• Heuer Carrera 5100 Lemania Chronograph: Piaget and the motion maker Nouvelle Lémania obtained Heuer at 1983. The Carrera was equipped with the brand new co-owner's automatic Caliber Lémania 5100. Two distinguishing features are the orange, easily legible, centrally axial, aircraft-shaped minute-hand and the 24-hour screen at "12 o'clock."

    A Legendary Caliber: the Lemania Carrera Chronograph
    The Heuer Carrera at the 1980s
    The Eighties were a decisive decade for the near future of Heuer: the TAG corporate team promised the future of the prestigious brand. Heuer became TAG Heuer and the Carrera chronograph was reborn with a new movement.

    The Quartz Crisis strongly affected the watchmaking industry in late Seventies and early Eighties. Cheap electronic watches from the Far East inundated the world's markets. Jack Heuer had recognized the tendency toward quartz and electronic equipment at an early date and successfully deployed these new technologies in timekeepers for automobile races. One of his most successful creations was the Heuer Chronosplit, a quartz wristwatch with an integrated stopwatch function. A quartz version of this Carrera also came onto the market in 1978. The Carrera-Twin series united conventional hands for the ordinary time daily and LCD indicators for the date and the stopwatch. The quartz-powered Carrera was also offered in a purely three-handed version. The conventional new from Bienne was nonetheless hard pressed to cope with the twin challenges posed by a strong Swiss franc and cheap competition. Jack Heuer was compelled to sell his firm in 1982. The man who had devised icons such as the Heuer Carrera and the Heuer Monaco, who'd co-invented the automatic chronograph and whose innovative marketing in motorsport had transformed Heuer to the global brand we know now lost the company that he had inherited from his forebears. Eighty percent of the shares were shot by the Piaget Family and the next ten percent went into the Swiss movement maker Nouvelle Lémania, which consequently became the second-largest shareholder.

    The 80's: A Legendary Caliber, the Lemania Carrera Chronograph



    The Carrera Chronograph was revived again between 1983 and 1985, however, the brand's own Caliber 11 and its successors were no longer available. The Carrera was armed with the Lemania 5100, a movement made by the tag's new co-owner. The Lemania Carrera was available with a stainless steel case (either with or without a coating of black PVD) and in a golden version. The minute-hand, that was shaped like an airplane, is a distinctive feature of watches encasing this self-winding movement. Despite several openings (e.g. plastic was used at the Lemania 5100 along with the motion per se was no means an aesthetic masterpiece), this quality is still regarded today as an outstanding automatic chronograph movement. Not only did it operate exactly, it was also lightweight, robust and resistant to centrifugal forces: these virtues made it widely popular amongst military men and aviators around the planet. Good legibility likewise ranked one of the strong points of the Lemania 5100 Carrera. With this in mind, it comes as no real surprise to learn the Lemania Carrera is eagerly sought by modern collectors.

    In 1984, Yves Piaget located in Akram Ojjeh, the president of the Saudi Arabian corporate team TAG (Techniques d'Avant-Garde), a new buyer who had both the passion and the fiscal wherewithal to assure a bright future for its Heuer brand. Among the many commonalties that TAG shared with Jack Heuer were a savvy instinct for its zeitgeist and a devotion to motorsport. TAG functioned as a host of the Williams Formula One racing stable in 1982. Together with Porsche, an engine was developed for McLaren. The team was also active in the luxury business and in state-of-the-art technology. After TAG bought 52 percent of Heuer's shares from Piaget and Lemania at 1985, Heuer became TAG Heuer. The new management changed the version coverage. The new directorship beneath Christian Viros sharpened TAG Heuer's profile as a manufacturer of sporty watches. These brand new timepieces needed a more muscular appearance with wider cases and broader bezels. Wholly new and emphatically sporty models were launched: these included the Formula 1 and the S/el. The abbreviation with the forward slash stands for "Sportiness" and "elegance." The Heuer 2000, that was designed by Eddy Schöpfer, was similarly lasted. And quartz calibers were rediscovered to augment mechanical movements.

    Heuer became TAG Heuer from the mid 1980s. TAG and Heuer fit well together, and not solely because both companies were active in motorsport. The new TAG Heuer emblem was soon an integral part of Formula One: by way of instance, on Ayrton Senna's McLaren using Honda engine and on Senna's overalls (under).

    A brand new zeitgeist in the conclusion of the 1980s proved valuable for TAG Heuer. This was an era when status symbols were gaining favor, too among young men and women. Movies such as "Wall Street" (1987) and "Cocktail" (1988) celebrated the dream of fast money and, above all, what those quick bucks can purchase. The dream-come-true profession in this epoch? Wall Street banker! The Western market economy also triumphed in global politics. There were lots of reasons to enjoy this abundance and to flaunt what you'd -- also on one's wrist.

