TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde

As part of its novelties for Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, TAG Heuer is showcasing its lab-grown diamond technology with two different thoroughly unconventional iced-out models. While the star of the show is the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon 44mm, which features its dial, bezel, case, and bracelet asymmetrically set with 124 clear diamonds (including a solid diamond winding crown), the second Diamant d’Avant-Garde model debuts a different diamond-growing technology, and it represents the brand’s first use of colored lab-grown diamonds. Building upon the 36mm version of the standard time-and-date Carrera model, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm features an 18k white gold case paired with a combination of both white and pink lab-grown diamonds.
Based upon the new 36mm Carrera Date series that was also just unveiled this year at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, the case of the new time-and-date TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde measures 36mm in diameter and is crafted from solid 18k white gold. Fitted with a black alligator leather strap that is completed by a matching white gold pin buckle, the case of the new Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm features high-polished surfaces, and unlike the 44mm Chronograph Tourbillon model that was also unveiled at this year’s Geneva show, the case of the time-and-date version is not set with any diamonds whatsoever. That said, a solid diamond winding crown is one of the hallmark features of the brand’s Carrera Plasma series, and sitting at the 3 o’clock location is a large 1.3-carat lab-grown pink diamond winding crown that is signed with the TAG Heuer logo.
Unlike the standard Carrera Date 36mm models, the rehaut on the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm features a concentric grooved motif, rather than a printed minute track like the rest of the time-and-date watches. In addition to playing into its elegant and modern aesthetic, the design of the rehaut helps keep the focus on the dial of the watch, which is the true party piece of this particular release. While the layout of the dial is the same as what can be found on the normal Carrera Date 36mm with baton-shaped markers, a double marker at 12 o’clock, and a date window at the 6 o’clock location, the dial fitted to the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm is anything but ordinary.
Totaling 2.9 carats of diamonds, the dial surface itself is a sparkling polycrystalline diamond plate, which is punctuated by 12 baguette-cut white diamonds that serve as the hour markers. Additionally, sitting below the 12 o’clock marker right below the “Carrera” name is a large pink diamond in the shape of the TAG Heuer shield logo. Similarly, while the shape of the three centrally-mounted hands has been carried over from the standard Carrera Date 36mm models, the hour and minute hands are skeletonized instead of being filled with luminous material, and this helps to offer an unobstructed view of the diamond dial that sits below them.
When entirely devoid of irregularities and impurities, a diamond will be clear and completely colorless. Therefore, in order to create the pink lab-grown diamonds featured on the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm, a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) method is used to introduce small irregularities during the growing process. This allows the diamonds to be homogeneously colored all the way through without the need for any post-processing, and a high level of technical expertise is required in order to create this tightly-controlled environment, where the desired color can be consistently reproduced, batch after batch.
In terms of its internal mechanics, the new model is identical to the standard 36mm Carrera Date watches, and powering the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm is the brand’s Caliber 7 automatic movement. Largely based upon the core design of the tried-and-true ETA 2892 or Sellita SW300, the TAG Heuer Cal. 7 runs at a frequency of 28,800vph, while offering users a power reserve of approximately 56 hours. Additionally, just like the standard three-handed 36mm Carrera Date models, the movement inside the Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm sits on display through a screw-down sapphire caseback, while a second sapphire crystal is fitted to the opposite side of the watch and protects its sparkling lab-grown diamond dial.