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Stop watch style

The Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm) will not be available until October 2013, but a chance discovery on the TAG Heuer online press portal and I was smitten.

 

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

It is a new world. That is how it feels, as I look at my greying temples in the mirror. “In my day” we bought records from shops and listened to the “Top 40” on the radio every Sunday evening. Things are very different now.

 

Last year, “Gangnam Style” was a YouTube sensation which resulted in Psy becoming an overnight, global celebrity. The reason I mention the South Korean pop star is that he perfectly demonstrates how deviating from expected the norm, in this case with unusual dance moves and original soundtrack, can elicit much interest.

 

I confess, whilst Psy appears a pleasant chap, his music is not to my personal taste. However, I am sure that will not cause him undue worry.

 

TAG Heuer have also deviated from expected norms with this latest timepiece, the Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm). However, based on first glimpse of the press photos, I think this timepiece will be very much to my taste.

 

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

In 2012, TAG Heuer won the prestigious “Aigulle d’or” at Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2012 with the mind-blowing MIKROGIRDER 10000. The Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm) shares some of the design language of the MIKROGIRDER, but at a potentially more accessible price.

 

This year, TAG Heuer celebrate 50 years of the Carrera, their motor sport inspired timepiece. They are releasing several Carrera themed horological delicacies to induce covetous salivation in followers of the brand.

 

The Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm) will not be available until October 2013, but a chance discovery on the TAG Heuer online press portal and I was smitten.

 

The dial

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

The model is available in two derivatives: silver dial with grey subdials or dark grey with dark subdials with a light silver central dial area. It is this latter variant which appeals to me the most with its aesthetic loveliness.

 

Those readers who question my comment about deviating from expected norms have clearly overlooked the location of the crown and chronograph push-pieces. They are located along the northerly flank of the watch case, similar to a historical stopwatch.

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

The resemblance to a stopwatch is by no means coincidental. Heuer is a name that graced many stopwatches in yesteryear, providing critical information for those who frequented the paddock as part of their working life. Race cars would accelerate along Rue Grimaldi towards Sainte Devote as team managers held their Heuer stop watches, measuring lap times as they breathed the octane rich air.

 

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

Returning to the dial, there is a 12-hour chrono counter, located at 3 o’clock, and a 30-minute chrono counter, positioned at 9 o’clock. They afford symmetry to the face and feature snailed detail. A date aperture is located at 6 o’clock.

 

The hour and minute hands are polished with luminescent centres. Red is used to indicate the various stopwatch related details and also features on the central chrono seconds hand.

 

I particularly like the hand-applied faceted hour markers. A beveled edge guides the eye to the centre of the dial. They convey the hours with a refined tone.

 

A tachymeter scale frames the extremities of the dial as well as a Pulsometre, should you need to measure a drivers heart rate.

 

The case

The dial is housed in a black titanium carbide coated titanium case. It is polished and features a fine-brushed bezel. This is affixed within a polished, fine-brushed and sandblasted cage. Moreover, the dial housing is angled towards the wearer, with the upper aspect of the dial higher than the lower part of the dial.

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

Highly polished push-pieces for the chrono are located at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock. The crown, located at noon, is steel but partly covered with rubber, aiding adjustment and heightening the artful appeal of the watch.

 

The caseband features recessed sections. It evokes a sense of eschewing superfluous material and reminds me of the “stripped out” persona of a racing chassis.

 

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

A sapphire caseback affords a view of the Manufacture movement – TAG Heuer Calibre 1887.

 

The movement

Whilst TAG Heuer have produced some very accessible watches with quartz movements, they have also  demonstrated, on several occasions, a profound ability to produce high-end mechanical timepieces. Furthermore, TAG Heuer have vast resources and have made watches with chronograph functions which push the performance envelope with breathtaking specifications.

 

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

Their “Haute Horologerie” creations include the MIKROTOURBILLON S, MIKROGRAPH 1/100TH, MIKROTIMER 1000 and the MIKROGIRDER 10000. At first, I was a little cynical about these watches with speed of sound performance. Indeed, I questioned the need for a chronograph hand which moved with such alacrity it was barely visible. However, on reflection, I applaud these watches for their ground breaking spirit. I doubt TAG Heuer expect to recover the huge R&D costs involved in the realisation of these timepieces, but it does signal to the watch buying public, they are capable of competing with the best.

 

Returning to the Calibre 1887, it is a self-winding movement with a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz). Whilst there are no-dizzying frequencies here, the would-be purchaser can enjoy the splendour of a finely finished movement.

 

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)

 

The specification of the Calibre 1887 is very impressive. It features an integrated column-wheel movement, with a delightful blue castellated wheel joining the assemblage of 320 parts, which distinguishes this as a fine movement.

 

The rotor is partly skeletonised and features Côtes de Genève motif. The motif is repeated on the bridges. Perlage is beautifully presented on the main plate and a total of 39 jewels provides further testament to the quality of the engine within this timepiece.

 

Conclusion

One glance at the specification and imagery of this watch and I know that TAG Heuer have a smash-hit. I don’t know whether TAG-Heuer will produce a video for this watch, but if they do, I suspect it will prove very popular on YouTube. Sadly, would-be buyers will have to wait until October to order one of these incredible watches, but, I suspect it will be worth the wait.

Technical Specification

  • Model: TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 “Jack Heuer” Chronograph (45mm)
  • Reference: CAR2C11.FC6327
  • Case: Black titanium carbide coated titanium and stainless steel case; diameter 45.0mm; height 16.25mm; Water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; date; Pulsometre scale; Tachymeter scale; chronograph
  • Movement: Tag Heuer Calibre 1887; self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 39 jewels; power reserve 50 hours.
  • Strap: Black alligator leather strap with stainless steel folding clasp with safety push buttons.

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