1:1 Clone TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph Watches

The two Carrera family watches featured in this article are among the priciest timepieces that replica TAG Heuer has ever produced. These two “Plasma Diamant” watches are undoubtedly unusual and expensive, but they are also incredibly rare and fascinating examples of modern luxury watches. This journey began in 2022 when the brand released the replica TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph (Ref. XCBN5A90.FC8315). This model took the 44mm wide Carrera Chronograph case concept and transformed the traditional sports watch style into something far more decorative and modern. The large asymmetrically set baguette-cut diamonds in the matte black case, the machined diamond crown, the baguette-cut diamond hour markers, and the diamond texture face are all designed to catch the viewer’s eye. The watch features a traditional polished black ceramic tachymeter-style bezel and a simple black strap. It was priced at a staggering 350,000 Swiss Francs.

In 2023, Fake TAG Heuer took this concept even further with the introduction of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant Garde (Ref. CNBN5A91.BZ0000). This watch retained the same movement and 44mm wide black aluminum case, but added a black bezel and bracelet set with large lab-grown diamonds for a bolder, more decorative effect. The price reached CHF 500,000, and we had the chance to review this upgraded version hands-on. Building on that review, I offer my perspective on these watches and how people might perceive them.

In 2019, replica TAG Heuer introduced a new mainspring technology called Isograph, intended to be a carbon-based alternative to silicon mainsprings in watches, replacing the more traditional metal mainsprings. Non-metallic hairsprings are resistant to magnetism and have advantages such as lower friction. The Isograph hairsprings were produced in-house by LVMH and were intended for the lower-priced Autavia collection of TAG Heuer timepieces. However, the technology proved difficult to mass-produce, and the idea of using them in mainstream TAG Heuer watches was shelved. The Isograph name has seemingly been changed to Nanograph, and TAG Heuer still uses the technology for higher-end watches where more money can be spent on the movement. Both watches feature what TAG Heuer refers to as “Carbon Tourbillons,” essentially the Heuer 02-T automatic chronograph movement with an Isograph/Nanograph hairspring.

The Heuer 02 and 02T automatic chronograph movements are impressive, even if they aren’t exactly high horology. (If you are looking for that in a modern high-end TAG Heuer, the 2024 Monaco Split Second Chronograph might be a better option.) The Heuer 02-T is a durable and accurate chronograph movement fitted with a tourbillon. It operates at 4Hz with 65 hours of power reserve and is a COSC-certified Chronometer. Although this movement was originally designed for entry-level Swiss Made tourbillon watches, it has proven to be reliable and has been enhanced with additional decoration and carbon hairsprings for these Carrera Chronograph Plasma Nanograph Tourbillon watches.

These two models elevate their design with lab-grown crystals, sourced through a collaboration between TAG Heuer and Capsoul. Similar to the popularity of synthetic sapphire crystal, many in the watch industry see a bright future for creative uses of lab-grown diamonds. These uses are not only for decorative purposes but also for other applications where diamond as a material could be beneficial and playful. For example, the crowns of these watches begin as large grown diamonds and are then machined into the shape of a crown. This complicated process has led TAG Heuer to introduce these crowns (in other colors as well) to some of its other “Plasma” watches in both pink and yellow.

The original model had an aluminum case with a more traditional black ceramic chronograph bezel, but the new D’Avant Garde model abandons subtlety and restraint. The new model uses aluminum for the entire construction: case, bezel, and bracelet. This material allows for setting the entire watch with diamonds, a process completed by Geneva-based specialist Salanitro, with the bracelet featuring a waterfall effect as the frequency of diamonds diminishes around the wrist. While TAG Heuer outsourced most of the diamond work, it chose to cut and mount the crown diamond in-house.

Both the replica TAG Heuer Carrera Tourbillon Nanograph Plasma Diamant D’Avant Garde and the replica TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph are incredible timepieces. They may not be traditionally beautiful, but they are fun, spirited, and eye-catching. For me, the most surprising aspect is the price, especially considering how many parts of these watches were never intended to be top-tier. The Nanograph technology, lab-grown diamonds, and the Heuer 02T movement are all meant to offer excellent value. While these watches require a lot of time to make and develop, I wonder if TAG Heuer missed part of the story when trying to reconcile all of these concepts with the enthusiasts who have been following the brand’s developments over the past decade.

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