TAG Heuer introduces the TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept, the first-ever mechanical movement without hairspring at the Baselworld 2010 tonight as earlier hinted
A coiled strip of fine metal alloy, the hairspring provides usually the torque necessary for the balance wheel to oscillate and regulate its frequency. The mechanical hairspring has three serious design limitations: a mass that makes it sensitive to gravity and deforms its geometry; a material that makes it sensitive to thermal expansion; and a divergence between its geometric centre and its centre of mass.
Overcoming the design limitations inherent in the traditional regulation system by eliminating the need for a spiral hairspring was the first challenge TAG Heuer set for itself. The second was keeping the movement 100% mechanical: conventional watchmaking wisdom has always held that a mechanical watch without spiral hairspring would necessarily require another energy source for its regulation.
In the TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept, the traditional hairspring is replaced by an “invisible” or virtual spring derived from magnets. The complete device forms a harmonic oscillator. The magnetic field, generated by means of 4 high-performance magnets and controlled in 3D through complex geometric calculations, provides the linear restoring torque necessary for the alternative oscillations of the balance wheel. The oscillating period of the TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept is resistant to changes from perturbing forces, which is what makes it an exceptionally good timekeeping device. The movement built with this revolutionary oscillator is fully mechanical and does not contain any electronics or driven actuators. The magnets generate a constant field over decades.
TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept, the world’s first oscillator in a mechanical movement without hairspring, beats at 43,200/hour (6 Hertz). It requires no additional components and is based on physical magnetic properties. The TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept, gets its name from an earlier Huygens creation — the pendulum clock of 1657.
Tag Heuer also unveils the TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum Concept, which is faithful to the exclusive luxury codes of the GRAND CARRERA: polished and angled edges, curved and facetted horns on both sides of black titanium covered steel case. The special dial aperture at 9 o’clock allows to admire the beating heart of TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept’s avant-garde movement. The TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum Concept opens a promising new era in watchmaking, with potentially powerful new movements precise to ever-smaller fractions of time. The effect on future watches and chronographs design and function may be huge — and TAG Heuer once again leads the way even though it will take years before it will become a commercial realty. Patents have been filed and are pending.
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