TAG Heuer introduces the revolutionary Carrera Plasma
Watches and Wonders, Geneva, 30 March 2022 –
This new timepiece features the innovative diamant d’avant-garde technology and a disruptive design
TAG Heuer introduces the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, featuring lab-grown diamonds. This marks a major milestone in the over 160-year company history and the watch industry at large. This technical disruption is a new way of mastering design and the play of light with material, and the versatility of lab-grown diamonds provides unbounded creativity.
This defining step for TAG Heuer as a luxury watch manufacturer – entering the sector of lab-grown diamonds – focuses on the avant-garde aesthetics, versatility and design codes that have the power to make a watch truly unique, all while keeping up the offering of TAG Heuer watches. The introduction of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma is yet another example of the company’s avant-garde innovative spirit that lies so deeply in the brand’s DNA.
TAG Heuer is not only pushing at the edge of traditional luxury watchmaking, but also redefining technological and creative limits: “Innovation and redefining frontiers is in our DNA. With the introduction of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, we want to expand the possible palette and designs for diamond watches and diamonds in general, and create a new and breathtaking vision of mastering carbon and diamond design as well as cutting-edge light effects”,
said Frédéric Arnault.
Where legacy meets
And what better model to choose for pushing the boundaries within the traditional luxury watchmaking technology, design codes and history than one of the most iconic of all TAG Heuer watches: the TAG Heuer Carrera.
By adding the cutting-edge aspect of lab-grown diamonds into its product universe, TAG Heuer also adds a whole different level to the creative freedom and possible diamond shapes, as well as implementations of different design techniques using lab-grown diamonds. This also offers consumers something truly individual to them, a product which involves innovative technology and uses it in an avant-garde way.
“Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technology, which we refer to as Diamant d’Avant-Garde” at TAG Heuer, enables us to explore the versatility of carbon in the form of lab-grown diamonds – to create a stunning timepiece where diamonds are used in very unique shapes and textures. Lab-grown diamonds allow us to innovate and experiment with this exceptional material, and this opens up a new realm of possibilities for designers, watchmakers and engineers”,
said Edouard Mignon,
Chief Innovation Officer, TAG Heuer & LVMH Watches & Jewelry Division.
A masterpiece of materials and contrasts
The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, powered by the H02 Tourbillon Nanograph movement, has Diamant d’Avant- Garde lab-grown diamonds set in the case, and features embellished indexes. A polycrystalline diamond dial
is one incredible component of this new and unique watch. The lab-grown diamonds used in the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma are manufactured by a network of partners specialised in this disruptive, cutting-edge technology, such as Lusix, Capsoul and Diamaze.
The 44 mm watchcase of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma is predominantly made of sandblasted anodized aluminum, which results in a perfect complement to the lightness and color of the material and the strength and purity of the diamond. TAG Heuer’s designers have additionally developed a black ceramic polished bezel bringing even more emphasis to the elegance and contrast patterns of the timepiece.
To push the avant-garde even further, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has joined forces with Capsoul – a start-up pioneering the field of diamond design – to craft a spectacular crown at 3 o’clock, entirely executed in diamond. The two pushers on each side of the crown have been embellished with a black DLC coating, which brings to the watch a refined matt touch, contrasting with the brightness of the diamond.
The special polycrystalline diamond dial is one of the highlights of this new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma timepiece. This diamond effect on the specially created dial plate is a sum of crystals being grown as one – generating yet another one-diamond morphology. This represents another type of a rich CVD growth, where many diamonds create spectacular reflections and a diverse visual effect while still constituting a single diamond piece. At 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, the minute chronograph counter and the chronograph hours counter feature a black polycrystalline diamond plate and are equipped with a polished rhodium-plated hand to truly support the light interaction.
The 11 indexes in white gold are set with a diamond each and sport a double index at 12 o’clock. The polished, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands with matt black lacquer are topped with white Super- LumiNova® and showcase a rhodium-plated central hand. The TAG Heuer logo with “Carrera”
printed in black rounds up this sparkling dial, which is designed in perfect harmony with the rhodium-plated bezel.
The design of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma is spectacular, and the movement inside this watch is also a real masterpiece: equipped with the impressive TAG Heuer Nanograph movement, the calibre carries the groundbreaking in-house carbon hairspring, developed by the TAG Heuer Institute and brought to life by the same CVD method as the lab-grown diamonds are – thus showcasing the material in all of its forms within this avant-garde TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma. The carbon hairspring delivers exceptional levels of anti-magnetism, shock resistance, stability across temperature ranges and refined geometry for excellent chronometric performance. This also represents a truly magical way of mastering the carbon material in and outside the timepiece, as well as a full and fusional integration of carbon throughout the watch and with the innovative lab-grown diamonds.
The movement is TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph, a Swiss-made movement with a 65-hour power reserve in a unique version especially developed for the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma. This special edition has been extensively hand-finished and features the oscillating weight in the form of the TAG Heuer shield.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma comes with an elegant black leather strap with black stitching and a black titanium grade 2 ADLC-treated clasp for an even bolder look.
added: “At TAG Heuer, we are driven by innovation. By using lab-grown diamonds in such an avant-guard manner; we want to make things in a different, new and exciting way. This is an innovation that has long been planned and introduces just our opening chapter for a long (hi) story to be created. It is also a truly defining moment for us and the Swiss luxury watchmaking sector. We feel that luxury watches should always be exciting and surprising and in tune with the times, and this new watch demonstrates exactly that.”
