100 Points of Time: Reviewing TAG Heuer’s Carrera Mikrograph 1/100


To start the chronograph, you must first release the threading on the start-stop pusher. Even after speaking with the creators of the watch, it still isn’t clear why they added threading to this pusher. One reason cited was aesthetics; the desire to protect the starting mechanism was another. Oddly enough, everyone agreed that water resistance was not a factor; the watch does not need the threading to achieve a water-resistance level of 100 meters.

TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph side view
The large rose-gold case is water-resistant to 100 meters.

As you would expect from a column-wheel chronograph, the elapsed-time measurement begins very smoothly and gently. The chronograph’s actual start is nothing short of spectacular. The pressure point is quick and precise, minimizing the time between the decision to trigger the mechanism and its actual start.  The slender, blued 1/100-second hand instantly begins racing around the dial, creating an audible hum, completing one full circuit every second. To the naked eye, this motion looks absolutely smooth and without any shudder. The seconds hand circles its subdial at 6 o’clock with similarly shudder-free regularity, although it requires a leisurely 60 seconds to complete each round. Only the counter for 30 elapsed minutes at 3 o’clock makes a little jump once each minute.

The chronograph stops instantly when the pusher is depressed a second time. The elapsed 1/100s of a second are easy to read thanks to the calibrations around the dial. Large double-digit numerals mark each increment of 10 1/100s of a second and smaller two-digit numbers show five 1/100s. The elapsed seconds and minutes are also easy to read on their subdials. Of course, it’s  difficult for a mechanical watch to measure 1/100 of a second with extreme accuracy due to the time it takes to push the button. One way to measure  the quickness of the wearer’s reaction time is to try to stop the chronograph after it has been allowed to run for exactly 1 second.

TAG Heuer Mikrograph dial CU
A retro version of the Heuer logo is at the top of the dial. The chronograph’s blued hand sweeps the dial to indicate 1/100s of a second.

The historical Heuer logo adds to the retro look of the dial. Two rose-gold hands, each coated with Super-LumiNova, show the time clearly, day or night. The continually running seconds hand, however, serves little purpose other than to show that the watch is still running. The large rose-gold case can be comfortably strapped to the wearer’s wrist. The brown alligator strap, which matches the central dial, has a rose-gold pronged buckle engraved with the historical Heuer logo. The watch is produced in a limited edition of 150 pieces with a brown dial and strap and also in a limited edition of 150 with a gray dial and gray alligator strap. All the watches are COSC certified.

TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph front
With a diameter of 43 mm, the TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph 1/100 is sized for today’s tastes.
TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph grey dial
A second model with a gray dial is also produced in a limited series of 150 watches.

SPECS:
Manufacturer: TAG Heuer SA, 6A rue Louis-Joseph Chevrolet, 2300 La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland
Reference number: CAR5040.FC8177
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, 1/100-second central chronograph, counters for 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes, power-reserve display for the chronograph, date display
Movement: In-house Mikrograph automatic movement; 28,800 vph (4 Hz) for the watch, 360,000 vph (50 Hz) for the chronograph; 62 jewels; Incabloc shock absorber; flat Nivarox hairspring, Glucydur balance for the watch, Atokalpa balance for the chronograph; 42-hour power reserve for the watch, 90-minute power reserve for the chronograph; COSC-certified chronometer; diameter = 35.8 mm; height = 7.9 mm
Case: Rose-gold case; sapphire crystal; water resistant to 100 meters
Strap and clasp: Alligator strap with rose-gold pronged buckle
Dimensions: Diameter = 43 mm; height = 16.41 mm
Variations: Version with gray dial and gray leather strap, limited to 150 watches
Price: $50,000

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