Although TAG Heuer was founded well over 150 years ago, there’s no doubt that it still remains to be as relevant as it’s ever been. TAG has successfully done this over the years by continually adapting its technology and constantly redefining its look to better reflect not only the company’s progress but also the progress of humanity in general when it comes to the field and industry of watchmaking. The Swiss watchmaker’s current CEO, Jean-Claude Biver, has a reputation for resurrecting the classic watches that have come from times past. Biver has worked with Blancpain, Omega, and then Hublot. While the style of TAG Heuer’s is largely different from that of Hublot’s, we’re beginning to see some similarities because of Biver’s influence.
Perhaps the best way to see that is through TAG’s latest creation, the one that falls into the Carrera collection, the one that was released to celebrate that entire Carrera collection and the 55 years that it’s been in existence. This special anniversary edition is the Tete de Vipere Chronograph Tourbillon Chonometer. This watch is TAG Heuer’s latest venture into exploring what the future might mean for the company, and it seems to be moving forward still toward extreme luxury.
The Tete de Vipere, or Viper’s Head, has received the chronometer certification from Eastern France’s famous Besancon Observatory. This institution is considered to be the most exclusive out of all the chronometer testing bodies that include the COSC in Switzerland, the King’s Observatory in London, and the Glashutte Observatory in Germany. This exclusivity is because of the fact that it’s quite rare for the emblem of the city of Besancon to just end up in any watch. As a matter of fact, since 2006 only 500 watches have been certified by Besancon.
Upon first glance at the watch, you can immediately see that the Tete de Vipere is large in comparison—something that is common with the brand’s typical look. It sits on the wrist at 45mm. The blue undertones are stunning, with the watch’s case and bezel made out of blue ceramic. This ceramic is supposed to be scratch resistant; however, it will shatter if hit hard enough. The black colors come from the stainless steel caseback, pushers, and the crown. Those PVD-coated parts were made so only to match a black alligator strap. The black strap also has a black underlining and contrasting blue stitches that match the blue ceramic on the watch’s case. It makes for a stunning combination of black and blue parts and details, but that’s not all this watch has to offer.
This TAG Heuer is water resistant up to 100 meters, something that not many Swiss tourbillons can make). Upon closer inspection of the skeletonized dials of the watch, you can see highly geometric and balanced bridges. The 3 and 9 o’clock functions features minutes and hours respectively, but at 6 o’clock is where you’ll find the exposed tourbillon. This is probably something you can just stare at for hours, trying to figure out how it all worked, and it’s all that TAG Heuer wants you to do. Matching the subdials, the indexes and the hands are rhodium-plated and the filled with Super –LuminNova to get that illumination once nighttime comes. The glass that covers the face of the watch is domed and has anti reflective properties.
While the Tete de Vipere might not appear to be vastly different from TAG’s previous releases, there are still features that standout from the rest. For example, the blue ceramic case alone is such a thing of class and beauty—something that many watch collectors look for in a watch anyway. The Tete de Vipere Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer is only getting a limited production. There are only a total number of 155 units of this limited edition watch ever made. The watch is priced at $20,400, which is actually a lot more in comparison to other TAG models. The most expensive TAG Heuer Carrera sells for roughly $17k, so $20k is certainly a huge jump, enough for two women to move along. The limited production adds greatly to the expensive price, even though normal TAG shoppers could easily afford watches along those lines.