It starts with a spark, a synapse firing in the dark. The spark catches fire and grows into a storm – a whirlwind of ideas from some of the best design minds in the world. In the design lab, the brainstorming process is the beginning of any new TAG Heuer timepiece. And producing the right answers is a matter of asking the right questions. During brainstorming for the Monaco V4 concept watch the designers asked, “How can we totally reinvent the basic wheel and pinion movement of a watch?” The answer: the Monaco V4 and its revolutionary belt-driven mechanical transmission.
From the storm of ideas emerges a shape - an initial freehand sketch which captures the pure lines of a new TAG Heuer. The sketch is then given volume by 3D rendering, and then several prototypes are made and thoroughly tested. Meanwhile, the product development team are examining the technical specifications of the design. It is their job to solve some of the fundamental problems in precision watchmaking: How will the watch be watch powered? How will it transmit stored energy? What materials guarantee the level of precision, reliability and quality required over the long term? The avant-garde design of the Calibre S chronograph movement, for example, required TAG Heuer experts to make a special effort to minimize the weight of parts and materials in order to maximise precision.
Albert Einstein said, “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it,” words that TAG Heuer Design Lab have taken to heart. It is this ability to push beyond the barriers of convention and leap into the unknown that makes TAG Heuer design teams so consistently innovative. An innovation which is consistently rewarded by peer recognition and commercial success. Recent collaborations with designer Christophe Behling on pieces like the Monaco Calibre 360 LS Concept Chronograph (winner of the prestigious Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, Red Dot and iF Product Design awards) or the Grand Carrera Calibre 36RS Caliper Chronograph (Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2008 and Best Chronograph of the Year at the Salon International de Alta Relojeria (SIAR) 2008) have shown time and time again why TAG Heuer remains at the cutting edge of Swiss avant-garde.