuer more than ever today is the icon of the fusion of “Sport & Glamour” and has the most impressive roaster of ambassadors evermgathered by a luxury Brand.

An accomplished sportsman himself, Jean-Christophe Babin spends his free time skiing, sailing, scuba diving, or even occasionally driving a Formula 1 of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 racing school operating in South East France. His passion and practice of sports allow him to better understand true luxury sports watches requirements as well as to test by himself the prototypes developed by his watchmakers and designers.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

STROM AGONIUM Collection: "Memento Mori - Carpe Diem"

STROM Prestige Swiss Timepieces AG is founded by Daniel Strom ,the son of master watch maker Armin Strom.The brand now launches a new collection of exclusive timepieces called AGONIUM Collection.

The model "Memento Mori - Carpe Diem" from AGONIUM Collection is a watch which is unique in its kind: This is not a conventional timepiece: it not only shows time but it also, and above all, lets you live.
Technical details
  • Case: Handmade (casting) silver 925, gold, palladium or platinum
  • Container: Stainless steel with double curved sapphire crystal, antireflex coating, water resistance 50m
  • Movement: Mechanical automatic movement caliber 2824
  • Dial: black or bone-white
  • Hands: Polished steel-hands white or black
  • Strap: Alligator Hornback black
  • Buckle: Handmade with skull in silver 925, gold, palladium or platinum
Models and price list
  • Ref. C09-01.AG.10: Case in silver 925, dial bone-white, Limited to 88 pieces PP: 6'666.00 Euro
  • Ref. C09-01.AG.90: Black dial version, Limited to 88 pieces PP: 6'666.00 Euro
  • Ref. C09-01.PD.10: Case in palladium, dial bone-white , Limited to 12 pieces PP: 13'777.00 Euro
  • Ref. C09-01.PD.90: Black dial version,,Limited to 12 pieces PP: 13'777.00 Euro
  • Ref. C09-01.PD.xx.D: Case in Palladium with diamonds on each skull quality TW, vvs, on both sides of the case 40 diamonds, size 1.10, 0,24 ct, on the lugs 8 diamonds, size 1.70, 0,14 ct, on the crown 2 diamonds, size 1.90, 0,05 ct, total 0.43 ct
  • Both dial variations: PP: 17'999.00 Euro
Versions in gold: actual price (depends on the daily quotation) PP: 19'999.00 Euro
Versions in platinum: actual price (depends on the daily quotation) PP: 46'666.00 Euro

URWERK UR-CC1 Black Cobra

The latest generation of the UR-CC1 is the result of successful genetic manipulation. A sudden shedding of the skin has transformed the grey gold "King Cobra" case into black, a colour often signalling lethal danger. In colouring the UR-CC1 anthracite, team URWERK reaffirms the aggressiveness of this piece, pushing the Cobra to the extreme. Black character and black heart. Don't be afraid, but do be very careful of the UR-CC1 in black AlTiN.

Hold the "Black Cobra" face on and you stare at two unusual indications: jumping hours and retrograde minutes. Bright yellow glowing from black is the only luminous evidence emitting from this reptilian machine. The hours and minutes count down the time by moving linearly.

It took more than three years of research and development to overcome the technical challenges involved in linearly indicating the hours and minutes in this fashion.

The resolution of three engineering puzzles allowed the URWERK team to master the reptilian beast:-
  • The movement develops enough energy to operate the imposing minute cylinder, which is much heavier than a traditional hand, but where to find additional energy to function the jumping hour cylinder?
  • A toothed rack moves vertically to rotate the minutes, but how to ensure that it operates smoothly in all positions, despite the varying effects of the immutable laws of gravity?
  • Having solved the power issues related to operating the jumping hours, how to ensure that there is enough energy available for the world-premiere digital seconds?
A toothed rack/lever, visible through a display panel on the side of the "Black Cobra" transfers energy from the movement to the minute cylinder. The honeycomb structure of the lever offers the two seemingly contradictory properties of lightness and rigidity. Rigidity to accurately convey the profile of the triple cam to the minute cylinder, and extremely light/low mass so as to consume as little energy as possible and so that position, gravity and shocks have minimal effect. The mechanism used is reminiscent of those seen in automata.

