Extreme engineering: TAG Heuer’s Mikrotimer

BASELWORLD wouldn’t be Baselworld without a scene-stealing unveiling by TAG Heuer – a trend started back in 2004, when the rubber-belt-driven V4 concept was revealed to an incredulous crowd. Five years later, the concept was a reality, and we all learned to treat TAG Heuer as a serious player in experimental horology. Last year’s magnet-regulated Pendulum confirmed our suspicions, and this year’s Mikrotimer looks set to become yet another milestone for the sports-watch brand.

TAG Heuer has pioneered high-frequency timing since 1916, the year Charles-August Heuer introduced the 1/100th Mikrograph stopwatch. With the Calibre 360 in 2005, TAG Heuer introduced the first-ever wrist mechanical chronograph measuring and displaying 1/100th of a second – a feat achieved by integrating a secondary high-frequency (50Hz) movement alongside the 4Hz time-telling movement. This year’s Mikrotimer turns things up to 11, with a secondary chronograph movement vibrating at the frankly mind-boggling rate of 500Hz – more than three times faster than the pistons of an F1 engine cranked to maximum speed – turning the usual “tick tick tick” into a frantic buzz, and allowing time measurements accurate to 1/1000th of a second. Goodness knows how they’ll top this next year…