Watches have pretty much been the same since Christian Huygens invented the watch movement. While new ideas, like the bridge, have made watch movements easier to service, Huygens would still recognize his design in most modern watches. The TAG-Heuer Carrera Mikrogirder is, however, completely different.
Girders And Lines
The best analogy to make is that the movement inside this watch is a bit like a steam-powered train’s wheels; one bar does all the work. That’s obviously an absurd oversimplification, but that’s pretty much how it works. And does it even work; it’s designed from the ground up to be far more accurate, up to 1/2000th of a second, and to not have to struggle with the issues that Huygens’ design has been fighting for years.
Can’t Fight Physics
As we all know, most watches rely on winding a spring. That’s a clever way to solve the problem of precise time, but it’s a terrible way in other ways. The biggest problems are thermal expansion and gravity; get your watch too cold or too hot, and it’s going to be less accurate. Similarly, watch movements have gotten so tiny and thin they can be affected by gravity in odd ways that makes them less precise. This system solves those problems largely by reducing the amount of movement your movement has to make, and thus reducing the overall stress on your watch as well.
As for the price, well, TAG-Heuer doesn’t mention a number. But it’s got an anthracite and silver dial, and an alligator band. Also, other Mikrogirder watches have gone for over $100,000, and it’s not like the Carrera line, developed for racing driver, is exactly the budget line either. So this watch serves another purpose, as well; to announce to people that you’ve got a lot of money on your wrist.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.