Savoir faire

Research & Development

Industry professionals regularly tell TAG Heuer R&D that they shouldn’t reinvent the wheel. That what they’re doing can’t be done. But TAG Heuer R&D teams have always gone their own way. It is these experts need to consistently challenge long held principles about watchmaking that is behind the most innovative achievements in the company’s history.

During 150 years at the forefront of Swiss avant-garde, TAG Heuer has frequently “reinvented the wheel”. One of the brand’s first patents was that awarded to Edouard Heuer in 1887 for the oscillating pinion - a major benchmark in modern watchmaking and still a vital element in most mechanical chronographs.

TAG Heuer R&D policy, to progressively reinvent the most basic principles of watchmaking – energy, transmission and regulation, while anchored in this impressive heritage, is taking them forward into the next millenium.

As an example, 2010’s Concept Watch - the TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept, which presents the first ever oscillator in a mechanical movement without a hairspring. Since 1675, the regulating organ of all mechanical watches has been a balance wheel and spiral hairspring system. In the TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept, the traditional hairspring is replaced by an “invisible” or virtual spring derived from magnets.

Using the combined talents and skills of in-house designers, production and quality engineers, with other specialists from the watch, car and medical industries, allows TAG Heuer to “think outside the box”. New ideas often take years of concentrated effort to come to fruition.

This was the case with the sensational TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Concept Watch, the results of 5 hard years of laboratory conception, simulation and construction. To make it, TAG Heuer engineers substituted the traditional pinion and gear transmission with an entirely new belt-driven mechanical transmission. Monaco V4 became a commercial reality at the end of 2009, when it was successfully launched in limited edition of 150 “Haute Horlogerie” pieces.