TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon adds more diamondsBorna Bošnjak
- TAG Heuer’s super avant-garde Plasma is back with even more diamonds
- The entire dial is a one-piece diamond plate with two smaller polycrystalline diamonds used for the sub-dials
- Powered by a tourbillon calibre with a carbon nanotube balance spring, its anti-magnetic properties are excellent
Upon its initial release in 2022, the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma showed off a new way of using diamonds, lab-grown ones at that. This year’s follow-up builds on its predecessor by embedding diamonds into the bezel and bracelet, along with the case, crown and one-piece diamond dial seen in the first model. While there is no clue in its name, the plasma sits atop the Carrera line-up as its crown jewel, made even more important this year, as it is the iconic model’s 60th anniversary. Totalling 15.5 carats, 120 diamonds and 3 polycrystalline diamond plates across the case, bezel, bracelet, and dial, TAG Heuer dressed this piece up for the celebratory occasion.
For me, the stand-out feature of the Plasma has to be the dial. At first glance, it appears as a stippled texture with baguette diamond markers, grained sub-dials and tourbillon aperture – pretty standard for a high-end tourbillon chronograph. Look closer, however, and you’ll discover that the entirety of the dial background is actually one huge diamond – a result of growing a number of diamond crystals into a single polycrystalline plate. The same goes for the sub-dial backdrops, both single pieces of lab-grown diamond plate contrasted by black chapter rings. All the hands are rhodium-plated, with the hour and minute hands also receiving a coat of black lacquer, helping their contrast and legibility along with the Super-LumiNova.
The addition of a diamond-embedded aluminium bezel and bracelet is the biggest novelty of the plasma. Cased in black 44mm aluminium, the finishing is media-blasted matte throughout, which allows the shimmer of the diamonds to stand out that much more. The largest single diamond, apart from the dial plate, is the crown itself. A single 2.5 carat crystal was grown to produce the best possible clarity while retaining all of the functionality a crown needs. Finally, the H-link bracelet sports diamonds embedded in a disappearing pattern, tapering towards the clasp.
The in-house Heuer 02 Tourbillon Nanograph is responsible for timekeeping, finished in a contemporary style, consistent with the matte black look of the watch. With a carbon nanotube hairspring, its anti-magnetic features are excellent, and so is the shock and temperature resistance. The escapement beats at 4 Hz for up to 65 hours, topped up by the semi-skeletonised winding rotor with stylised TAG Heuer insignia.
TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon 44mm pricing and availability:
The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma will be limited in production, available on order through TAG Heuer boutiques in September 2023. Price: A$740,000, CHF 500,000
|Model||Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon 44mm|
|Case Dimensions||44mm (D)|
|Case Material||Black aluminium set with 74 diamonds|
|Dial||Polycrystalline diamond with 12 diamond indices|
|Strap||Black aluminium set with 34 diamonds, steel folding clasp|
|Movement||Heuer 02T Nanograph COSC, in-house, nanotube hairspring, automatic chronograph|
|Power Reserve||65 hours|
|Functions||Tourbillon, chronograph, hours, minutes|