Hands-on The new TAG Heuer Carrera Senna Editions (Heuer 02 and Heuer 02T)

Racing style, bold red "S" logo and an iconic Link steel bracelet on Carrera watches.
ic_query_builder_black_24px | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | 5 minute read

Brand ambassadors aren’t new. Thirty years ago, TAG Heuer already had several of them as part of the brand’s marketing strategy. One was, however, more important than others: a true idol named Ayrton Senna. He is the one that made TAG Heuer cool again, back in the 1980s and 1990s, by wearing an admittedly not-so-discreet, steel and gold, Analogue-Digital TAG Heuer S/el. But at that time, it was the watch to have for F1 fans. Times have changed, Senna is long gone and the design of watches has changed too (for better more than for worse) but TAG still relies on Ayrton’s aura to create F1-oriented timepieces – and the recently introduced Carrera Senna Editions with Heuer 02 and Heuer 02T Tourbillon movements still retain the cool factor of “Magic Senna”.

These new TAG Heuer Carrera Senna Editions aren’t the first modern iterations of Senna-branded pieces. In 2015 already, the brand reintroduced the watches with a large red “S” in Carrera cases and the very cool Link bracelet (with double-S links), but with a more discreet and more modern taste than the original TAG Heuer S/el (Sports and Elegance) worn by Ayrton. However, these were rather standard versions equipped with Calibre 16 (a Valjoux 7750) and a déja-vu design. The new versions that TAG Heuer introduces today are on the other more attractive side when it comes to the mechanics.

For the new TAG Heuer Carrera Senna Editions, the brand unveils two watches. One is based on the Carrera Heuer 02 and the other features the complex (yet quite accessible) Calibre Heuer 02T, a combination of tourbillon and chronograph.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02 Senna Edition

The first watch presented by TAG is based on the modern, ultra-sporty and modular Carrera case. However, there are many differences on this watch, compared to the normal Heuer 02 we’ve shown you earlier this year. Certainly, the central part of the watch feels familiar, with its 43mm steel container, its contrasting black ceramic bezel and its overall technical look.

Yet, if you look closely, you’ll notice that the lugs are entirely different – shorter and much more rounded than what you’ll find on other Carrera watches. Also, in order to be consistent with the Senna theme, the bracelet relies on the iconic double-S shape or the so-called Link bracelet. Soft, ultra-comfortable, it drastically changes the style of the watch.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02 Senna Edition retains the style of other modern Carreras when it comes to its openworked, technical-looking dial. On this edition, the main plate is hollowed with a graphic pattern and plated in dark grey – another difference with the normal Heuer 02, which features a different pattern for the base plate. Large applied Arabic numerals, black sub-counters, bold hands and multiple red accents complete this racing-inspired watch.

The other important update concerns the movement, as this watch is equipped with the Calibre Heuer 02. In the coming months, this movement will replace the Calibre Heuer 01 (itself based on the Seiko-derived calibre 1887, with its 6-9-12 layout). The 02 is entirely manufactured in-house by TAG Heuer and benefits from its integrated architecture with column-wheel, vertical clutch, 75-hour power reserve and a visually more balanced 3-6-9 layout. The movement is visible through the sapphire caseback with a large, red Senna logo transferred.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02 Senna Edition is now available at retailers and on tagheuer.com, at a price of CHF 5,800.

Specs: 43mm diameter – brushed steel case, water-resistant to 100m – black ceramic bezel – Calibre Heuer 02, integrated chronograph, 4Hz frequency, 75h power reserve – sapphire crystal front and back – stainless steel Link bracelet – ref. CBG2013.BA0657

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon Senna Edition

The second watch is based on TAG Heuer’s flagship watch, the tourbillon/chronograph/chronometer Heuer 02T – one of the most accessible tourbillon watch available on the market, but not the least interesting either. Here, changes compared to other editions of the Carrera Heuer 02T are more limited, with differences only in the materials and colours. The metallic Link bracelet isn’t part of this watch.

Once again, the 45mm angular Carrera case is deployed but made of black-coated sandblasted steel, with a matte black ceramic bezel. It is delivered on a black rubber strap with black leather inserts and red stitchings. The main differences are to be seen on the dial, with the Senna S logo applied in the 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, a Senna logo on the bezel and several red accents all over the watch.

Inside the case is a complex movement, the Heuer 02T. As indicated by its name, it is based on the 02 movement seen on the other Senna edition, but regulated by a tourbillon – visible on the dial side, in place of the small seconds sub-dial. A rarity in its genre, this movement isn’t only accessible but it is the only COSC-certified tourbillon-chronograph now on the market. Quite remarkable for a watch priced around 20K… Certainly, the finishing remains industrial but accuracy is on par.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon Senna Edition is now available at selected retailers and priced at CHF 20,400. More details on tagheuer.com.

Specs: 45mm diameter – black-coated sandblasted steel case, water-resistant to 100m – matte black ceramic bezel – Calibre Heuer 02T, integrated tourbillon-chronograph, chronometer certified, 4Hz frequency, 65h power reserve – sapphire crystal front and back – rubber/leather strap with folding clasp – ref. CAR5A91.FT6162

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