TAG Heuer "Calibre 360" Concept Chronograph
Avant-Garde Daringness in motion:
The TAG Heuer Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph
The first ever 1/100th of a second mechanical wrist chronograph
TAG Heuer, the world leader in prestigious chronographs since 1860, which has set several major milestones in Swiss chronograph history, is presenting at Baselworld 2005 the most accurate mechanical timepiece ever crafted, the Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph. The Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph 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 chronographa rate that until now was considered impossible. More than ever, with this quantum leap in mechanical watchmaking accuracy, TAG Heuer asserts its unique know-how and reaffirms its motto: Swiss avant-garde since 1860.
This ultra resistant and light titanium Ti5 "Calibre 360" Concept Chronograph is the flagship of a rich new offering in prestigious TAG Heuer Chronographs presented this year in Basel, such as the Aquaracer Automatic, the Link Tachymeter automatic, the Link Lady Diamonds and the Microtimer Lady Diamonds Chronograph.
It confirms TAG Heuer's superior innovation potential and its commanding lead over the rest of the Swiss watchmaking industry, as underlined in 2004 by the consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the business magazine Bilanz, which identified TAG Heuer as one of the three most innovative companies in Switzerland and one of the leading innovators in Europe. The prestigious distinction bears testimony to TAG Heuer's determination to always exceed the boundaries of imagination in a sector not usually given to radical developments.
Formula 1 driver and watch collector Juan Pablo Montoya has tested this new revolutionary timepiece and has given his input in the design of this car racing-inspired Concept Chronograph.
360,000 Beats per Hour: A Major Breakthrough for the Swiss Watch Industry
Every year at the Basel Watchmaking Fair, TAG Heuer puts it reputation as one of the world's most audacious and innovative watch brands on the line.
Last year marked the launch of the Monaco V4 Concept Watch. A revolutionary timepiece with a belt-driven mechanical movement inspired by high-performance racecar engines, it has so far been named "Watch of the Year" by Wallpaper* magazine, the "Best of What's New" by Popular Science and The Best of the Best in the category Fashion Product Design (including watches, eyewear, clothes, bags, footwear, jewelry and travel accessories) at the Red Dot Design Awards, joining previous award winners such as Lamborghini, Apple, Bang & Olufsen, BMW, Maserati and Nokia. This watch is currently being industrialized.
Another 2003 Basel launch, the Monaco 69 Concept Watch, a double-sided, digital-analog wonder, went on to win the coveted Best Design Award at the Grand Prix dHorlogerie de Genève.
In 2002, TAG Heuer unveiled the Microtimer F1 Concept Watch, the first Swiss wrist chronograph accurate to 1/1,000th of a second. It too won the Best Design Award at the Grand Prix dHorlogerie de Genève and was successfully brought to market in 2003.
And these are only TAG Heuer achievements in the 21st century
1860 to the Present: The TAG Heuer Revolution Continues
A history marked by truly ground-breaking technology and leadership in Chronographs
TAG Heuer's history has been more than just radical. Starting with its first stopwatch patent in 1869, followed by the revolutionary oscillating pinion of 1887 still an essential component in today's mechanical chronographs like the TAG Heuer Calibre 16 the Company has relentlessly pushed Swiss watchmaking tradition forward by challenging and innovating on its most time-honored conventions. Not content to rest on its laurels, it seeks perfection, the mastery of time beyond every definition of what is possible.
In 1916, with the invention of the Micrograph the first pocket timepiece accurate to 1/100th of a second TAG Heuer took the first step towards this year's revolutionary Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph. It quickly became the timepiece of choice at top-level sports events, solidifying TAG Heuer's reputation as the world's best timekeeper. Having earned renown for the mechanical perfection of its products, the company continued its quest for accuracy and innovation in the service of both sports and science. In 1969, TAG Heuer revolutionized chronographs at Basel by being the first to market an automatic chronograph movement, the famous Calibre 11 (Chronomatic) with a microrotor to rewind the barrels.
Three revolutions in Swiss Watchmaking, all driven by TAG Heuer
First the Micrograph, then the 1969 Chronomatic Calibre 11, and now the TAG Heuer Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph. The world's most accurate wrist chronograph, the revolutionary new Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph directly incorporates technology and techniques drawn from both of these prior innovations.
The Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph represents the culmination of TAG Heuers know-how and expertise in the field of precision mechanical watchmaking and sports timekeeping. Finally, after years of painstaking research and experimentation, every mechanical obstacle has been eliminated through a groundbreaking manufacturing concept and a world first in horology: The first 1/100th of a second wrist mechanical chronograph
To achieve this exceptional level of precision, TAG Heuer has developed a unique and complex movement, the principle of which was set by the Chronomatic Calibre 11 in1969. Made of more than 234 components and modules which 131 are directly from the chronograph movement, it actually fuses two distinctive mechanical movements, each connected to the other but operating independently.
A world first: two distinct movements controlled by a single crown
To ensure precision adjustment and independent operation, the basis of the Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph is an automatic movement, the TAG Heuer Calibre7, with a power-reserve of 42 hours and a heart beating at28, 800 vibrations per hour. Highly resistant to wrist shock and wear effects, embellished with Côtes de Genève decoration on the oscillating mass, this movement has been certified as a chronometer by the COSC (the Swiss Official Chronometer Control institute).
What is most extraordinary about the Calibre360,, movement is that the chronograph function is not just a "module" added on to the automatic watch movement.
