TAG Heuer has unveiled its groundbreaking lab-grown diamond technology through two extraordinary models at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023. The star of the show is the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon 44mm, featuring a dial, bezel, case, and bracelet adorned with 124 clear diamonds, including a solid diamond winding crown. The second Diamant d'Avant-Garde model introduces a different diamond-growing technique and marks the brand's first use of colored lab-grown diamonds. Based on the 36mm Carrera Date series, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde 36mm showcases an 18k white gold case paired with a combination of white and pink lab-grown diamonds.
The 36mm time-and-date Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde retains the dimensions of the standard Carrera Date 36mm models revealed at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023. Crafted from solid 18k white gold, the case exhibits polished surfaces and is accompanied by a black alligator leather strap with a white gold pin buckle. Unlike the 44mm Chronograph Tourbillon model, the case of the time-and-date version is not adorned with diamonds. However, it does feature a remarkable solid diamond winding crown, prominently placed at the 3 o'clock position, showcasing a large 1.3-carat lab-grown pink diamond bearing the TAG Heuer logo.
The dial of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde 36mm sets it apart. The sparkling polycrystalline diamond plate dial, totaling 2.9 carats of diamonds, is accentuated by 12 baguette-cut white diamonds serving as hour markers. Positioned below the 12 o'clock marker, just beneath the "Carrera" name, is a large pink diamond shaped like the TAG Heuer shield logo. The hour and minute hands are skeletonized, allowing an unobstructed view of the diamond dial beneath them.
To create the pink lab-grown diamonds, a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) method is employed, introducing controlled irregularities during the growth process. This ensures the diamonds are uniformly colored throughout, eliminating the need for post-processing. The creation of such tightly-controlled environments for consistent color reproduction demands exceptional technical expertise.
Internally, the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde 36mm shares its mechanics with the standard 36mm Carrera Date models. It houses the brand's Caliber 7 automatic movement, based on the reliable ETA 2892 or Sellita SW300. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph, the Cal. 7 provides a power reserve of approximately 56 hours. The movement is visible through a screw-down sapphire caseback, while a second sapphire crystal protects the diamond-adorned dial.
Although the Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde 36mm presented at Watches & Wonders 2023 is currently a prototype, it will eventually be produced in limited quantities and made available for sale by the end of 2023. TAG Heuer has not disclosed the exact number of units to be produced, but the official retail price for this model will be CHF 90,000 (slightly over $100,000 USD at the time of writing). The brand has also expressed its commitment to incorporating colored lab-grown diamonds into its catalog, hinting at future models with fully colored diamond cases. This innovative approach opens up exciting possibilities for the future, much like the use of synthetic sapphire in various colors for watch cases. For more information on the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde 36mm, please visit the official TAG Heuer website.