Many watch experts agree that the ETA 7750 movement, also known as Tag Heuer Calibre 16, is one of the most famous and versatile automatic chronograph movements ever manufactured. Though many consider this mechanism as a generic one, ETA 7750 complies with the very demanding COSC Chronometer standards and is available on a wide range of luxury timepieces brands, such as Panerai, IWC and Hublot.
In 2014, the watch world has celebrated the 40th anniversary of the ETA 7750, one of the most popular automatic chronograph movements on the planet. The beginnings of this mechanism are closely connected to the legendary movement maker Valjoux who developed the movement in the ‘70s, the golden age of watchmaking innovations. The ETA 7750 was actually based on the manual-wind Valjoux 7730 and it was the first movement designed by using a computer.
Valjoux 7750 is a precise, reliable and cost-effective calibre that has a considerably large and thick appearance. The movement has a distinctive sound which is generated by the rotor. This calibre is mono-directional and features a heavy and large oscillating weight that reaches high speeds. The first Valjoux 7750 versions were available in two frequencies- 21,600 bph and 28,800 bph, each with 17 jewels.
Even though TAG Heuer launched its own Calibre 11 movement in the ‘60s, it decided to use the Valjoux 7750 for developing a brand new Calibre, one that was more functional and versatile. This is how the first 7750 a.k.a. Calibre 16 appeared in 1977 when Heuer created two new models- the Pasadena and the Kentucky. The same mechanism was used for launching in 1981 the second-generation of Heuer Montreal.
Then in 1982 Heuer stopped using the Valjoux 7750 for its watches due to the involvement of the new co-owner Lemania. The goal here was to replace all the Valjoux 7750 movements in Heuer’s watches with exclusive Lemania mechanisms.
In 1997, Tag Heuer decided to bring back the Valjoux 7750 for the 2000 Chronograph and S/el Chronograph. This decision was influenced by the arrival of LVMH as owner of Tag Heuer in 2000. His strategy was to focus on mechanical chronographs.
The Carrera was the promoter of Tag Heuer Calibre 16. In 2015 when the brand launched the new Carrera design this accelerated the use of the ETA 7750 as the base of the Calibre 16. It was then when the 7750 was redesigned by Tag Heuer with a brand new look and a catchy name- Calibre 16. Nowadays, Tag Heuer offers the Calibre 16 in a couple different models- either with a Sellita SW500 or with an ETA 7750.
Nevertheless, the Swiss made Tag Heuer Calibre 16 is one of the most renewed and preferred automatic calibres ever manufactured by the brand. The mechanism comes with 25 rubies and measures 30.4 mm in diameter. Some of its most important technical characteristics are the 42 hours power reserve, the rapid date correction and the 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) balance frequency.
From a functional point of view, the Calibre 16 has many things to offer. The basic time function, the small central seconds counter at 9 o’clock, the hours chronograph counter at 6 o’clock, the minutes chronograph at 12 o’clock and the date window are its core assets.
Depending on the model, the open-work oscillating mass of the Calibre 16 features the “Côtes de Genève” motif and it is decorated with the markings “TAG Heuer — Calibre 16 — Swiss Made”.
Tag Heuer Calibre 16 is a very contemporary device that is characterized by extraordinary durability, amazing precision, impressive complications and an excellent cost-benefit ratio. This surprisingly versatile mechanism is used by Tag Heuer on many of its iconic collections and it represents one of the most appreciated automatic movements ever created.