    By the mid 1990s, TAG Heuer's revenues had increased by a factor of six. The time had come to strengthen the brand's identity once again. A retrospective gaze into the business's history discovered plenty of potential inspirations. The yield of the Carrera has been imminent. Find out more information click Citizen Ambiluna


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  • In this article in our series on the basics of divers' watches, we take on what is probably the most distinctive element of a dip watch: the rotating bezel.

    Its function is really rather easy: before a diver's descent, the 12 o'clock bezel mark is aligned with all the minute hand, permitting the elapsed time, around 60 minutes, to be read on the bezel (which is why quite a couple of dive watches include a particularly prominent second hand). A unidirectional, ratcheting structure ensures -- when the bezel is inadvertently moved -- that the time spent underwater would be signaled as longer than really spent, giving the diver with a safety reserve for his now more impending ascent. The bezel/minute hand combination doesn't, but directly quantify how much air stays in the air tank, as still can be read quite often in media releases.

    A standard scuba dive (where the diver is equipped with a standard air tank) generally lasts 30 to 50 minutes, largely depending on the depth reached and the form the diver is in (basically, how physically demanding the dive is). This explains why the first 15 to 20 minutes on the bezel inlay tend to be more highlighted -- the end of the sector theoretically signifies the purpose of recurrence (exclusion: "countdown" bezels that mark the period of ascent). In order to properly time decompression stops at the end of a dip, central-minutes chronographs like the Aquastar Benthos or even split-minute chronographs, such as the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph from 2004, supply an interesting complication (if the diver not use a pc).

    But, back to the start of a dive: In reality, the bezel is adapting while the diver is geared up and ready to start the dip -- which is, the majority of the time, when he's already in the water or onto a boat before entering the water. It is rarely done in a sterile living area, wearing no gloves, even when one can take the watch off to set its bezel. So, despite how much I personally love the Omega Ploprof (that comes with a bi-directional external bezel using a locking mechanism) and the Hublot Oceanographic 4000 (whose unidirectional internal bezel is controlled via a screw-down crown that's then put behind a protective cap), neither are among the simplest watches to be operated single-handedly when worn in the water. And I would strongly advise you never to remove a wet luxury watch from your wrist whenever there's a bottomless pit below you.

    The Basics of the Rotating Divers' Watch Bezel



    From a building point-of-view, there are two main approaches:

    1. External bezel
    First used for a dive watch by Rolex and Blancpain (inspired by earlier pilots' watches) in 1953/54, this remains the easiest and most user-friendly strategy. Disadvantages include wear from sand, debris or salt getting between the case and the bezel, and also the possibility of inadvertently moving or damaging the bezel.

    As a solution to these problems, Citizen introduced a removable bezel with the Citizen Promaster 1000 in 2002, also IWC established the Ocean 2000 in 1984, with a bezel that may only be worked counter-clockwise when pushed down (a notion re-introduced in 1998 using its GST Aquatimer). This concept was similarly executed earlier by Certina, using its DS-2 500m in 1968, and afterwards in 2003 by TAG Heuer for the Aquagraph 2000 Chronograph (with a two component bezel) and by Oris in 2009 with the Oris Prodiver (whose bezel needed to be lifted). More or less complex bezel locking mechanisms -- as first introduced on the Omega Ploprof in 1970 and in its contemporary variant in 2009 -- can also be found at the Hublot Subaquaneus, the Squale Tiger, a few versions from UTS, Germano, and Glycine, and, of course, in elderly Yema models.

    Citizen Promaster 1000, before (above) and after (below) placing the bezel and submerging
    2. Internal bezel
    Most likely introduced by Aquastar from the 1960s. In this structure, the bezel is located within the watch and can be thus protected by the crystal, giving the watch a more elegant appearance. The bezel can only be worked using a (usually additional) crown, quite often in both directions (exceptions include the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver, Hublot Oceanographic, etc.). Disadvantage: An extra opening in the case (except possibly for the first Aquastar models, and the recent Maurice Lacroix Pontos S, in which the chronograph pusher also functions the bezel) and often a rather small crown to fumble with. The more secure it is designed (unidirectional, screw-in), the less practical it becomes for diving.

    In 2002, Eterna introduced, with its KonTiki Diver, an intriguing first blend of both theories: the internal bezel could be controlled from the outside, a concept that initially permitted a water resistance of 200 meters and, in 2005, around 1,000 meters together with the more radical-looking Concept Diver.

    In 2014, IWC went all the way and appears now to be supplying, for the first time, the best of both worlds: The present IWC Aquatimer family comes with a system, called Safedive, that unites a unidirectional internal bezel that can only be rotated with a ratcheting external bezel (that could be transferred in both directions, but only counter-clockwise for adjusting the inner bezel). The IWC video below demonstrates how it works: Want to know more information click Citizen Ambiluna


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