The 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race is legendary among motorsports enthusiasts, and I was overjoyed to have been Chopard’s guest during what is for many the most famous motorsport race in the world. At this year’s event I counted a great number of watch brands in attendance in some way including Rolex, Chopard, TAG Heuer, Rebellion, and Franck Muller.
On December 11, 2014, TAG Heuer CEO Stéphane Linder announced the resignation of his position after only 18 months at the post. Having been at TAG Heuer for 21 years, Linder was elevated to his current position after previous CEO Jean-Christophe Babin relocated to sibling brand Bulgari. What is the master strategy behind this and other moves at LVMH as orchestrated by Jean-Claude Biver?
In this final round table discussion, my Quill & Pad colleagues Ian, Joshua, Gary and I discuss the amazing night that was. I am glad to talk about this incredible event and provide a few behind-the-scenes insights. Being on the jury for the third time in a row this year, I knew what to expect and could relax enough to enjoy the discussions and preparations.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
While this category in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève is called “Mechanical Exception,” it could well be titled “exceptionally difficult to pick a winner.” And that’s because of the incredible selection of exceptional watches to choose from: Urwerk EMC, Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater, TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon, MB&F Legacy Machine No. 2, Hublot, MP-05 LaFerrari, and Andreas Strehler Sauterelle à Lune Perpétuelle.
It all started in 2004 when TAG Heuer first released the Monaco V4, the first watch to be driven by belts instead of the conventional wheel and pinion. After ten years of experimentation and redesigns, the Monaco V4 Tourbillon was released in 2014 to much fanfare. The V4 has always held a special place in my heart, and with the release of the newly designed movement specifically for the V4 Tourbillon I wanted to break down why it is incredible.
Stéphane Linder, former product director of TAG Heuer, was appointed CEO mid-2013.
Q&P: Do you have a favorite TAG Heuer complication?
SL: I have two favorites: the Monaco V4, which is a true breakthrough in watchmaking as it contains the first belt-driven movement in the world; it has a fantastic avant-garde design.