With its barrel, separate manual winding system, gearwheel and the independent balance wheel and spiral mechanism, it is a genuine and wholly separate movement, a chronograph with a power-reserve counter and a quick-rotating barrel that offers 100 minutes of power reserve, plus its most remarkable component: a single-pallet escapement wheel and special balance wheel. The high-precision mechanism, specially created and hand-assembled, provides an unbelievable oscillating frequency of 360,000 vibrations per hour. With such a high-powered system, the Calibre 360,, creates a new milestone in Swiss watchmaking history. The quantum leap to360, 000 vibrations per hour from usually 28,800 or 36,000 could be compared to a Formula 1 engine jumping from 18,000 rpm to 180,000 rpm !
As the Calibre 360,, is a worldwide first in the history of watchmaking, TAG Heuer has filed for two exclusive worldwide patents :
The first patent protects the 1/100th of a second counter on a mechanical wrist chronograph.
The second patent protects the unique crown control system. The single crown winds both movements and controls the watchs hour and date settings. A clockwise rotation loads the barrel on the manual chronograph movement; a counter-clockwise rotation rewinds the automatic movement that gives the time.
From Dream to Reality : Avant-garde design inspired by high-tech car engines
As usual, TAG Heuer's designers, stimulated by the input of watch collector and star Formula 1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, have created an exceptionally daring timepiece to house the Calibre 360,, movement. This masterpiece is easily recognizable thanks to its unique and exceptional architecture: like a pure high-tech engine, the chronograph functions are displayed through the wrought Côtes-de-Genève chronograph engine, which contrasts with the flat-black dial. At 6 o'clock, an oversized circular fine-brushed counter keeps track of the 1/100ths-of-a-second red hand, while at 9 o'clock, a red minute needle directly integrated into the chronograph engine displays the elapsed time on a 9 minutes scale disk, particularly adapted for the car-race timekeeping. At 12 o'clock, the wearer can see the power-reserve indicator of 100 minutes, displayed in the same way as the fuel indicator of cars dashboards, through the chronograph engine's angled polished opening. The result is a look as radically inspired by car racing as the high-tech technology housed inside it.
Designed to accentuate the Calibre 360s exceptional movement, the case has been crafted from titanium Grade 5, an exclusive TAG Heuer material developed with McLaren in 1997 for the Kirium series, and combining utmost resistance with utmost lightness as well as sparkling polish effect. Its a pure TAG Heuer case with oversized crown and asymmetrical pushbuttons, the larger of which, at two oclock and capped bright red, controls the stopwatch. Once pressed, the chronograph mechanism springs into action, simultaneously activating the chronograph second hand in the centre of the dial and the 100ths-of-a-second hand located in a counter at six oclock. Thanks to the high oscillating frequency, the centre hand advances at a perfectly regular pace, and the 100ths counter makes a complete rotation in one second. This invention is not only an aesthetic success; it also lets the user explore just how long a second can last and discover how pleasant it is to watch time pass in a smooth-as-silk fashion.
On the caseback, two semicircle windows in sapphire give another perspective on this extraordinary movement, a new classic masterpiece, uniquely designed and manufactured by TAG Heuer.
Developed with Juan Pablo Montoya, the bracelet is, naturally, in stylish black rubber with folding buckle, further enhancing comfort and ergonomy, even when driving at 300 km/h and crossing the finish line with a few 100ths-of-a-second lead.
The TAG Heuer Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph: A new world first and a brand-new concept in watchmaking.
With the boldly innovative Calibre 360,, Concept Chronograph, the world's most iconoclastic watchmaker has once more revolutionized Swiss watchmaking by creating a startling new icon of high-tech design. The Calibre360,, Concept Chronograph does not break with tradition; it learns from it, borrows from it, and in so doing pushes it further, into the next millennium. Once again, TAG Heuer lives up to its reputation by surpassing all expectations. And once again, the brand to beat lays claim to the cutting-edge of watchmaking and honors its motto: Swiss Avant-Garde since 1860,,
TAG Heuer, the benchmark in prestigious sports watches and chronographs since 1860, currently ranks as the fourth luxury brand in the world watch market. The Swiss watchmaking legend draws from its active engagement in the world of sports to create the most accurate measuring instruments and sports-inspired timepieces ever made. From the Olympic Games in the 1920s to its new role as official timekeeper and chronograph for the legendary Indy 500 and IRL championship, TAG Heuer has maintained a constant quest for innovation and excellence, pursuing the summit of performance and prestige. This is reflected in its partnerships with Team McLaren Mercedes in Formula 1 racing; with number one worldwide golfer Tiger Woods and with Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raïkkönen at the top of Formula 1. With the tennis sparkling star Maria Sharapova, Hollywood greats Brad Pitt and Uma Thurman, TAG Heuer more than ever stands for Sport and Glamour.
TAG Heuer International Press Contact:
Charlotte Walhain Tel: + 1 33 1 55 80 09 22 Fax: + 1 33 1 55 80 09 21
Mobile: + 1 33 6 12 22 78 87
OK, a little searching around yields the following for images scaned in from a Japanese watch magazine/book published late last year:
If we scrutinize the enlargements of these scans we learn that the watch is based on the ETA 2892 with some sort of module to add the chronograph and other complications. This is probably the most extensive module ever grafted to the 2892.
It'll be interesting to see if this ever makes it to an actual model.