TAG Heuer is an unstoppable machine, anticipating and satisfying the insatiable demand for the new Carreras. We are in for a real treat for the legendary chronograph’s 60th anniversary, with two new modern versions of the timeless classic, racing-inspired timepiece initially designed by Jack Heuer. The new Carrera chronographs were inspired by the so-called glassbox design, with reference to the domed hesalite crystals featured on the early Carrera models in the 1960s, and they come with an updated movement. The new watches have been created to include exciting details for efficient functioning and contemporary aesthetics; let’s spend some time appreciating these new Carrera Chronograph Glassbox.
The two new timepieces are presented in a 39mm diameter brushed and polished stainless steel case, which has been improved for comfort and ergonomics in line with current expectations and quality criteria. The chronograph push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock have taken a new form, designed to be user-friendlier and to serve their function better. These pushers are common to 42mm TAG Heuer models but have just been used within the 39mm series.
What provided these new references with a nickname is the shaped sapphire crystal. TAG Heuer engineered this style to copy the look of the plastic crystals used to produce Heuer Carreras in the 1960s and 1970s and released several chronographs to feature this geometry, as limited and non-limited editions over the last years. The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronographs have crystals with a curve that flows over the dial edge and into the case. This outer dial edge is where the tachymeter scale is printed.
This is also the first time in recent years that a 39mm watch gets a tachymeter printed on the dial – the Fragment collaboration springs to mind, but it had a different execution. Remember, the first Carrera chronograph, released in 1963 in a 36mm case, lacked the tachymeter. The minutes’ track was printed on the crystal’s tension ring to keep the dial clean and legible. With their 39mm diameter, the new Carreras preserve the original concept and offer a basic chronograph dial layout (with a twist) while providing high-performance character by adding the tachymetric scale – legible from many angles thanks to the shaped crystal that tops the dial. The flange with the minute track is curved in keeping with the overall aesthetic, and the rhodium-plated facetted hour indices follow form.
TAG Heuer launches the new Carrera Chronograph Glassbox models with a signature blue dial and a date window at 6 o’clock, and with a black and silver reverse panda dial with a date aperture at 12 o’clock, like in a vintage Heuer Dato 12 reference 3147. The blue edition is blue all over, including the azurage minute chronograph counter at 3, permanent second indicator at 6 and hour chronograph counter at 9 o’clock. With rhodium-plated hands (hours, minutes, central seconds) and indices on the blue surface, the only slightly contrasting element is the white date disc, balanced by a double index at noon unless the light catches the facets of the indices and hands – then you read the time in a fraction of a second, they shine ever so bright. This Carrera Chronograph is offered on a blue calfskin strap.
The reverse panda version has a more aggressive presentation for the choice of colours and a slightly different dial design. The chronograph counter and the small seconds azurage sub-dials all are recessed, and their presence is much more pronounced. The disc for the date indication at 12 is also white, with the numerals printed in black – it would have been great to have them done in collectors’ favourite red, as in Dato 12 models. As for the rest, this is another fine re-interpretation of the original Carrera… or several of the earlier Heuer Carrera references. This new Carrera Chronograph is offered on a perforated black calfskin strap.
Both new versions of the Carrera Chronograph are equipped with calibre TH20-00, an updated Heuer 02 movement. This new-generation automatic calibre offers a bi-directional winding, contrary to the anti-clockwise only charging of the mainspring provided by earlier versions. This is a significant development as it affects accuracy, as the power reserve influences precision. The new system allows for faster winding, so the power levels are kept high to ensure an even energy flow. When fully wound, the TH20-00 provides the watch with up to 80 hours of function. The watch is water resistant to 100m, which is more than enough. The calibre TH20-00 was treated to a fine finish, and the new calibre is yours to observe through the screw-down sapphire crystal caseback.
The year has only begun, so the party will continue, with more to expect from the celebrated brand. The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox references will be available starting April 2023 as non-limited editions, and the price is set at EUR 6,500 (incl. taxes). With both watches designed respectfully of the vintage Carreras and original concepts, they are destined to win hearts and find a way to many wrists.
For more information, please visit www.tagheuer.com.