It’s been a month of new technology, new innovations, concept watches and more. We’ve seen some great “firsts” in the watch industry here in Switzerland. Now, TAG Heuer joins the pack with its newest ultra-light Carrera Carbon Caliber 1887 Concept Chronograph — manufactured in Carbon Matrix Composite weighing 19g. The motor-sports inspired watch is made of the aerospace and Formula One industries’ key light-weight and resistant Carbon, and is powered by the brand’s in-house chronograph movement: the Calibre 1887. Manufactured after 4 years of intensive R&D in 2011 to mark the brand’s 150th anniversary, the integrated column-wheel chronograph movement contains 320 parts.
The watch case, back and bezel are made from thin carbon fibers organized as on an isotropic matrix. The reinforced fabric, which is only 0.007mm thick, is structured to build the components into 3D form, then heated and compacted to transform the soft, flexible layers into a rigid form. The TAG Heuer manufacturing method, which until now was principally used in F1 and aeronautics, allows for intricate detailing and machining, with fewer geometrical constraints and an exceptionally high degree of precision. The light-weight timepiece will also age nicely, with fewer scratches and signs of wear.