The Carrera Mikropendulum
Having introduced TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Haute Horlogerie in our Time Changers article we now delve deeper into this extraordinary world and take you behind the scenes of one of the magical innovations in the Mikro series: the Carrera Mikropendulum.
Having just arrived in Australia for the first time, this revolutionary timepiece was unveiled at Baselworld in 2013 as the world’s first commercialised magnetically regulated 100th of a second chronograph.
The Mikropendulum is based on TAG Heuer’s 2010 ground-breaking concept watch, the Carrera Pendulum: the world’s first escapement to work with magnetic regulation instead of a traditional hairspring.
The Carrera Pendulum’s revolutionary regulator overturned three centuries of conventional watchmaking tradition. In a classical spiral hairspring system (invented by Christian Huygens in 1675) and still used in mechanical watchmaking today, the hairspring is vulnerable to the effects of gravity thus affecting the accuracy of timekeeping. With the magnet regulated Pendulum there is no loss of amplitude so the problem of gravity no longer exists. The result is a significant increase in precision (division of time) and performance (frequency, accuracy and stability).
After the concept…
Still, the original TAG Heuer Pendulum concept posed problems that many thought insurmountable. In particular, thermal sensibility: magnetic fields are influenced by temperature differences, which affect performance. Over the last three years, however, TAG Heuer’s scientists and engineers have worked on this problem, experimenting with new magnetic alloys with carefully dimensioned and machined geometries. The result is a magnet-driven spiral that moves the balance wheel at a low amplitude and high frequency thus ensuring accuracy and stability.
The first high-frequency chronograph regulated by magnets, the TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum is born.
Like all TAG Heuer’s Mikro creations, it is a dual chain platform with a balance-wheel system for the watch (28,800 beats per hour (4Hz) with a 42 hour power reserve), and a magnetic pendulum system for the chronograph (360,000 beats per hour (50hz) with a 90 minute power reserve). The crown rewinds the chronograph: the watch is run on a classic COSC-certified automatic movement powered by an oscillating weight. There are 371 components in the dual-chain architecture, each designed, hand-crafted and assembled by TAG Heuer’s Haute Horlogerie team of master watchmakers and engineers.
The 45mm case is in sandblasted, fine-brushed and polished titanium. The Grade 5 metal is also used for the pushbuttons and rubberized crown. The curved sapphire crystal is double anti-reflective. The anthracite grey dial is fine-brushed on one side with Côte-de-Genève finishing under the pendulum. The magnetic pendulum regulator is on proud display at 9 o’clock. The chronograph minutes counter is at 3 o’clock, the chronograph seconds at 6, and the chronograph power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. The 100ths of a second are displayed by a sweeping red central hand–and measured out on an a 1/100th of a second scale on the anthracite flange. A high-tech strap in soft, hand-sewn anthracite alligator with black titanium folding clasp finishes the look. This is classic, contemporary Carrera at the leading edge of technology and design.
To view the Mikropendulum please contact Maria Whiffen at the TAG Heuer Sydney Flagship store.
RRP $ 43,600
TAG Heuer Sydney
Corner Pitt & Market St
+61 2 8223 6500
 The Escapement: A collection of components generally consisting of a balance wheel and hairspring, anchor and escape wheel used to regulate time in a mechanical timepiece. It works by transferring the continuous energy from the mainspring into intervals of time (by using the oscillations of the balance wheel which is controlled largely by the hairspring). Only TAG Heuer can regulate a mechanical timepiece using magnetic forces in place of the hairspring.