When the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T Tourbillon was officially announced early last year, the most talked-about piece of news surrounding the launch wasn’t the future potential of its interesting modular design, or the fact that it would be equipped with a COSC-certified tourbillon movement, but the price: $15,950. Certainly no small chunk of change by any means, but in the rarified air of high-end Swiss-made tourbillons, it’s a bargain by comparison, and actually the most affordable tourbillon in this category to date. One year in, the market appears to have responded in kind to the pricing strategy, as TAG Heuer is set to celebrate the completion of its 1,000th COSC-certified tourbillon movement by auctioning off a special boxed set which includes a Carrera Heuer-02T Tourbillon and the recently released second-generation Swiss-Made Connected Modular smartwatch.
From the TAG Heuer Connected smartwatch in the digital domain, to the Heuer-02T tourbillon which carries the trappings of accessible haute horology, the completion of the 1,000th tourbillon movement is seen as a milestone, as it’s largely representative of TAG Heuer achieving its goals of repositioning itself solely as “gateway luxury” at each end of the spectrum of the watches they produce. And while under CEO Jean-Claude Biver, the brand has demonstrated a commendable shift in momentum in the past year, which is also likely the bigger-picture milestone being celebrated here.
But also, more specifically, the TAG Heuer Heuer-02T movement is a big deal in and of itself, as it was designed and developed entirely in-house at TAG Heuer with the goal of achieving chronometer-spec accuracy and reliability as a tourbillon, while still coming in below a specific price point. And while its relatively spartan finishing doesn’t carry the super-luxe treatments we’re used to seeing on other movements of its ilk, the stealthy matte carbon-and-titanium aesthetic plays nicely with the skeletonized dial and all-black case exterior. With the exception of the exhibition caseback on the watch, which proudly displays “1,000th Unit,” this one-of-one limited edition is otherwise identical to the standard variant.
The watch is packaged with the newly minted Swiss-made Connected Modular smartwatch to illustrate another goal of this modern Carrera, which utilizes a modular design that enables a high degree of personalization through the interchangeability of accessories across the new 45mm case. And if you’ll remember, both the Connected Modular smartwatch and the Carrera Heuer-02T share that same case, so switching back and forth between the tourbillon and its digital companion on the same strap system should be a snap. Given the investment risk TAG Heuer has placed in the 02T, its early suggestions that the gamble is paying off seem reason enough to celebrate – and all the more for a great cause at the same time.
At the time of this writing, the auction is live on eBay with a current bid just over $20,000 USD, and is currently slated to close on March 24th, 2017. All proceeds from this unique means of sale will go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Switzerland, which brings joy, hope, and courage to children with life-threatening medical conditions. tagheuer.com