TAG Heuer has just announced a matte black ceramic version of their Heuer 01 Chronograph to be released at the same time as the SIHH 2017 show next month in Geneva (although TAG Heuer is not an exhibitor at SIHH).
The 45 mm diameter case, bezel, lugs and case middle are made from black ceramic, whereas steel is utilized for the inner box section of the watch, the screw-down case back, and the pushers – to enable the gaskets (crystal gasket, case back gaskets, push-piece gaskets and crown tube) to function reliably.
In addition to its resistance to scratches, ceramic, is also significantly lighter than steel, and hypoallergenic. The caveat is that ceramic is also more brittle than steel, and so while it is extremely durable in many situations, enough force, such as the impact from dropping it on the ground, or banging it against something, could shatter the components crafted of ceramic.
Specifically, the lugs have a micro-blasted ceramic finish with brushed and sandblasted titanium tips, a micro-blasted black ceramic case middle, a black ceramic bezel with gray tachymeter scale, and a sapphire case-back made from satin-finished steel, coated in satin-finished black titanium carbide.
The chronograph push-buttons are made from steel coated with black titanium carbide. The crown is ridged and is made of rubber and steel, coated with black titanium carbide.
The dial is skeletonized and features black snailed rings for the chronograph hour and minute counters, as well as the small seconds counter.
Indices are satin-finished, hand-applied, and feature luminescent black markers. The upper movement bridge, visible on the dial side has a brushed surface. The hour and minute hands are polished and sandblasted and have black luminescent material. The chronograph and smalls second hands are in polished black.
A domed sapphire crystal protects the dial. Water-resistance is 100 meters. (Ref. CAR2A91.BH0742 – ceramic bracelet, CAR2A91.FT6071 – rubber strap) The approximate retail price is $5000 with a rubber strap and $7000 with a ceramic bracelet.