This breathtaking TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, presented as an innovation for Watches and Wonders, symbolizes the work of a specialized and committed team to design this Diamant d’Avant-Garde plasma technology in the purest TAG Heuer DNA. It will be soon be presented worldwide and will benefit from an extended international warranty up to five years.
Lab-grown diamonds are expanding the possibilities in luxury design, as well as driving innovation in everything from nanobiology to quantum computing. We spoke to the experts on this trailblazing technology to discover how it works, and what the future holds.
The ability to manufacture nature’s most precious materials has been one of mankind’s great quests for centuries, but it’s only in recent decades that the technical innovations of visionary entrepreneurs have made that dream a reality – at least when it comes to diamonds.
Contrary to some common assumptions, lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in their structure and appearance, with the same chemical composition. To explain why, TAG Heuer recently spoke to inventor and entrepreneur Benny Landa,
Chairman of Lusix: “Nature grows diamonds a couple of hundred kilometres below the surface of the earth at enormous pressures and temperatures, but the fundamental process – the migration of carbon atoms to combine with one another, and self-assemble into diamond – that’s our process, too. All we do is create the conditions that allow nature to grow the diamond.’ Diamond expert Professor Alexander Zaitsev of the City University of New York has gone one step further: ‘What nature does somewhere in unknown environments, of course, is not always ideal. But in a laboratory you can create the ideal conditions for diamond growth”.
Lab-grown diamonds first became a reality as early as the 1950s when they were manufactured using HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) technology. These early yields were mostly used in industrial applications, and unable to create gem quality diamonds. Many manufacturers still use the process today, but the most significant recent advances have been made in CVD technology – Chemical Vapour Deposition, which we refer to as “Diamant d’Avant-Garde”
at TAG Heuer. Lusix co-founder Yossi Yayon
does a good job of explaining the process in layman’s terms: “We put a ‘seed’ of diamond into a vacuum chamber and insert certain gases, the most important being a gas that contains carbon, and the second being hydrogen. We ignite a plasma of these gases with high powered microwave radiation, and this plasma decomposes the gases into radicals that contain the carbon atoms, and those atoms gradually bond to the ‘seed’, and grow the crystal”.
The key market-disrupting aspect of lab-grown diamonds is their versatility – in the design possibilities for jewellery and gems, and in the wide range of applications beyond that.
Diamaze Microtechnology SA are a leading Swiss company who specialise in ultra-precise micro-components of pure diamond for use in the aesthetic design of luxury watches. Their CEO, Peter Gluche,
spoke to TAG Heuer recently to expound the possibilities of their process: “We can create diamonds with whichever qualities we want, in terms of texture and level of light reflection. You can modify the colour of the diamond, from clear to black, and any shade in between”.
The exact shade, shape and cut of the diamonds can be precisely controlled to meet demand, meaning the possibilities for bespoke and original designs are endless. Yossi Yayon
at Lusix confirmed: “You can change the properties of the material according to your needs, and you can grow layers with different properties. We have the ability to grow D-colour diamonds, but we can also make beautiful pink diamonds, blue diamonds, all by precisely controlling the process. This is important for the gem industry, but it’s also very important for the high-tech industry.”
And not just the high-tech industry. Diamond components are already used in all kinds of systems, and may eventually replace silicon in computer processors due to being a far superior semiconductor – but its other unique properties make it the ideal material for a range of other uses, as Professor Zaitsev
elaborated: “You can add additional properties and modify the structure artificially at your wish for the purpose of superior mechanical applications, optical components, thermal management of high-power transistors, and now new fields like quantum computing, quantum communication. The diamonds used in the research of quantum communication are lab-grown. You would never be able to do such research with natural diamonds”.
Regardless of the future of any particular industry, diamonds are forever, and it would seem their appeal and potential are too. As Benny Landa
summarised eloquently for TAG Heuer: “People want to be associated with this amazing, magical material that has so many extreme properties. The hardest material, the most transparent material, the most thermally conductive material, the most sparkling material. There’s nothing on earth that you could carry on your person that has that same mystique. And then to associate those qualities with oneself, because a watch says, “this is who I am” – in my opinion is a brilliant concept.”
“Don’t Crack Under Pressure”
TAG Heuer, founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, is a luxury watch brand that is part of LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton SE (“LVMH”)
, the world’s leading luxury group. Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland and with four production sites, TAG Heuer has 1470 employees and is active in 139 countries. TAG Heuer products are available online on the watchmaker’s website
, select countries and in 160 boutiques and 3,500 points of sale worldwide. The company is headed up by Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer.
For 160 years, TAG Heuer has demonstrated pure avant-garde watchmaking spirit and a commitment to innovation with revolutionary technologies that have included the oscillating pinion for mechanical stopwatches in 1887, the Mikrograph in 1916, the first automatic-winding chronograph movement – Calibre 11 – in 1969, the first luxury smartwatch in 2015, and the ground-breaking Isograph technology in 2019, made possible through a unique collaboration with the TAG Heuer Institute. Today, the brand’s core collection consists of three iconic families designed by Jack Heuer – TAG Heuer Carrera, Monaco and Autavia – and is rounded out with the contemporary Link, Aquaracer, Formula 1 and Connected lines.
Capturing TAG Heuer’s motto, “Don’t Crack Under Pressure”,
are prominent partnerships and brand ambassadors that express the brand’s passion for action and high performance.