Watches & Wonders 2022 - TAG Heuer Solar Charges, Dives 1000m, Rules Races and Grows Diamonds

Founded in 1860, TAG Heuer is part of the LVMH group, which is rightfully considered one of the leading manufacturers of luxury goods. TAG Heuer was present at the Geneva exhibition this year for the first time, all the brands of the group were traditionally exhibited at Baselworld, but this event could not survive the management crisis, and covid restrictions buried this important event with more than 100 years of history. By joining Watches & Wonders, TAG Heuer lived up to the expectations of visitors and showed some interesting models.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph

The Aquaracer Solargraph is TAG Heuer's first watch with a solar-powered movement, and certainly not the last, because the sun, as an eternal and natural source of energy, or rather, solar-powered watches, may very soon become a natural phenomenon in the range of luxury watch companies - remember last year's premiere, the Cartier SolarBeat Tank Must.

In January of this year, during the regular LVMH Watch Week Dubai events (there is such a thing), TAG Heuer presented to the public the Aquaracer Professional 200 (Outdoors) collection in 40 mm cases, which pleased its fans a lot. A little over two months later, as part of the Geneva Watches & Wonders 2022 salon, visitors were invited to evaluate, among other creations, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph watch - as the name suggests, these work without the usual battery, being charged by solar energy, but in general remain committed to the aesthetics of the models, what we saw in the UAE at the beginning of the year, that is, this is also a “waterscaper” in a 40mm case.

But if the "Dubai" novelties were all steel, Solargraph has a steel case with a black DLC coating and a closed case back, where you will find an engraved image of a compass, like on other watches in the Aquaracer Outdoors collection (The Outdoors marking is intended to explain to the uninformed that the watch is good for all kinds of outdoor activities, not only for deep diving).

Let's look at the dial - we are already familiar with this design option with horizontal lines, narrow “slits” between the stripes will not hide from a close look, they are necessary for sunlight to penetrate inside in order to energize the mechanism. The date window in the Aquaracer Professional 200 Outdoors was at 6 o'clock, in the Solargraph it moved to 3, obviously, as required by the new "eco-friendly" movement.

It should be noted that the solar-powered TH50-00 movement is the result of a partnership between TAG Heuer and the Swiss manufacture La Joux-Perret from La Chaux-de-Fonds (which is owned by the Citizen group). Based on the description and specifications, the movement only needs two minutes of direct sunlight to keep the watch running for a full day. On a full charge, which requires less than 20 hours of "rest" in the sun, they can work for six months. If suddenly the energy supply runs out and the watch stops, 10 seconds of recharging is enough and the mechanism will “come to life” again. Solargraph watches have a power-saving mode, which is activated by pulling out the crown, which extends their battery life by three and a half years.

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Pay attention to the abundance of Super-LumiNova - this material was used on the dial on the hour markers and hands, and on the carbon fiber rim, where, in addition to the indices, irregularities are also highlighted, like on rocky surfaces - for my taste, this is superfluous, but the “tags” are more visible .

The Aquaracer Solargraph is equipped with the signature integrated TAG rubber strap with double buckle, the watch is expected to be available from October this year, the estimated price in dollars is 2.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver

From the Aquaracer Solargraph, let's turn our attention to another highlight of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer family of diver's watches, the Professional 1000 Superdiver. I agree that another new addition to the collection, the Professional 300 Orange Diver watch, with its bright, orange dial, should be called “bright”, but the Professional 1000 Superdiver has more than a super attractive color: this watch is equipped with a completely new movement - COSC certified caliber TH30 -00, jointly developed by TAG Heuer and Kenissi.

The TH30-00 caliber was created specifically for the Professional 1000 Superdiver, and since TAG Heuer has announced a partnership between the two companies, we are sure to see more TAG Heuer models on the base Kinessi calibers for the foreseeable future. For all the true fans of watch mechanics who love and cherish the TAG Heuer brand, all this is certainly good news, and the company's increased attention to the "inside content" of its products should be welcomed.

For reference: Kenissi is a Geneva-based watch movement manufacturer, a new (since 2016) joint venture between Tudor (Rolex), Chanel and Breitling, one of the most successful manufacturers whose products are of the highest quality. You will find Kinessi products in Tudor, Breitling and Chanel watches, but also in Norqain watches.

The Professional 1000 Superdiver is a massive watch in a large 45 mm titanium case, the brutality of this model, among other things, is added by a large crown protection bracket and a two-tone (orange and black) rotating ceramic bezel, which echoes the black dial and orange hands .

The watch, as the name implies, is water resistant up to 1000 meters and received the ISO 6425:2018 certificate, that is, they are suitable for the so-called saturation diving - this type of diving is quite dangerous, not for everyone, just as not for everyone, I'm sure, and the watch Professional 1000 Superdiver. At the time of writing this material, the price was not known, it seems to have been on sale since July. Stock up on funds.

TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche Limited Edition

Ask a watchmaking fan what brand is most connected to the world of motorsport and you will definitely hear about TAG Heuer. Ask a motorsports fan which brand is #1 on the racetrack and they're sure to name Porsche. What else do the two companies have in common? That's right, in the assortment of both there are models with the name Carrera.