A toothed segment at the end of a rack exactly moves up and down following the path drawn by the triple cam - a path that has been plotted from 104 reference points. Each of the three cams drives the rack for exactly 60 minutes. At precisely 60 minutes the rack drops on the cam provoking the opposite tooth-end of the rack to fall, which triggers the retrograde mechanism and rotates the minute cylinder. And all of this happens in just 1/10th of a second!

The energy released by the retrograde mechanism is recovered and used to power the rotation of the jumping hour cylinder. Visible through a display panel in the side of the case, a 12 pointed star and positioning spring are the only distinguishable components of this innovative mechanism for recycling energy.

Two essential elements, the disk for the digital seconds and the honeycombed rack, anchor the "Black Cobra" in cutting-edge technology. Photolithography was the only method able to provide the degree of accuracy and low mass required by these two critical components - the seconds' disk weighs just 0.09 of a gram!

Technical details
Model: UR-CC1 « Black cobra limited edition of 25 pieces

Grey gold treated with AlTiN (Aluminium Titane Nitride), base in PE-CVD treated titanium
Particularities hardness of gold : 380 Vickers
Hardness of AlTiN : 3800 Vickers
Dimensions:length : 53.9mm
Width : 42.6mm
Height : 15.4mm

Linear jumping hours
Linear retrograde minutes
Seconds displayed both lineally and digitally, a world first

Calibre UR-8.02
Minute and hour cylinders in aluminium elox (Anodicaly Inactivated Aluminium)
Cylinder brackets in titanium
Honeycombed rack and seconds disk in nickel manufactured using photolithography
Base plate in ARCAP P40 treated with black PVD
Triple cam in beryllium bronze
Unidirectional winding rotor masse regulated by pneumatic brake « Fly Brake »
Balance frequency: 28'800 bph/4Hz
Power Reserve: 39 hours
Number of jewels: 27 jewels in base movement ,10 jewels in complication

Finishing: bridges decorated with perlage then treated with black pvd, movement components decorated with perlage, micro-blasted, complication components diamond-cut and mirror polished, gold case micro-basted then treated with AlTiN, titanium base plate treated with PE-CVD

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grönefeld One Hertz: The world's first independent deadbeat seconds series wristwatch

Grönefeld Exclusive timepieces, an independent luxury watch brand founded by Dutch watchmakers Tim and Bart Grönefeld present "One Hertz", the world's first and only production wristwatch with independent deadbeat seconds (secondes morte in French). While rare, the deadbeat seconds complication does exist, but to date has been derived from other mechanisms, usually a constant force device or remontoir d'égalité.

The Grönefeld One Hertz features a completely original in-house developed movement indicating hours and minutes on a sub-dial at 2 o'clock, a large sub-dial for the deadbeat seconds filling the majority of the dial with a power reserve indicator at 12 o'clock, and a setting-winding indicator at 3 o'clock. Setting-winding is ergonomically selected by pushing the crown instead of pulling it out.

Deadbeat seconds – where the second hand advances in full steps of one second instead of an apparently smooth sweeping action – was a very respected complication until the 1980s; however, its popularity died with the dominance of quartz movements, which also stepped in full seconds. A smooth sweeping second hand came to differentiate mechanical from quartz.

With their new One Hertz, with its unique secondary gear train, Tim and Bart Grönefeld have resurrected this long neglected complication and re-positioned it where the complication originated, i.e. on the pedestal of high precision. The quartz-like movement of the large second hand of the One Hertz subtly signals its unique mechanism, invisible to most but obvious to haute horlogerie aficionados who will appreciate the flawless fine-finishing of the in-house developed calibre G-02.

The One Hertz launches with a subscription-only limited edition of 12 pieces called the "One Hertz 1912" –1912 was the year Tim and Bart's grandfather qualified as a watchmaker.

History of the Deadbeat Seconds
With the introduction of the pendulum in the 17th century, clocks finally became accurate enough to measure seconds. It was then not long before a hand indicating seconds on a long clock's dial signified a precision timepiece. A pendulum with a period – the time to swing forward and back – of two seconds (the most common) resulted in a single tick per second.

