The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Delves Into The Technology Of Lab-Grown Diamonds

TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma

Image: TAG Heuer

The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma answers a long-standing dilemma in the watchmaking industry: what are diamonds good for, and are them useful for anything other than cosmetic purposes? TAG Heuer presented creative and utilitarian applications for diamonds at Timepieces & Wonders 2022 in Geneva, reminding us that the creation of watches and jewelry are inextricably linked.

While several watchmakers recommend diamond-set crowns, only TAG Heuer presents a diamond-encrusted complete crown. TAG Heuer is employing lab-grown diamonds here, so there’s no need to worry about traditional jewelry processes and sensibilities being questioned. The Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph Diamant d’Avant-garde, to give it its full name, isn’t actually about that. To summarize, this is the same chronograph and tourbillon that has been in the collection for quite some time. So there isn’t anything new in the movement, yet there is a twist.

Image: TAG Heuer

The Carrera Plasma 44mm edition in anodized aluminum with steel pushers (restricted to an indeterminate number) is a display of TAG Heuer’s material science skills in a way that is obviously distinct from what Hublot, Bulgari, and Zenith are doing. Proposing a diamond crown is a bold move, given that the crown is vulnerable to a variety of forces and threats. Similarly, the diamond bed that acts as the dial is a brave demonstration, considering that it, like other diamond and carbon structures, must be created. Some sources (Hodinkee) claim that this is synthetic diamond dust added to a brass basis.

Back to business, the LVMH brands have a penchant for material exploration, and TAG Heuer has shown interest in carbon, which is, of course, inextricably tied to diamond. This leads to the aforementioned twist, since the hairspring is constructed of a carbon composite — those of you who remember the isograph will be familiar with the narrative there. It has essentially been modified and made more dependable, and it is now solely used in Heuer02T calibres. The tourbillon cage on the Carrera Plasma adds another carbon touch, keeping the entire mechanism light.

Image: TAG Heuer

When it comes to diamonds, the Carrera Plasma’s blend of form and function is far from light. In the next years, we anticipate to learn more about this breakthrough, which engaged a number of third-party experts. Oh, and although the Heur02T began as the world’s most affordable super complication, the Carrera Plasma reintroduces the movement to the stratosphere. The price is CHF350,000 (US$375,000) according to some sources.