The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Rabbit
An eye-catching 44mm Carrera Chronograph celebrates the Chinese Year of the Rabbit with an interesting textured dial and a red rabbit with golden ears on the caseback.
Perhaps not the first brand you would imagine producing an ‘animal-themed’ watch in time for the Chinese Lunar New Year, TAG Heuer is determined to consolidate its presence in this lucrative niche. Representing the fourth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle, the rabbit will rule the roost of 12 zodiac animals starting on the 22nd of January, 2023, until the advent of the next Chinese New Year in 2024. I imagine that the big question for a brand like TAG Heuer is how to incorporate a bunny, or any other animal, into a virile sports watch. The solution, as you will see, is tastefully discreet yet will speak closely to Chinese consumers. A special edition of the 44mm TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph has been selected to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year (CNY). Since 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, a cute red bunny with golden ears is portrayed on the caseback, visible only to the wearer. The dial also celebrates the Year of the Rabbit with its interesting textured black background and golden and bright red lacquered accents, colours intimately associated with Chinese festivities.
Former CNY editions
Last year, TAG Heuer produced a limited edition of its 41mm Carrera Day-Date to celebrate the Year of the Tiger, and a bronze version of its Autavia watch was created in 2020, honouring the Year of the Rat. So although TAG Heuer has not been on the Chinese New Year scene for as long as other brands, its approach is in keeping with the spirit of the sports watch specialist, and so far, none of the watches has depicted an animal on the dial.
For 2023, TAG has selected a 44mm Carrera Chronograph to represent the Year of the Rabbit, a model launched in 2020 to celebrate the brand’s 160th anniversary. Unlike the limited vintage re-editions of the 1963 Carrera, the Carrera Chronograph represented the new roadmap for the permanent collection and incorporated several unique design elements. Refreshed in a more contemporary light, the 44mm Carrera Chronograph runs on a modern Heuer 02 chronograph movement.
What’s up, Doc?
The external features of the watch are identical to other 44mm TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph watches: a stainless steel case with pump pushers and brushed and polished finishings; a fixed ceramic bezel with a bevelled edge and tachymetre scale; shortened and faceted Carrera lugs for a more comfortable fit; sapphire crystals front and back; an unprotected crown and 100m water-resistance.
The first indication that this is a special edition is found on the custom-designed dial. While respecting the balanced tri-compax layout of the collection, the dial features a uniquely textured black dial enhanced with printed wavy lines. Similar to the stripes etched on the dial of the 2022 Year of the Tiger edition, the texture is designed to evoke the rabbit’s fur.
In Chinese culture, gold and red colours are imbued with symbolism and considered the apogee of good luck. Replicating this auspicious combination, the applied faceted indices and hour and minute hands are plated in rose gold and treated with contrasting red lacquer. As you would expect, though, from a sporty chronograph, the red lacquer is treated with Super-LumiNova and emits a long-lasting green glow. The 30-minute chronograph register at 3 and the 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock have snailed interiors framed by smooth black tracks with white markings. The small seconds, which also houses a date display, is smaller than the chronograph counters and contrasts with a smooth interior.
Designed to be admired by its owner, the sapphire crystal caseback features a printed red rabbit with golden ears and bright black eyes. Set against a background of grey waves, the red and gold colours of the rabbit will appeal to Chinese collectors.
Calibre Heuer 02
The in-house, performance-driven Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement appeared in 2017, boasting a thinner movement and an increased power reserve over the Heuer 01 movement of 2009. A modern calibre with integrated architecture, Heuer 02 has a column wheel and a vertical clutch, ensuring a smooth and accurate chronograph run. Beating at 4Hz, it can store up to 80 hours of power. Another advantage over the Heuer 01 is the more elegant and legible 3-6-9 layout of the counters.
Availability & Price
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Rabbit comes on a black calfskin strap with contrasting beige stitching and a steel folding clasp with push buttons. The watch comes in a special red box, is limited to 500 pieces and retails for EUR 6,750. For more information, please visit tagheuer.com.
Nice design, but how thick and whats the lug to lug?
Cute bunny ! The price ,even more so.
Nice idea but that looks more like a kangaroo than a rabbit on the caseback …
Have this watch and the lumans don’t glow at all in the dark, not even for one second.
Tested the watch lumans by multiple ways by having it out in the day light and by using a flash light and still no glow at all.
Took it back to the boutique I bought it from and of course I can send it back to manufacturer, but guess what not sure how long it will take to get it back.
Live and learn I guess very disappointed in Tag Heaur