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rich and specific culture. A professional ethic. An all-consuming
passion. Where the enduring expertise of the artisan confronts
the trailblazing imagination of the engineer. Where knowledge
and know-howmeet and embrace a living history, centuries old.
At TAG Heuer, artisans work hand in hand with engineers to reinvent
the future.
Different disciplines, one impulse.
To open eyes wide.
To set records, then smash them.
To shock those who say no into seeing yes.
To lure time and space, fractions of the immeasurable and unbounded,
into their most breathtaking configurations.
More precisely: to be the best and the fastest, the most accurate and the
most avant-garde.
This is Haute Horlogerie by TAG Heuer, a state of mind that exploits,
side by side, the pioneering achievements of 17th century watchmakers
and the most awe-inspiring technologies of today. TAG Heuer haute
horlogerists do not reproduce the amazing achievements of their
predecessors — the beautiful minds who set the conventional rules of
classical haute horlogerie. Instead, by adopting and adapting the
innovative approaches of their forerunners, and pushing these to the
outer limits of the possible, they create the classics of tomorrow.
Through this visionary heritage, TAG Heuer has earned an asserted
legitimacy as the acknowledged master of the technological vanguard of
haute horlogerie. The brand’s strongly defined personality is esteemed
by peers and fine watch connoisseurs alike.
This unique character has engendered the most innovative watches and
chronographs ever created. TAGHeuer’s MIKROTOURBILLONS is
one of them.
TAG Heuer’s most ambitious luxury chronograph to date, the
MikrotourbillonS is not only the world’s fastest tourbillon: it is the first
ever tourbillon on a 1/100th of a second chronograph that can be started
and stopped, an audacious timepiece of peerless precision and virtuosic
Even by TAGHeuer’s own pioneering metrics, the dual-chain, double-
barreled MIKROTOURBILLONS, is entirely off-the-chart
extraordinary. The first tourbillon chronograph capable of certification-
level precision timing, it is by far the fastest, most accurate and most
breathtakingly beautiful tourbillon ever imagined.
We call it a movement because that is what it does, at the same rhythm,
around the clock. Aphysical force and amachine so complex that it seizes
your breath, with as many components — muscles and bones — as a
human, and its own beautiful, tireless heart, pumping infinite energy
from its impossibly intricate core. One glance and you’re gone, down a
vortex of transcendent wonder.” Jack Heuer
A tourbillon (French for ‘vortex’ or ‘whirlwind’) is themost intricate and
iconic complication in haute horlogerie. An elaboratemechanical system
for regulating the speed at which a watch ‘beats’, this ingenious
complication overcomes the effects of gravity by placing themovement’s
balancewheel and escapement inside a rotating cage. Revolutionarywhen
it was invented in 1801, modern precision techniques, many developed
byTAGHeuer, havemade it obsolete. Yet the tourbillon remains a classic
novelty’ feature of many high-end luxury watches because, in its ornate
complexity, usually visible through a window in the dial, it is the ultimate
attention getter—a showcase of watchmaker virtuosity.
Beautifully complex but slow, imprecise and unnecessary: for these
reasons, TAG Heuer, the most precision-driven, performance-
obsessed of all the high-end luxury Swiss watch houses, had never
made a tourbillon escapement watch.
That is, until TAGHeuer’s Science & Engineering department, in its
pursuit of zero-tolerance chronograph precision, took up the challenge
of reinventing the tourbillon, making it not just a delight to look at but,
like all TAG Heuer creations, unbelievably fast, precise, and avant-
garde. The result is a mechanical wonder that breaks all records for
speed and accuracy, and sets the stage for the first-ever dual-certifiable
The MIKROTOURBILLONS has two rotating tourbillon
mechanisms visible on its dial face, one for time telling and one for
timekeeping. The first beats at 4 hertz—28,800 beats per hour—and
controls the ISO 3159 compliant watch; its hand sweeps the dial at a
standard tourbillon speed of once a minute. The second, the world’s
fastest tourbillon, controls the 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph and
is dynamically compensated to run at 50 hertz, meaning it beats at
beats per hour and rotates at a dizzying five seconds per
revolution, or 12 times a minute. Another mind-numbing technical
prowess: it has no cage and can be started and stopped thanks to the
dual chain architecture.
Since 1969, the year TAGHeuer launched the world’s first automatic
chronograph movement, coupling watch movement with
chronograph function has become standard operation procedure.
There is a serious “hitch”, however, with this isochronous system: its
wheel chain gear system increases energy loss.
This is one of the greatest quandaries of chronograph design — how
to keep chronograph operation from disrupting watch operation.
A first avenue of research led to the TAGHeuer Calibre 360 inMarch
with its additional module for the chronograph. Then the answer
came with the TAG Heuer Mikrograph 1/100th of a second
Chronograph in January 2011, ingeniously outfitted with two
independent kinematic chains — one for the watch and one for the
chronograph, integrated in the same movement.
The MIKROTOURBILLONS is built with the same integrated
movement with dual chain architecture, thereby eliminating the need
for a clutch. Separating the watch chain from the chronograph chain
eliminates the risks of the chronograph influencing thewatch and vice-
versa; but most importantly, it reduces energy loss and optimizes the
precision of the chronograph’s regulating organ. This dual chain
and MIKROGRAPH) to be ISO 3159 compliant across the board.
The MIKROTIMER and the MIKROGRAPH are already COSC
certified— i.e. with the chronograph function running, a feat virtually
impossible to achieve by conventional mono-frequency chronographs.