01. ANALYSIS OF MATERIALS AND METAL PLATING
All alloys and decorative plating in precious metals are systematically tested. Fluorescence X analysis tests the content of precious elements (carats) and plating thickness. Tests are carried out separately and in tandem to obtain a realistic picture of what the watch is subjected to on a daily basis. This procedure is entirely new in watchmaking.
TAG Heuer watches are intended to accompany their owner through all life’s adventures. For this reason, the brand carries out accelerated wear tests on cases and bracelets so that, if necessary, the coating of a case or a metal bracelet can be modified to increase its resistance to friction.
03. RESISTANCE TO WEAR AND TEAR
All watch functions are subjected to tests that reproduce not only a wearer’s everyday movements but also typical accidents. The turning bezel, crown and push-buttons undergo more than 5,000 testing cycles, equivalent to several years of use in normal conditions.
In everyday life or when playing a sport it is easy to forget that you are wearing a watch on your wrist. It only takes a sudden quick movement and the watch can hit something hard. To avoid watches suffering such shocks, TAG Heuer carries out rigorous tests on machines that reproduce the shock waves of a significant impact. The watch being tested must not show any signs of mechanical damage.
In a Formula 1 car, on a motor-bike or on a mountain bike, wristwatches are subjected to brief, repetitive movements and intense vibration. To test the robustness, precision and integrity of its watches under these conditions, TAG Heuer has developed a machine that reproduces this vibration at a level well above normal. The test must not affect the operation of the watch, its components, bracelet and screws, nor reveal any sign of fatigue.
Simply putting on and taking off a watch causes wear and tear on the buckle of a leather strap or the clasp of a metal bracelet. TAG Heuer submits buckles and clasps to a traction of 15-20 kg over 5,000 cycles, followed by twisting under tension. No component must show any signs of permanent deformation or tearing.
07. RESISTANCE TO THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
Chlorine, sulphur, perspiration and sea salt can attack the materials in a watch or reduce the mobility of certain components. TAG Heuer carries out tests on cases, crowns, metal bracelets, as well as leather and rubber straps, to ensure that they are resistant to potentially damaging elements and have no effect on the skin. Only materials that meet the brand’s standards are approved for use.
08. EXTREME TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE
The temperature of a watch exposed to the sun for a long period can exceed 40°C, while in winter it can fall below zero. For this reason, individual components as well as complete watches are tested, particularly in tropical conditions, to ensure they will function correctly and accurately between 0°C and 50°C.
09. RESISTANCE TO U.V. AGEING
Heat and light often have an adverse effect on plastics, varnishes and leather. The TAG Heuer quality laboratory carries out stringent tests to verify the stability of these materials over time: they are exposed to the equivalent of strong summer sunlight for three full days. This ensures that all the materials used are highly reliable at all latitudes and in all seasons.
The water-resistance of a sports watch protects the components, reduces the need for servicing and prolongs the life of the movement. TAG Heuer performs tests on 100% of its production, in water and under pressure. The professional diving chronograph, the Aquaracer 500M, must also pass a special test to verify that its push-buttons are water-resistant and operational down to 500m. This procedure has required specific testing equipment to be created.