Watch Lab: TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon, the First Tourbillon Driven by Belts

UNDER THE BELT. The Monaco V4 Tourbillon breaks a new ground as the first timepiece with a belt-driven tourbillon

DA MAN Watch Lab TAG-HEUER-MONACO-V4-TOURBILLON-WAW2081.FC6348-PACKSHOT-2014

CASE

A Monaco timepiece from TAG Heuer is easily recognizable with the iconic square-shaped case. This piece is designed in an all-black presentation, with the intricate dial sporting Côtes de Genève or Geneva stripe finishing.

MOVEMENT

Drawing inspiration from the Formula One motor engine, the tourbillon is now strapped to a micro-belt, which ensures consistent rotations with no backlash—considering the slight jerky motion happening between connected gears.

DA MAN Watch Lab TAG-HEUER-MONACO-V4-TOURBILLON-WAW2081.FC6348-MOOD-REAR-2014

CASE-BACK

The name V4 refers to the V-shaped main plate and the four barrels replacing usual oscillating weight in an automatic movement. There’s instead a tungsten mass bearing inscription “TAG Heuer” that goes back and forth and winds the watch.

SPECIFICATIONS

Case Material: Titanium, with black titanium carbide coating
Dial: Black
Movement: V4 tourbillon, automatic
Functions: Hours and minutes
Water-resistance: 50 meters
Case: 41mm
Strap: Black alligator
Power reserve: 40 hours

Among a number of Swiss brands that closely associate themselves with sports car events, TAG Heuer is one that’s been consistently supporting Formula One over the years. Its premium watch line Monaco is synonymous with great racers, especially after actor Steve McQueen wore the timepiece in 1971 movie “Le Mans.” The avant-garde Swiss watchmaker took the piece to the next level with the release of Monaco V4 in 2009. It cleverly redesigned an automatic movement by using micro-belts—akin to a Formula One car’s engine. Five years later, TAG Heuer is making headlines with the Monaco V4 Tourbillon, the first tourbillon driven by belts. The micro-belt might not be visible at a first glance though, as it’s thinner than a strand of human hair.

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