This remarkable timepiece represents the next generation of luxury with its stunning enhancements. While the previous model, introduced in 2022, featured lab-grown diamonds in an aluminum case and a frosted diamond dial, it played it safe with a traditional bezel and a simple black leather strap. Although it was nominated for the prestigious GPHG Jewelry Watch Award, there was still room for improvement. But fear not, as the brand has gone above and beyond to create an even more astonishing watch, the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon 44mm, priced at 500,000 Swiss Francs (a 150,000 increase from the original).
The true magic lies within the case. Crafted entirely from anodized aluminum (a departure from the diamondless ceramic bezel of its predecessor), the new Carrera Plasma showcases the iconic Carrera form adorned with 48 lab-grown diamonds set directly into the case. The bezel features an additional 26 diamonds, while the matching aluminum bracelet adds 34 more, complemented by a steel folding clasp. This avant-garde design creates a modern visual spectacle, as if shimmering shards have radiated from the dazzling dial. The crown, a centerpiece of the watch, boasts a magnificent 2.5-carat diamond meticulously grown in the shape of a crown, just like the other lab-grown diamonds crafted in collaboration with TAG Heuer's partner, Capsoul. Despite its eye-catching appearance, the Carrera Plasma doesn't compromise on functionality, offering a remarkable water resistance of 100 meters, allowing you to admire the sparkling diamonds without worry.
The dial remains unchanged from last year's model, and for good reason—TAG Heuer has truly maximized its potential. The dial features a total of 4.9 carats of diamonds, with 12 applied lab-grown diamond hour markers and three polycrystalline plates creating the dial itself. The main dial boasts a lighter plate, while the two darker 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph subdials add depth and contrast. The hour and minute hands, finished in matte black lacquer, feature Super-LumiNova for enhanced legibility, while the central chronograph seconds hand is rhodium plated. By utilizing black lacquer and matte finishing, TAG Heuer has ensured optimal readability. At the 6 o'clock position, the tourbillon mesmerizes, replacing the traditional running seconds register.
Beyond its resplendent appearance, the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma showcases horological prowess with its in-house Calibre Heuer 02T Nanograph movement, visible through the sapphire-glassed caseback. Originally introduced in 2016, this movement builds upon the short-lived CH80 movement and reflects one of Jean-Claude Biver's early contributions as the head of TAG Heuer. In 2019, the movement received an upgrade with a carbon nanotube Nanograph hairspring, offering improved mass production and shock resistance compared to traditional silicon hairsprings. The special version of this movement, adorned with hand-finishing and exquisite anglage visible throughout, features a tourbillon cage crafted from titanium and carbon fiber to reduce weight, thereby increasing power reserve and chronometric performance. Operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, the movement boasts a power reserve of 65 hours and is COSC-certified to perform within -4/+6 seconds per day.
Upon observing this latest model, the initial release appears restrained and unfinished, as if TAG Heuer was testing the waters. Now, the Carrera Plasma has finally reached its full potential, featuring a bezel and bracelet that allow the design to flourish. We can only anticipate that future iterations will even include diamond chrono pushers. As expected, production will be limited, although the exact number of units remains undisclosed. With its price tag of CHF 500,000, this masterpiece will undoubtedly attract discerning collectors. The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon 44mm is scheduled for release in September 2023.