The Swiss watchmaker introduces a new kind of avant-garde aesthetics by introducing lab-grown diamonds
Throughout its 160-year history, TAG Heuer has established itself as an innovative watch manufacturer and—perhaps more importantly—a disruptive presence in the world of fine watchmaking. At this year’s Watches and Wonders Geneva event, the brand rolled out one of its latest technical disruptions in the form of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma. The disruptive element? Lab-grown diamonds.
“Innovation and redefining frontiers is in our DNA. With the introduction of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, we want to expand the possible palette and designs for diamond watches and diamonds in general, and create a new and breathtaking vision of mastering carbon and diamond design as well as cutting-edge light effects,” said Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer.
The key innovation behind the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma is chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology, which the brand refers to as Diamant d’Avant-Garde and enables the creation of a stunning timepiece where diamonds are used in very unique shapes and textures.
Setting the stage is the watch’s 44mm case in sandblasted anodized aluminum. Then comes a black ceramic polished bezel, which adds a nice contrasting element for the other pieces, including an eye-catching crown at 3 o’clock that is entirely executed in diamond. The crown is then flanked by two pushers with a black DLC coating which adds a matte touch as yet another element of contrast.
Next up is the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma’s pièce de resistance: its special polycrystalline diamond dial. The magnificent visual effect on the dial plate is achieved through crystals being grown as one. So, while it boasts the reflections and plays of light much like a multitude of diamonds, it still constitutes a single diamond piece. The chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock feature a black polycrystalline diamond plate and are equipped with a polished rhodium-plated hand to truly support the light interaction. The play of light on the dial continues with the 11 indexes in white gold with a diamond set in each, followed by a double index at 12 o’clock. The hour and minute hands are finished in a matte black lacquer and topped in white Super-LumiNova, while the central hand is rhodium-plated.
Of course, what’s ticking beneath all of these visual elements is no less impressive. The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma is powered by the HEUER02 Tourbillon Nanograph. This COSC-certified movement features the brand’s groundbreaking in-house carbon hairspring (developed using the same CVD method used to create the lab-grown diamonds), is extensively hand-finished and has an oscillating weight in the form of the TAG Heuer shield.
Now, TAG Heuer has repeatedly lived up to the Techniques d’Avant Garde part of its name. The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, however, marks a significant step in redefining the technological and creative limits in traditional luxury watchmaking. And if you think a diamond-encrusted watch is eye-catching, wait until you see the Carrera Plasma’s singular sparkle.
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