The cooperation between TAG Heuer and Porsche in the production of a joint watch model seems to be extremely harmonious, and many are rightly surprised to learn that the first such experience happened only a year ago, because Carrera cars have been produced since 1956, and chronographs since 1963 ... And yet However, the two legendary brands became official partners in February 2021, when the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph was introduced.

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Strictly speaking, a Watches & Wonders novelty, the Carrera x Porsche Limited Edition watch, was already seen by a select few earlier this year in Finland, at the famous Porsche Ice Driving School in Lapland. The lucky ones drew attention to the bright yellow Cayman GT4 cars, prepared for extreme conditions, and the “racing yellow” elements in the design of the novelty, exactly to match the Cayman GT4. Since this second collaborative opus was painted black, the yellow stands out incredibly brightly, and in my opinion the watch looks more sporty-modern than last year's TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph.

There is really a lot of yellow - this color is applied to the Porsche logo on the rim, there are yellow elements on the crown, in the details of the dial and on the second hand, there are yellow inscriptions on the details of the movement (seen through the transparent cover on the back of the case), yellow was even mixed into the backlight of the Super -LumiNova.

The steel (44 mm) case with black DLC coating securely houses the in-house Heuer 02 caliber with a column wheel (painted yellow) with vertical gearing; The movement provides an impressive 80-hour power reserve. The series is limited to 1500 copies, so as not to offend anyone, each copy is marked as "one of 1500", which greatly facilitates the work of sellers. The Carrera x Porsche Limited Edition will go on sale in April for $7.

Monaco Gulf Special Edition

If you have $7 and the opportunity to buy a TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche Limited Edition watch to bypass the sanctions, take your time, first see which next reissue of the iconic Monaco Gulf watch we are offered to evaluate.

A game of "find 10 differences" would be a good exercise in observation, everything in this new version seems so familiar. But, experts warn, in fact, the 2022 edition compares favorably with the previous ones, because the watches are made with a high degree of respect for the traditions of retro design, in harmony with modern ideas, and pay tribute to the original – the design language is complex, agree?

Created in collaboration with longtime partner Gulf and timed to coincide with the start of the Watches & Wonders show, TAG Heuer has equipped the new version of its iconic TAG Heuer Monaco with the in-house Heuer 02 movement, which is the first time we have seen it in the Monaco Gulf series.

The design of the novelty is based on the three legendary colors of Gulf Oil, but in a new interpretation: rich dark blue, turquoise and orange. On the dial, TAG Heuer explains, the Gulf aesthetic is paired with the Monaco collection codes, the first time these three colors appear on the minute counters at 3 o'clock. The Gulf logo on the dial is all white, also a first for the Monaco Gulf series. The 12 o'clock marker has been replaced by a raised '60' - polished and rhodium plated - as a nod to the number on the Porsche Gulf race car.
On sale since May of this year.

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Tag Heuer Carrera Plasma

The story of the new watch that TAG Heuer has saved for the Geneva events would be incomplete if we did not pay attention here to a very strange phenomenon of the watch mind, called the Tag Heuer Carrera Plasma. This model of a very limited (more than one, but less than 10 pieces) watch, worth about half a million conventional units (CHF / EUR / USD), is not a prototype, but an exercise in the use of new technologies and opportunities, which opens up for us (rather, them) the world of lab-grown diamonds.

For reference: diamond is the same coal, only with a fundamentally different crystal lattice, the alignment of which is determined by high temperatures and pressure. Artificial diamond is obtained in conditions close to natural - they imitate the natural environment, forcing the highest pressure and colossal temperatures.

There is a second method called CVD, Chemical Vapor Deposition, the deposition of a substance from vapor. CVD works by growing a crystal - under the influence of microwaves or a laser, a substance from a gaseous state passes into a state of matter, and a stone is born from carbon particles. If in nature the formation of a diamond takes years and decades, then in the laboratory it takes only a few weeks.

The Carrera Plasma watch uses 10 carats of laboratory-grown diamonds: some are inserted into the case, some are dusted and applied to the dial, obviously used as an insert for hour indices, there is also an artificially grown diamond of the crown. Probably, natural stones could also be used for indexes and crown, albeit with the time spent on processing, which cannot be said about those inserted into the aluminum case.

This cannot be done with natural stones, simply because their shape cannot be “controlled”, and laboratory ones ideally repeat the bevels of the case. Those who have seen it firsthand will recognize the striking visual effect.

TAG Heuer respectfully mentions its CVD partners (Lusix, Capsoul and Diamaze) who helped create Carrera Plasma and points out that specially grown diamonds open up new possibilities for designers, watchmakers and engineers. What those possibilities are, only time will tell.

The design of the Carrera Plasma should definitely impress someone, but I hasten to point out the movement – ​​this is a Heuer 02 Tourbillon Nanograph equipped with a carbon hairspring developed by the TAG Heuer Institute and produced by CVD, just like lab-grown diamonds. “The carbon spring provides an exceptional level of anti-magnetism, shock resistance, stability over a range of temperatures, and an advanced geometry for excellent chronometric performance,” says TAG Heuer. We believe.

It can be admitted that, no matter how you feel about the TAG Heuer brand and its products, among the Swiss "old-timers" it is one of the most avant-garde. And among the wide variety of collections, it's easy to find watches that you'll love, at least until Techniques d'Avant-Garde comes out with something else you can't refuse.


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