With a private ardour for watches (particularly sports activities chronographs from the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies), automobiles, bikes and all the pieces mechanical since a younger age, Nicholas Biebuyck has been gathering watches the entire of his grownup life. He labored within the public sale trade for Christie’s and Bonhams earlier than becoming a member of TAG Heuer as Heritage Director in 2021. On the event of the LVMH Watch Week 2023, we sat down with this regarded watch specialist to find the newest TAG Heuer novelties, together with the Sixtieth Anniversary Carrera and the daring new tackle the Monza.
Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – What are the principle tales for TAG Heuer on the LVMH Watch Week?
Nicholas Biebuyck, Heritage director at TAG Heuer – The factor to consider for the LVMH Watch Week this yr is in fact the Carrera’s 60th anniversary however there can be many chapters to this story alongside 2023.
The LVMH Watch Week would be the kick-off level for this anniversary but additionally a platform to uplift a wider a part of the collections and showcase TAG Heuer’s enduring avant-garde spirit. We’re going to current new merchandise for the Aquaracer assortment, the Linked watch assortment and the brand new Monza, which is form of an ancillary assortment for us, exterior of the principle pillars. It’s actually extra of a complete introduction to indicate how our focuses are going ahead for the longer term.
So you might be presenting this anniversary piece to rejoice the 60th anniversary of the Carrera. What was the inspiration for the mannequin?
Clearly, we needed to mirror on the historical past of the mannequin vary. It could be very straightforward to look again at 1963 and the inception of the unique Carrera. We have now already paid homage to that piece with the 160th anniversary Carrera. So as a substitute, we checked out what is taken into account to be among the many most fascinating references from the early Carrera historical past, the 2447SN – S for Silver and N for Noir, a form of bizarre mixture of English and French however this was Jack Heuer by and thru. At this time it is without doubt one of the most coveted classic Carreras. And naturally, it has this iconic high-contrast dial that makes it so distinctive.
Personally, I’ve an excellent affection for these Panda dials. Many watches used this type; it was on account of the truth that Singer, our neighbour in La Chaux-de-Fonds was doing the design and dial creation for a lot of manufacturers. In fact, now we have retained the long-lasting Carrera lugs, the pusher and crown design, and the strap you’ll be able to see could be very a lot within the racing design of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. Uncommon for a contemporary manufacturing piece, it comes on a pin buckle which is rather more genuine. The taper of the strap is totally different as nicely. Usually it could be 19mm and 18mm, right here now we have completed 19mm and 16mm which is far nearer to the unique sensation once you put on it on the wrist.
The primary change is the case diameter, 39mm as a substitute of 36mm. And inside, slightly than the manual-wind Valjoux 72, we discover the Heuer 02, our in-house automated calibre. It’s a good mix of the trendy and of the historic, paying our respects to the unique Carrera whereas nonetheless making a completely fashionable watch.
And as I mentioned, that is just the start, now we have main tales to return at Watches and Wonders that can be very a lot Carrera-focused and extra thrilling issues for later within the yr.
The strategy is sort of totally different with the brand new Monza. Are you able to clarify your technique with this mannequin?
The up to date Monza was launched about 20 years in the past with the Zenith El Primero inside, and it grew to become a part of the classics assortment, which had first arrived with the Carrera reissue in 1996 powered by the Lemania 1861 after which continued with the Monaco reissue in 1997. The Monza was launched to finish the tryptic. The attention-grabbing half is that it appears to be like nothing like the unique Monza. Again then they knew of the identify. However in fact, when the company that was engaged on the design of this new watch went to analysis it, they’d no entry to the web in its full type with photos and all the pieces. They discovered an image of a cushion-shaped Heuer chronograph from the Thirties in a e book. They thought it was attention-grabbing, utilizing it with out reflecting on the form of Genta-esque C-shaped case of the unique Monza.
With that in thoughts, after we discuss Monza, the identify is that of the watch launched in 1976 to commemorate Lauda’s championship win however its general structure is basically totally different. There are two sides to it. There’s one facet that isn’t loyal to the unique Monza, however on the opposite facet, it provides us extra artistic freedom. And for that, it permits us to push this watch into a really totally different course with a cast carbon case, this sapphire dial, this transparency in direction of the motion, the flyback chronometer-certified calibre, the textile strap, and the usage of the color codes. It’s a up to date watch; it takes the Monza in a brand new course. And, in fact, to a brand new worth level. It’s actually attention-grabbing in your wrist.
That is the watch now we have given to Christian Horner for Purple Bull Racing’s 2022 Championship win. It actually reveals our connection to motorsport. Christian’s first watch was really a Monza. So, it’s a pleasant continuation.
The gathering was revamped final yr and you might be additionally coming with new Aquaracers this yr?
It is very important keep in mind that the Aquaracer is the longest-continuously produced product household that now we have right now; it lives alongside the TAG Heuer Method 1, the Carrera, the Monaco after which the Linked.
The Aquaracer was launched in 1978 with the reference 844 with its 6 guidelines of design and it has been across the longest. For me, the Solargraph blends a number of the issues which can be key to the TAG Heuer id right now: this concept of a extremely sturdy and reliable watch that will simply carry on going. By means of our partnership with La Joux-Perret, and naturally, the innovation that they’ve from their guardian firm Citizen, what has been created on this TH50-00 motion is unimaginable: 6 months of battery life when it’s locked in a drawer, you’ll be able to pull the crown and get years of battery life in an influence save mode, it restarts in seconds, it’s a fascinating factor. I’ve been fortunate sufficient to have been carrying one in every of these for greater than 6 months now, it’s actually one thing you’ll be able to stay with all day day by day and never be involved about. It’s only a spectacularly sturdy watch. And pondering you could get all this for about 3,000 Swiss Francs represents these two core sides of the model: innovation and a form of egalitarian spirit. The truth that we will create merchandise which can be fantastically reliable at a worth level achievable for a large market. It’s actually an excellent watch to put on.
Once you evaluate it to the watch we offered final yr, it was in stainless-steel black coated with SLN built-in into the carbon fibre bezel, on a rubber strap. This yr, now we have built-in extra codes from the Aquaracer Skilled 200 assortment with this bezel in the identical end because the case. It is available in full titanium, on a titanium bracelet, it is rather mild and really straightforward to put on. These are two totally different watches, clearly sharing the identical id, I feel addressing totally different elements of the market.
For extra info, please go to www.tagheuer.com.
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