Before I get started I wanted to mention the pictures I have are huge and look great. So be sure to click on them for the full version.
According to Tag Heuer this wristwatch, the TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum Concept, has “The first-ever mechanical movement without hairspring. Developed and constructed in-house by TAG HEUER A MAJOR WATCHMAKING INNOVATION!” I’m not sure why they felt the need to use so many caps. But that’s their prerogative I guess.
In TAG’s press release, they mention their Monaco V4 Concept watch which replaced the gear transmission with a belt drive system. That watch was a concept in 2004 and became reality in 2009. So based on that time line, you should be able to pick up one of these beauties around 2015. Being that far from production, there is obviously no pricing currently set.
The TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept marks TAG Heuer’s 150th anniversary.
So how do they eliminate a spring yet keep the movement mechanical? Fairy dust? Unicorn horns? No, it’s achieved through the magic of magnets. That’s how, Mr. Smartypants. It has 4 magnets located in 3 dimensional space that provide a constant field for decades. And best of all, according to TAG, this new movement is “resistant to changes from perturbing forces.” They don’t specifically state what these “perturbing forces” are, but I would assume vibration, temperature, humidity, gravity, solar flares, and alien invaders.
The oscillator in the Pendulum Concept beats at 43,200/hour. It took the TAG Heuer R&D team 3 years to perfect. Apparently one of those “perturbing forces” that has not been defeated is temperature. That’s the next step for the R&D team is finding magnets that are less temperature sensitive. So maybe that 2015 time line is a bit optimistic.
Now onto the case. The case of the TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum Concept is motorsport inspired. The Grand Carrera is said to be inspired my modern GT cars. The finish is black titanium covered steel. It has a dial aperture at 9 o’clock to view the beating pendulum.