A Hundred years after the release of its iconic Mikrograph stop watch which was the first timekeeper that allowed measurement within 1/100th of a second, TAG Heuer is launching a new model that celebrates this horological milestone. New TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph Anniversary Edition is like the archetype model able to keep track of the elapsed time with the same precision. This is possible thanks to its remarkable movement whose additional chronograph mechanism operates at the extremely fast pace of 50 Hz. The steel watch likewise has an interesting design of the case that allows it to be mounted on a dashboard of a car, or to be converted into a table timepiece. The centenary limited edition of the famed Mikrograph is launched in just 100 copies and it has the price tag of $21,000.
The Stop Watch That Made its Mark in the History of Watchmaking
The original Mikrograph which saw the light of day a century ago was not only one of the most important pieces in the history of brand, but also in the history of the watchmaking itself. When the original Mikrograph came out, it was the first timepiece that was able to keep track of events with the precision within a hundredth part of a second. The piece was developed by Charles-Auguste Heuer in the collaboration with Valjoux and Minerva. Interestingly, the three brands that were involved in the creation of the model are now owned by three different conglomerates. TAG Heuer is under the helm of LMVH, Valjoux is owned by the Swatch Group and Minerva was bought by Richemont and integrated in Montblanc.
Wrist, Table or Dashboard
The Mikrograph from 1916 was a stop watch. As a tribute to the origin of the piece, the Saint-Imier watchmaker made sure that the new piece can likewise be styled in the same way, in addition to being a wristwatch and a timepiece on a dashboard of a car as well. This is achieved with a special design that allows the round part of its Carrera case to be removed from the rest of the case and subsequently placed on one of two mounts that are provided along with the watch. That is how this model can be transformed from a wristwatch to its two other supported forms which is of course a very cool trick.
There are other nods to the fact that the archetype model was a stop watch. The housing of the newcomer features the so-called bullhead design that was used in this type of timepieces. Here, the crown is placed on the top of the case and not at the tree o’clock position as it is common for wristwatches. Moreover, the crown is large, spherical and with ridges, while the pushers are in mushroom styling. Both of these shapes are of course also more common for vintage stop watches.
As for the other important traits of the construction, it should be said that the watch is placed inside a mid-sized circular case made of polished stainless steel and that its diameter measures to 45 mm. At the front of the piece with a fixed bezel is a sapphire crystal, while the rear side is made from solid metal. The watch is water resistant to 100 meters.
Iconic Automatic Movement with Two Balances
When it comes to the functioning of new TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph Anniversary Edition piece, it is based on the automatic movement which the brand released five years ago. Its beating heart named TAG Heuer Calibre Mikrograph 1/100th second and it was quite unique. The in-house automatic movement featured the first mechanical chronograph with column-wheel which displayed its hundredth parts of a second with a central hand. For this reason, that model (just like the new one) had the outskirts of the dial divided into a scale of 100 sections. This scale is used in the combination with a central chrono hand which moves at the exceptionally fast pace that allows it to complete a full revolution every second.
Such impressive movement required a lot of hard work. The caliber is consisted with as much as 480 components and it included 11 patented solutions that were implemented in its construction. The movement also has a very interesting structure since it actually includes two different balances. The main one which is used for timekeeping beats at the common (yet also fast-paced) rate of 28,800 vph. It is paired with its barrel that stores enough energy to keep it running for 42 hours. In addition to this, there is also another balance with the extraordinarily fast frequency of 360,000 vph (or 50 Hz) which is used for the accurate chronograph of the watch. This balance also has its own assorted barrel with the power storage of 90 minutes. Additionally, it should be mentioned that the caliber with 62 jewels has bi-directional winding and that it is COSC certified as a chronometer.
White Dial with a Vintage Styling
The caliber used in this 2011 model is once again utilized in the new limited edition. Even though the mechanical essence of two pieces is the same, they are different in aesthetical sense. There is a novel type of transformable body, as well as a new type of vintage styling for the dial. Speaking of the face of TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph Anniversary Edition, it is white lacquered and combined with painted black Arabic numerals. Moreover, the dial with the appearance that is inspired with the 1920s includes blued pointers with arrows and leaf shaped hour and minute hands. The central chrono hand is made with a counterweight in the shape of a drop.
When it comes to the outlay of the dial, it includes three sub-dials, all of them concentrated on the upper half. The top is reserved for chronograph 30-minutes scale, the three o’clock is used for small seconds, while the one opposite to it shows the power reserve of the chronograph. Finally, there is a date aperture between four and five o’clock positions, as well as the inscriptions that idncate the manufacturer and the name of the model.
When used as a wristwatch, TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph Anniversary Edition is paired with a gray calfskin strap with circular perforations. As it has been mentioned, two additional mounts that allow the piece to be transformed in a table clock and a dashboard instrument are included with the watch. This celebratory timekeeper is made in 100 copies and it is already available for sale at the price which could be considered quite affordable when one considers its remarkable traits.