The invention of the balance spring, which replaced the pendulum, enabled miniaturization. As portable pocket watches became more accurate, watchmakers naturally thought to copy the one-second steps of the second hand, which signified a precision timepiece; however, the rapidly oscillating balance meant that it could not be directly driven from the oscillator as with the pendulum, so it either necessitated a new mechanism if independent, or it had to be driven from another complication e.g., a constant force device. While pocket watches have featured independent deadbeat seconds in the past, the Grönefeld One Hertz is the first wristwatch featuring independent deadbeat seconds. The Grönefeld One Hertz is unique among wristwatches in that its deadbeat seconds are powered by a secondary gear train that is independent of the gear train for the hour and minute indications.

One Hertz
The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. This SI unit is named after Heinrich Hertz. One Hertz simply means "one cycle per second".

The second (SI symbol: s), sometimes abbreviated sec., is the international base unit of time. To highlight the SI seconds, the One Hertz displays deadbeat seconds with a large second hand in its own dial. Hours and minutes are non-SI units of time because they do not use the decimal system so are displayed separately.

Mechanical wristwatch movements often have balance frequencies of 2.5 to 5 hertz, which results in the second hand making tiny steps of five to 10 steps each second and looking like a smooth movement.

The "One Hertz" independent deadbeat seconds complication
Displaying deadbeat seconds in a wristwatch without a constant force device is no easy task. The friction of the mechanism has to be absolutely minimal so it does not interfere with the escapement. Tim and Bart Grönefeld used an independent deadbeat seconds mechanism that is driven from its own secondary gear train with its own power supply.

The seconds are driven from one mainspring barrel and the hours and minutes from another. Friction with this system is guaranteed to an absolute minimum and the complication has no adverse influence on the escapement and freesprung balance. The two mainspring barrels are wound simultaneously from the crown, which features an innovative "push to set, push to wind” function, with the mode selected indicated on the dial at 3 o'clock. A power reserve indicator at the top of the deadbeat seconds dial keeps track of the 60 hours of autonomy.

Technical details

Calibre G-02, mechanical hand winding, independent deadbeat seconds, power reserve indicator and setting indicator
Movement dimensions: 35mm x 9.4mm
Parts: 254
Jewels: 39, set in gold chatons
Power reserve: 60 hours
Barrels: Two barrels, one for the going gear train and one for the independent deadbeat seconds mechanism; both barrels are wound at the same speed and in the same direction
Balance wheel: 9.12mm free-sprung Gyromax balance wheel
Balance frequency: 21’600 bph/2.5Hz
Balance spring: Phillips terminal overcoil curve, triangle-style stud
Main Plate: Spotted and snailed rhodium plated nickel silver
Bridges: Stainless steel, hand-bevelled, micro-blasted centre and the underneath spotted, circular grain on the top, relief engraved on micro-blasted surface
Gearing: Two independent gear trains each with their own energy source
Deadbeat seconds mechanism: Independent mechanism, cam with 30 teeth on the going gear train on the seconds wheel, escape wheel on the seconds wheel of the independent gear train, double lever with jewelled pallets
Winding-setting mechanism: Push function crown for winding or setting
Power reserve mechanism: Classic Breguet style by means of a cone moving up and down on the threaded barrel arbour
Indications: Hours and minutes in sub-dial at 2 o’clock, large seconds at 7 o’clock, power reserve, setting-winding indicator at 3 o’clock

Case and dial
Case: stainless steel, limited edition of 12 pieces, gold security screws, polished bezel and centre band with hand-finished straight graining
Case dimensions: 43mm x 12.5mm
Sapphire crystals: top domed with anti-reflective treatment both sides, display back with anti-reflective treatment inside
Water resistance: 3atm/30m/100feet
Crown: Stainless steel with engraved “G" logo
Dial: Hour and minutes sub-dial, seconds sub-dial, power reserve indicator, setting-winding indicator, Grönefeld logo and model name on individual screwed-down nameplates
Hands: Hours and minutes, long thin counter-poised seconds, power reserve and setting-winding
Strap and buckle: Hand-sewn matte black, alligator leather with stainless steel engraved tang buckle