'Democratizing' the Tourbillon

Tag Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T

November 21, 2016 GP100 By

How do you make a $15,950 watch an absolute steal? Try giving it a tourbillon, the most painstakingly difficult complication in watchmaking, and then undercutting the price of the next-cheapest Swiss tourbillon by more than half. It’s an incredible feat, before you even consider that the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T is crafted from high-end materials like grade-5 titanium and carbon fiber. It’s even certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). So unprecedented is the watch’s pairing of an intricate, rotating escapement and a low price tag that some of the watch community has accused TAG of using Chinese parts to reduce costs.

TAG Heuer CEO and watch industry veteran Jean-Claude Biver denies this, of course, and in a recent interview with Calibre 11 said the secret behind the Heuer-02T’s mind-boggling price is both a more efficient production line and a simple reduction in profit margins. Frankly, it’s a far cry from watchmaking dark magic — but it proves the hallmark complication of haute horlogerie might not be so unattainable after all.

Buy Now: $15,950

Winding: automatic
Certification: COSC Superlative Chronometer
Complications: chronograph; tourbillon
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Power Reserve: 65 hours
Case Diameter: 45mm

Andrew Connor

More by Andrew Connor | Follow on Contact via Email
Sign Up for Gear Patrol Newsletters
Get the best new products, deals,
and stories in your inbox daily.

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy and to receive email correspondence from us.