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Going back to its roots

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon11/20/2020 6:0 AM GMT+08  • 6 min read
Going back to its roots
Catherine Eberlé Devaux shares the maison’s archive to tell us more about the Carrera collection
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Heritage director of TAG Heuer Catherine Eberlé Devaux digs deep into the maison’s archive to tell us more about the iconic Carrera collection

This year, TAG Heuer celebrates the 160th anniversary of the TAG Heuer Carrera models with two limited-edition anniversary pieces — the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver and Montreal Limited Editions and four more core novelties.

Celebrating a milestone in the year 2020 can be a challenge, but the maison is not letting the pandemic get in its way of marking this important occasion and has reached out to customers through a variety of creative digital channels.

TAG Heuer’s history is a long and lustrous one that began with its founder Edouard Heuer in 1860 and has for 160 years demonstrated pure avant-gar-
de watchmaking spirit and a commitment to innovation with revolutionary technologies.

Heritage director Catherine Eberlé Devaux says, “[Edouard Heuer] improved the chronograph movement in a drastic way thanks to the oscillating pinion. He had other interest-
ing designs but the major one is really the oscillating pinion because this is what placed us on track where we are where we still are today.”

Eberlé Devaux likens the oscillating pinion to that of a clutch in a car’s engine that takes the energy from a watch module to a chronograph module. When you press the start pusher of the chronograph, it moves the clutch and the clutch in turn moves the energy to the chronograph.

As heritage director, Eberlé Devaux tells Options over a video call from her base in Geneva, is to make sure the watch collections are well maintained, catalogued, and properly serviced, restored, and also exhibited. Worldwide, it is also a matter of preserving the archives, and, obviously, knowing what’s in there to understand and know the soul of the maison through its history.

She says that since she joined in 2014, she has been going through something like 20,000 documents with important information that she has to memorise. She says that it is about finding the links between all the various periods of TAG Heuer’s history.

“We could say that the heritage department is the backbone of the company. The aim is to build on it to make sure that history keeps going. And in 10, 20, 30 years, the person who will
be here will have more stories to tell,” she says.

The stories Eberlé Devaux wants to tell about the 160th anniversary of the iconic TAG Heuer Carrera was supposed to be via a travelling exhibition that would
have introduced the four new watches to the world. But she and her team realised they could leverage on the digital platform and debut the watches online.
She says, “We can really do a lot in a digital way. Next step is that we are thinking of a virtual tour of the museum. Going deeper into some treasures that we have, to show visitors documents and watches. This is something that our audience is very eager to know about because this is what makes us unique.”

That uniqueness is not just found in the watch’s mechanism, it also extends to some unknown facts about the maison. Of course, Eberlé Devaux, a veritable library of anything trivia about TAG Heuer answered our question about a lesser-known fact that TAG Heuer was actually the first watch in space (not the moon).

“Well, probably because the moon makes people dream more than space,” she jokes. “And there are other areas where the brand expresses itself best, like motorsports, innovation, avant garde... so, this is probably one reason why this one that shows the [TAG Heuer] chronograph on the wrist of John Glenn in 1962 is considered as a one off and not a brand expression. So this is why it’s more confidential.”

Another reason she cites why NASA picked a TAG Heuer chronograph to place on the wrist of astronaut John Glenn is because of the reliability of the watch’s movement that ensures it still works should there be a failure of the electrical devices on board the spacecraft.

This is the year of the TAG Heuer Carrera and the celebrations will continue well into 2021, Eberlé Devaux reveals. She also adds that other watch-
es in the TAG Heuer line such as the Monaco, Aquaracer and Autavia will also be marking milestones next year. In preparation of that, you can be
sure that Eberlé Devaux will be looking through more documents to bring us more nuggets of information about the TAG Heuer watches and the maison.

TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm
Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Reference CBN2A1A.BA0643

TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm
Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Reference CBN2A1B.BA0643

TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm
Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Reference CBN2A5A.FC6481

TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm
Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Reference CBN2A10.BA0643

TAG Heuer releases four new interpretations of the TAG Heuer Carrera timepieces

The sporty chronographs are comfortable with the presence of shorter lugs and a 44mm stainless-steel case with alternating polished and fine-brushed finishes that make the watch appear sleeker and thinner. The improved integration of the glass and the slight bevel makes a beautiful visual difference.

The dial of the new TAG Heuer Carrera has a circular brushed finish and is available in deep blue with a matching ceramic bezel, muted olive green with a stainless-steel bezel or one of two black versions, each with a sleek, black ceramic bezel. The flange is bevelled and the indexes slant towards the centre of the dial, drawing the wearer’s eye to the time and allowing them to read it at a glance. The three subdials are perfectly legible, as is the date window at six o’clock. The hour counter atnine o’clock now features the numerals 12, four and eight, offering a visual balance to the minute counter at three o’clock. The new H-shaped bracelet is thinner, making it slightly lighter and more ergonomic.

See: TAG Heuer Monaco Piece d'Art is one regal beast

The attention-grabber in this collection has to be the black and rose gold TAG Heuer Carrera. The black ceramic bezel is filled with rose-gold-coloured lacquer — a first for the
luxury watchmaker — and the crown and push buttons are made from solid 18K rose gold. The oscillating weight of the movement, visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, is fashioned from black PVD-coated brass with rose gold printing. This timepiece is worn on a classic black leather strap.

The watches all run on the Calibre Heuer 02 movement that is viewed through the transparent case back. This in-house movement is entirely Swiss-made in TAG Heuer’s Chevenez manufacture. This movement comprises 168 components, including a column wheel and a vertical clutch — signatures of improved chronograph timekeeping and high-quality manufacture movements — and boasts an impressive power reserve of 80 hours.

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