New V4 Tourbillon from the TAG Heuer Monaco collection proved to be one of the most interesting pieces of the entire Baselworld 2014 event. Its importance lays in the fact that it is the first watch which incorporates a micro-belt driven tourbillon complication. This new type of tourbillon is based on several exceptionally thin transmission belts which are as thick as a single human hair and whose construction process is regarded as classified information. The timekeeper is named after the V-shaped main-plate of its exposed movement which possesses an automatic winding system with linear mass. The novel caliber possesses two pairs of barrels in series which are joined by belts, inclined at 13 degrees and set on the smallest ball bearing ever made. TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon is placed in a barrel shaped housing which is, of course, one of the distinctive traits of the Monaco series. The hand-made racing watch in a platinum case, made by the La-Chaux-de-Fonds firm is worth around $170,000.
The latest newcomer by TAG Heuer derives from the iconic Monaco collection with a long tradition. The series was introduced and made famous in the early seventies, especially after its exposure in the classic racing movie Le Mans with Steve McQueen in the lead role with the Monaco piece on his wrist. This racing heritage is reflected in the architectonics of the watch’s movement. Ever since the first V4 concept was created ten years ago, it has included the distinctive v-shape design which resembles the motor of a racing car.
Belts for an Improved Shock Protection
A decade after the first V4 concept model saw the light of day, TAG Heuer is presenting a new model which is based on the incorporation of micro-belts that replace the gearing and this time pairs it with a tourbillon complication. The watch is supplied with an automatic linear rewinding system and utilizes four thin transmission belts (the thinnest of which are just 0.07 mm wide) which secure substantially better shock protection than it is normal.
Parallel Barrels on V-Shaped Bridges
Overall, the watch’s movement incorporates 214 components and 46 jewels in its construction. It functions at the frequency of 28,800 vph and features a 1 minute tourbillon which is also used as a small seconds indication. Another patented feature of the caliber is represented by its two pairs of parallel barrels set on tiny ball bearings. This construction secures a power storage of 40 hours.
Black Carbide Coated Titanium
The innovative movement which makes the tourbillon complication even more intricate is housed in a barrel shaped case with both the width and the length of 41 mm. It is crafted from grade 5 titanium treated with black carbide coating. Both sides of the timepiece include sapphire segments: while the front side displays a domed sapphire crystal with double glare-proof coating, the rear side incorporates three sapphire sections. The overall construction allows water resistance to 50 meters.
Tag Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon Watch features a skeletonized dial that exposes the high-end finishes of its impressive hand-made and hand-assembled movement. Apart from the first ever belt-operated tourbillon which sits at the nine o’clock position, we can see two v-shaped bridges made of brushed and black-coated steel with hand-polished bevels and three more black-coated bridges with the Geneva striping motif. The same type of black coating is seen on the faceted hands with luminous engraving.
For the attachment, the La Chaux-de-Fonds watchmaker selected a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a protective padding on the inner side. The wristlet locks with a folding clasp with safety push buttons made of titanium with black carbide coating.