2008 - 2012: Break into luxury…

Episode 7 March 22, 2023 00:05:06
2008 - 2012: Break into luxury…
A Matter of Time
2008 - 2012: Break into luxury…

Mar 22 2023 | 00:05:06


Hosted By

TAG Heuer

Show Notes

Season 1: The TAG Heuer Carrera |

Discover TAG Heuer’s journey from an accessible watchmaker in the 1990s to a high-end brand under LVMH in the early 2000s. At the center stood the Carrera and the Monaco V4 - TAG Heuer’s pillars of innovation and luxury. 


Image: TAG Heuer Carrera, Reference CAR2C10.FC6323


Show notes:

0:35 Late-2000s: Carrera as the foundation for new technologies 

1:15 From accessible to luxury with LVMH     

1:41 Monaco V4 and new Carrera watches 

2:35 High frequency chronograph  

3:07 Unique magnetic pinions   

4:15 Carerra: the archetypal chronograph  


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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:01 Welcome to a Matter of Time, a podcast by Tago. I'm your host, Nicholas Bebe, heritage director of Tagore, and a lifelong fan of fine Swiss watchmaking. In this season, we are discussing the iconic Carrera in its 60th anniversary. We've previously spoke about the origins of the model and its relationship with complications and watchmaking, as well as sponsorship and motorsport. For this episode, we're gonna look at Thera heading in a whole new direction. Whilst it's easy to perceive the model as a design icon, it's also worth remembering that it's frequently being used as a foundation for new technologies from its inception. In 1963, we had the intention ring on the underside of the crystal, the improved water resistance. 1969. It provided the debut for the first automatic chronograph caliber, but it's during, in the late two thousands when the Corre would really hit its stride for true avant-garde watchmaking. As the brand tried to establish a reputation for a true high-end Swiss watchmaking Maison, it used the Carrera as the platform for this new initiative. While throughout the 1990s, the brand has built itself on accessible luxury Swiss watches. It was under the ownership of L V M LVMH and its new CEO that it really wanted to forge a path into the very upper echelons of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Speaker 1 00:01:29 This was achieved with great research and development projects, would result in some true technical breakthroughs for the industry. Before we get to the career, it's worth reflecting on the Monaco v4, which is often seen as the archetype of this new initiative. A whole movement driven by belts rather than gears, a mass that ran in a linear direction rather than a rotary fashion, as was more common in the watchmaking industry, and of course, the mold breaking Monaco case, it really looked like nothing else. This philosophy that was established with the V4 would carry forward into a whole range of watches with the Carrara. Whilst many of the pieces didn't wear the Carrara name, it was clear from the case silhouette and the peaked lus. That was really part of the family references, including the micro timer, the micrograph, the micro Gerda, the MI Tobis, the MI pendulum all formed a complete portfolio of pieces that were priced far above anything that tag Hoyer had offered before and represented a completely new philosophy for the Maisel. Most curious among these were a high frequency chronographs, starting with the micrograph at one 100th of a second, the micro timer at one, 1000th per second, and then eventually the micro pendulum, which could time to two 10000th per second. These were really true technical tour forces. Speaker 1 00:02:48 Whilst the micrograph and the micro timer used a traditional oscillator, it was the micro pendulum, which was most curious, using a blade like structure to oscillate an extremely high frequency and drive the central chronograph hand. Really, nothing had been achieved like it before. Alongside these high frequency chronographs, there was also the use of magnetic opinions, whereas traditionally in the watchmaking industry, the balance is poised on opinion that is solid and made of steel tag. Hore attempted to remove this by mounting the balance onto two magnetic opinions, causing it to float. Of course, it had some benefits to it, but as many will know, adding magnets to a mechanical watch movement do introduce a whole host of complications. That took huge amount of effort to resolve, Speaker 1 00:03:34 But thanks to Tagore's research and development team, they were able to resolve the vast majority of these. One of the calibers that was developed for the project that has perhaps had the longest lifespan was a movement that included two balances, one at a more traditional frequency of five hertz for timekeeping purposes, and one at a much, much higher frequency to allow for the one 100th of a second. These movements were also offered in a configuration that had two tobis and represented the very top tier of what Tago was producing as far as fine watchmaking was concerned in the early 2010s. Speaker 1 00:04:09 For me, it's curious to consider why the brand decided to use the Carrera as the vessel for communicating this new strategy. But upon reflection, it becomes more and more obvious for a brand so deeply rooted in timekeeping. The Carrera is the archetypal chronograph for the Maison and is the obvious flag bearer for such incredible technical innovation. These strategies continue today with the likes of the Hoya zero two Torb Bion movements, and of course, the new calibers that continue to be developed by the Maison, and it's exciting to consider what technical breakthroughs the Carrera could present in the future. Thank you for listening to this episode of a matter of time. It's a pleasure to share with you these great stories from the history of Tagore. Please don't forget to like and subscribe wherever you get your podcast, and don't forget to lu review. We always love to hear your comments. With so many great watches, with so many great stories, it's only a matter of time before we get to the next one.

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