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.
1969 was a big year in the history of watches. It marked the creation of the first automatic chronograph movements, among which was the Heuer Calibre 11. This self-winding mechanism was successfully used for the TAG Heuer Monaco and Autavia collections, timepieces that were very popular at that time. Nowadays, Calibre 11 is still a part of Tag Heuer’s heritage and it is mostly available for the Monaco line. Its modern version is a highly functional interpretation of the vintage mechanism, an intricate automatic movement able to offer extreme precision and utility to its wearer.
As Heuer was unable to develop something as costly and complex as an automatic chronograph on its own, he decided to form a partnership with Breitling and Büren along with movement manufacturer Dubois-Depraz. This was a top secret project and its codename was “Project 99”. Their goal was to make the first “Chronomatic”. The movement was launched on the market in 1969 and it was the world’s first chronograph movement with an automatic microrotor.
Even though the original Calibre 11 was marketed as an in-house Heuer movement, the automatic movement was based on a Sellita or ETA ebauche with a Dubois-Depraz module and didn’t have any connections with the initial Chronomatic. The rotor was also embossed with “Calibre 11” and the “Heuer” logo.
Calibre 11 is still part of Tag Heuer’s identity and its contemporary interpretation features the winding crown on the left and the chronograph buttons on the right side of the case. Identically to the vintage Calibre 11, the modern Calibre 11 is modular and its chronograph module is powered by a certified ebauche. The original Chronomatic Calibre 11 was available with a Buren 1281 and a Dubois-Depraz 8510 module whereas todays Calibre 11 has your typical ETA 2892-A2 or Sellita SW 300 base and a redesigned Dubois-Depraz chronograph module. Generally, the Dubois-Depraz chronograph module models used for the modern Calibre 11 are 2018, 2021, and 2022.
Similarly to the initial Calibre 11, the current version rotates the base movement 180 degrees. This is the reason why the winding crown was placed on the left and the chronograph pushers on the right. A significant difference between the original and the modern Calibre 11 is the movement that works at 28,800 A/h as compared to the archaic 19,800 A/h.
One of the most important differences between the vintage Calibre 11 and today’s mechanism is the layout of the subdials. The classic one has the chronograph minutes on the right and the chronograph hours on the left while the contemporary one has running seconds on the right and chronograph minutes on the left.
Calibre 11 is Tag Heur’s most distinctive and iconic automatic caliber. With a diameter of 30 mm and 59 rubies, this self-winding movement was designed to serve as a very powerful and precise timekeeping instrument. Its rapid date correction, 28’800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) balance frequency and 40 hours power reserve are just a few of its highlights.
As far as functionality goes, the modern Calibre 11 keeps accurate time and features a date window at 6 o’clock, a chronograph seconds hand as 3 o’clock and a chronograph minutes counter at 9 o’clock. The open-worked oscillating mass is adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and is engraved with “TAG Heuer — Calibre 11 — Swiss Made”.
Calibre 11 isn’t just the result of many years of research and collaboration, but also a complex and functional automatic movement that has marked the evolution and success of Tag Heuer. It was the mechanism that has promoted and made the chronograph what it is today. Nevertheless, it has turned Heuer into the timeless master of sporty complications.
One of the most extravagant and expensive watches ever created was unveiled by Hublot. This completely diamonds-covered Big Bang model was priced at $5 million and it is a timepiece fitted for wealthy people with a fine taste for ‘bling’. The happy owner of this one-of-a-kind watch is Jay-Z. The rapper received this exclusivist Hublot Big Bang when he turned 43 years old from his beautiful and talented wife, Beyonce.
The watch is without a doubt the most expensive watch ever produced and no matter how rich you are, it just seems like a bit over the top to spend 5 million dollars on a timepiece. But when you’re Beyonce and you have a $300 million net worth, I guess that spending 5 million for your hubby’s birthday gift is not that impressive. The couple is famous for their extravagant tastes in jewelry, clothing, cars and lifestyle. Their previous gifts are even more expensive and outrageous than the diamonds Hublot Big Bang. A private island in Florida, a Bombardier Challenger 850 private jet and a Grand Veyron Sport are just a few of them.
Everyone knows that Jay-Z is a huge watches collector. He always mentions expensive brands in his songs and wears luxury timepieces on his wrist when he goes out. For a charity campaign Audemars Piguet has designed a special edition Royal Oak dedicated to Jay-Z. Recently, the celebrity has changed his brands preferences from Audemars Piguet to Hublot. Because he was seen wearing numerous Big Bang model, the chairman of Hublot invited the singer to visit their Switzerland based factory. Of course, this honor was rewarded by Jay-Z as he mentioned the Hublot name in his music video “Otis”. And there’s more. Jay-Z also has a multi-media magazine Life+Times where he posted an exclusive video of Hublot and Chairman Jean-Claude Biver.
The $5 million Hublot Big Bang is part of a limited edition collection. For each of the last few years, Hublot has manufactured one extremely expensive diamonds edition Big Bang model. The collection was named One Million Dollar Big Bang and the one owned by Jay-Z is currently the most expensive one. The watch is very opulent and pretentious as it is fully covered by diamonds. The dial, the bezel, the case, the winding crown and the bracelet are adorned with perfectly shaped and sized diamonds. The timepiece also has a very beautiful functional detail- the tourbillon window that allows you to see the inside automatic movement. This part enchants even the most pretentious watch collector. It is a nice aesthetic and engineering touch.
Believe it or not, it took Hublot 14 months of work to find, cut and fit the 1282 diamonds used on this Big Bang model. 12 diamond cutters, 5 jewelry setters and a master cutter with 40 years of experience worked around the clock to make this $5 million watch perfect.
Naturally, Jay-Z wears this very expensive and extravagant Hublot Big Bang only at private events where he can ensure the highest level of security for his one of a kind watch. It is the bling jewelry that only a star of Jay-Z’s caliber could wear with style and distinction.