The original Mikrograph was introduced in early 2011 and was the first wrist chronograph to measure accurately down to 1/100th of a second. The central hands spins cleanly around the dial once per second and is astounding to watch. The Avant Garde is a limited edition update to the Mikrograph with a combination black titanium and rose gold case, giving the fake watch an updated look and a lower price. We were able to go hands-on with one of only fifty pieces at the TAG Heuer boutique in New York City and here are our thoughts.
Just looking at the Avant Garde, you'll notice it has a much sportier feel than the original Mikrograph. The main section of the case is black titanium, accented by architectural rose gold lugs and pushers. This makes the hefty 43mm case much lighter than it looks and the finishing all around is really nice. The brushed and polished surfaces offer just enough contrast while staying sleek and the finishing on the lugs is incredible. It's definitely a big fake watch but it wears well on the wrist and isn't a piece you'd have to leave in your safe all the time.
The outer ring of the dial is black with white applied numerals and the inner section of the dial is a dark brushed grey, again playing with subtle differences in color and texture. The subdials are accented in rose gold and both the runnings seconds hand and the "100 Mikrograph" signature up top are also rose gold, carrying through the color from the lugs and pushers.
The layout of the functions is very intuitive. The large white seconds hand tracks 1/100ths of a second, the register down at 6 o'clock (also containing a date window) tracks the seconds, and the register at 3 o'clock tracks up to 30 minutes. The retrograde indicator at 12 o'clock is for the chronograph function's 90 minute power reserve. You'll notice that the indicator is marked up to 100, not 90, so this is a percentage, not the number of minutes left.
That brings us to the movement itself. It uses two separate trains for the timekeeping and chronograph functions. The main time section of the caliber uses a 4Hz (28,800 bph) balance wheel driven by a barrel that provides 42 hours of power reserve. It's COSC certified, but otherwise this part is pretty standard stuff. What's crazy here is the chronograph train. This is powered by a barrel that offers 90 minutes of power to the 50Hz (360,00) balance. Yes, 50Hz. This is how the large chronograph hand can move 100 times per second. If you fake watch the hand in slow motion, you'll see that it actually "ticks" for each 1/100th of a second; this is not achieved through the trick of just placing additional markings on the dial. The movement has been blackened and still features large Cotes de Geneve decoration.
The original Mikrograph was a limited edition of 150 pieces and the Avant Garde is limited to only 50 pieces, available exclusively through TAG Heuer boutiques. Because of the titanium construction, the price is $39,000, substantially less than the $50,000 price tag placed on the all gold original.
You can learn more about the TAG Heuer Mikrograph here.Tag-heuer Introducing The Subdelta Ace 2017 LTD 8846