TAG HEUER PRESENTS ITS FIRST EVER MECHANICAL SPLIT-SECONDS CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH
Renowned Swiss Luxury Watchmaker synonymous with precision and avant-garde design, takes part in the highly anticipated 2023 edition of the Only Watch auction with a unique TAG Heuer Monaco Split- Seconds Chronograph for Only Watch, which debuts a brand-new movement for the Maison..
This timepiece, an exceptional watchmaking marvel, will captivate the most discerning connoisseurs and collectors with not only its extraordinary technical and design developments, but also the incredible cast of characters that have been involved in its creation.
The titanium-cased piece is a true watchmaking tour de force, playing on over 163 years of TAG Heuer heritage, while embracing the best of the company’s 21st-century savoir-faire and innovation. The unique watch will be auctioned off at Only Watch 2023:
The rich history of TAG Heuer’s Split-Seconds Chronograph watches dates back over a century.
Since the early 1900’s, the brand has been focused on the chronograph as a significant watch complication and has consistently demonstrated its expertise in this domain through various references of stopwatches and dashboard timers. A defining moment in their history was the introduction of the Mikrograph in 1916, paving the way for the Maison’s participation as the preferred timekeeping device at the Olympic Games of the 1920s and 1930s.
As the first timing device capable of recording 1/100th of a second, the Mikrograph would evolve into a complete collection encompassing the Mikrosplit, a rattrapante accurate to 1/100th of a second.
In the 1960s, Heuer stopwatches became an integral part of the motorsport paddock. These eye-catching timepieces, housed in oversized red casings, showcased remarkable features such as the 11.402 model, which included a time function and a rattrapante chronograph capable of measuring time with an accuracy of 1/10th of a second. This reference would famously be used by Jean Campiche, a TAG Heuer employee assigned to the Scuderia Ferrari for timekeeping responsibilities, as a backup to their 1/1000th second Le Mans Centigraphe, and would often be also worn by the partners of the drivers who assisted Jean in his duties.
At the heart of this unique TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph for the Only Watch timepiece lies a mechanical split-seconds chronograph movement, the newly launched TH81-00, a true testament to TAG Heuer’s commitment to precision and technical excellence. Developed in collaboration with the esteemed manufacturer Vaucher, the movement showcases the brand’s relentless pursuit of watchmaking perfection.
The result is a masterpiece that combines Swiss watchmaking artistry with cutting-edge technology. This mechanical rattrapante movement is a highly sophisticated and intricate mechanism that adds an additional layer of functionality to a chronograph watch. Often referred to as the king of complications due to the challenges in executing the movement, it is capable of measuring two separate time intervals concurrently, providing a level of functionality that exceeds expectations. Whether timing laps on the racetrack or tracking multiple sporting events, the rattrapante movement offers unparalleled accuracy and versatility.
As the lightest automatic chronograph movement ever crafted by TAG Heuer, executed completely in titanium, the TH81-00 needed finishing befitting its exceptional status. Working with the Artime artisans, the signature graté damier finish was applied to key parts of the movement, complimented by black polishing, anglage, perlage, and brushed finishing. In total more than 12 hours of true savoir-faire was required for such a beautiful finish.
Enhancing the movement is a stunning oscillating weight fashioned in the shape of the iconic TAG Heuer shield. This exquisite detail is adorned with the official colors of Only Watch for 2023—a captivating rainbow of reds, blues, and yellow hues, hand painted by the maestro of the discipline André Martinez.
Only Watch was created in 2005 by Luc Pettavino and under H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s high patronage with one intent: raise funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by auctioning one-off timepieces.
Since then, thanks to the increasing formidable mobilization of the watch industry and the support of an entire ecosystem, this initiative has become a very awaited biennial rendezvous in the horology calendar for both brands and collectors. It has allowed the charity organization behind Only Watch, the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, to raise near CHF/EUR 100 million and fund very significant scientific and medical progress.