ReviewBe Formidably Flawless With The TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ Chronograph
Enter the enviable TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête De Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon, in a sporty and contemporary ceramic case design, and housing a movement that is certifiably the epitome of timekeeping accuracy
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Not one to crack under pressure, TAG Heuer has successfully mastered the art of winning at the races, both on and off the track, with their driven, high-performance timepieces that scream unmistakable style and cutting-edge technology in the world of haute horlogerie. The undisputable philosophy that underlines TAG Heuer’s watchmaking is unbreakable determination to scale new heights and charter unexplored territory. Entrenched in their brand DNA, TAG Heuer’s new 2018 timepieces are once again a living testimony of the company’s advanced technology, high performance and exceptional manufacture expertise that celebrate the design codes and essence of TAG Heuer.
A Mark Of Exclusivity
A classic case of setting futuristic records and serving rarity for watch aficionados is the TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête De Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon. A commemorative timepiece, the ‘Tête De Vipère’ was unveiled to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the iconic motor-racing-inspired Heuer Carrera and bears an exclusive new chronometric certification that has only been awarded to a handful of esteemed pieces—only 500 in number. Limited to just 155 pieces, this timepiece comes with exceedingly rare ‘Tête de Vipère’ (Viper’s Head) certification, issued since 2006 by the observatory at Besançon in France—not far from the northern border of the Swiss Jura. The TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête De Vipère’ Tourbillon Chronograph is the latest addition to this prestigious list.
This certification was first introduced by the Besançon Observatory in 1897 and is a more extensive certification for Chronometers than the Swiss COSC. The Besançon Observatory, operating on behalf of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, is the only independent, public organisation able to inspect chronometers. In the wake of the quartz crisis, the Besançon Observatory discontinued the ‘Tête de Vipère’ certification in the 1970s, but reinstated it in 2006.
What sets it apart from the COSC Chronometer certification is that it tests fully assembled watches, and not only their movements, which accredits supreme quality, accuracy, and technical expertise that borders on perfection. The high-quality metrological guarantee stamp involves a protocol of 16 days of testing, in five different positions at three different temperatures.
Crafted For Complication
Housing two of traditional watchmaking’s most famous complications—a tourbillon and a chronograph—this watch and its contemporary design ingenuity make it an ideal combination of features and complications to take notice and a nod to further advances in the watchmaking world. To complement this legendary hallmark of excellence that can be seen in the form of a stamp on the watch’s bridge, the timepiece is a striking case of style meets substance.
A seamless rendition of blue meets grey, the 45mm blue ceramic case is a mix of polished, brushed and bead-blasted finishes, which a sophisticated yet sporty feel for a man who believes in understated elegance. Water resistant to 100m, the case is fitted with a ceramic bezel, lugs and a see-through caseback. The crown and chronograph push-buttons, as well as the caseback, feature a black PVD coating, which perfectly complements the blue ceramic.
The Face Of Advanced Accuracy
The black skeletonised dial of the TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon chronometer shows off a very geometric and composed set of bridges. At pride of place, near six o’clock, is the exposed blue tourbillon, secured with blue bridges to increase visibility, while at three and nine o’clock are the rhodium-plated sub-dials for the 30-minute chronograph counter, and the small seconds respectively.
Likewise, the hour indexes and hands are rhodium-plated, with SuperLuminova to increase night-time legibility. The matte black alligator strap is sewn onto black rubber for extra comfort, and enhanced by its midnight blue stitching, which brings it all together. Powering this remarkable TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer is the in-house Heuer-02T calibre movement.
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