TAG Heuer Thrills at LVMH Watch Week 2024 - Men's Folio

TAG Heuer Thrills at LVMH Watch Week 2024

  • By Asaph Low

TAG Heuer Thrills at LVMH Watch Week 2024A better look at two novelties from TAG Heuer LVMH Watch Week 2024

Where does TAG Heuer stand now that Frédéric Arnault has left for a bigger role within the LVMH Group? There was much doubt about his appointment at TAG Heuer given his age, but after the transformation he brought to the manufacture, credit should be given when it is due. Arnault’s focus was getting TAG Heuer’s core models to be performing at optimum levels. Naturally, much of the focus was shone on two of Jack Heuer’s darlings — TAG Heuer Carrera and Monaco, although the TAG Heuer Aquaracer is one of the biggest beneficiaries after drifting listlessly for several years now.

This year’s novelty release at the LVMH Watch Week wields Arnault’s influence, which is a given considering watch designs take an average of 18 months at the earliest to conceptualise and then go into production. While there is much excitement as to what Julien Tornare brings to the table, having worked with a chronograph specialist for six years, we will still see pieces that bear Arnault’s identity, which is pushing the limits of conventional watchmaking, or into the avant-garde realm as TAG Heuer’s slogan suggests.

The first of these is the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph, bearing the updated Glassbox design from 2023 and flaunting the iconic Dato configuration. Similar to a few other reproductions, such as the TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary and Carrera Skipper, this year’s iteration tugs on the heartstrings of vintage Carrera enthusiasts. After several experimental productions after the original Heuer Carrera was born in 1963, the team arrived at a design in 1968 which saw the date window relocated to the nine o’clock position after it made a brief stop at the 12 o’clock position in 1966. The revival of this configuration, coupled with a newly designed Glassbox and calibre, primes the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph for a strong year ahead.

TAG Heuer Thrills at LVMH Watch Week 2024Curiously, the choice of dial colour might baffle some who would prefer a classic colourway for the Dato’s reintroduction, but TAG Heuer has a thought of their own. The unique teal green dial debuted in the 2021 TAG Heuer Carrera limited edition before reappearing in 2023’s TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph. Historically, the shade pays homage to motorsport history, particularly the vintage green shades of the racing cars during the thrilling era of national colour racing from the 1920s to the 1960s. Selecting the colour was a nod to TAG Heuer’s racing heritage and the golden age of motorsports.

TAG Heuer Thrills at LVMH Watch Week 2024Another of Arnault’s marks would be the highly polarising TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma Diamant D’Avant-Garde. When the initial TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon concept was launched, it caused a stir amongst the watch community, notably for its synthetic diamonds and, unfortunately, price. For decades, the watch community prided itself on naturally occurring stones, where sourcing and colour-matching precious stones are oftentimes the most tedious step of gem-set pieces. Lab-grown diamonds eliminate these constraints with their replicable consistency, but yet, perhaps as a nod to tradition, it has not gained much favour amongst watchmakers. As specialists of the avant-garde, TAG Heuer’s foray into this field would have raised nothing more than a few eyebrows. If it is not them, then who would proudly grab the baton to tap into the limitless potential that lab-grown diamonds offer? The first piece was the ideal test bed; diamonds of irregular shapes were encrusted into the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon’s case and bracelet, demonstrating diamonds need not be of the usual cuts.

This year’s TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma Diamant D’Avant-Garde takes a more muted approach following last year’s pink predecessor. At the heart of this avant-garde creation is TAG Heuer’s revolutionary Plasma technology, which enables the delicate and sensitive growth of lab-grown diamonds. Diamonds, in their purest form, are colourless due to the absence of defects within the stone’s atomic arrangement. For TAG Heuer to create the yellow diamonds, it has to dope the diamonds by incorporating atoms from diverse elements to achieve the ideal hue. Here is where TAG Heuer’s Plasma technology sparkles (no pun intended), as it can execute a controlled doping disorder in a perfectly regulated environment to produce high-quality lab-grown diamonds.

TAG Heuer Thrills at LVMH Watch Week 2024A 2.9-carat polycrystalline dial sits proudly within the 36mm white gold case. In this instance, the dial is achieved by growing a vast number of diamond crystals as one, creating a highly faceted single diamond entity that gives an iridescent sparkle. 12 white gold indexes set with white baguette-cut lab-grown diamonds of 0.5 carats, and TAG Heuer’s signature shield cut in yellow lab-grown diamond sits atop the crystalline dial. Much of the attention, though, will gravitate towards the diamond crown — a single, 1.3-carat, yellow lab-grown diamond.

Once you are done with this story about TAG Heuer LVMH Watch Week 2024, click here to catch up with our March 2024 issue.