TAG Heuer’s 160th-anniversary festivities are still in full swing, and the iconic Carrera collection is regaled with four new ‘classic’ chronographs that mix design cues of the historic models with a dash of modern flair. Recently, we reviewed the new sporty 44mm Carrera chronographs marking the 2020 roadmap for this legendary model. Today the brand proposes another batch of Carrera chronographs but with a decidedly more refined, luxurious temperament. Let’s take a look at the 2020 TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 42mm Calibre Heuer 02.
The story behind Jack Heuer’s 1963 Carrera chronograph forms part of watchmaking lore. With its name inspired by the perilous Carrera Panamericana race, the powerful angular lugs, bi-compax layout and clean, legible design became the epitome of the sports watch for professional drivers and sports car enthusiasts. If you would like to find out all about the Carrera, don’t miss our video and article tracing its evolution. As mentioned, this year is the brand’s 160th anniversary, and TAG has really gone to town with the Carrera revisiting it in vintage attire, with the Silver Edition and the Montreal, as well as a contemporary version of the chronograph in 44mm.
Upping the Elegance factor
Looking through the current offering of Carrera watches on the webpage, it’s striking to see that there are no models with a 42mm diameter. So perhaps the first most obvious difference between this new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph collection and other Carrera chronographs is its 42mm case size. Faithful to Jack Heuer’s 1963 chronograph, there is no tachymetre scale on the bezel, a detail that raises the elegant factor noticeably. The highly polished bezel and top surfaces of the case are in line with the more refined spirit of the watch. The piston-style pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock for the chronograph, the large crown and angular lugs – all polished – also evoke the early Carrera models as does the angled flange with the minutes track.
Available in four dial colours – opaline black, sunray-brushed blue, anthracite and silver with rose gold-plated indices and hands – the horizontal layout of the two chronograph sub-dials are also reminiscent of the bi-compax layout of the 1963 Carrera (the first Carrera had a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and a 45-min elapsed time sub-dial at 3 o’clock). Instead of housing the small seconds in a prominent third sub-dial (altering the configuration from a bi-compax layout to a tri-compax layout) this indicator, with just two horizontal markings at 3 and 9 and hand, is expressed with extreme subtlety and even houses the discreet date window just above the 6 o’clock marker.
Design choices like minimising the amount of lume on the dial also consolidate the elegance of the watch, and you’ll notice that there is only lume on the hour and minute hands, not on the applied indices.
The performance-driven Heuer 02, TAG Heuer’s in-house 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, a combination that ensures a smooth and accurate run of the chronograph. Beating at a 4Hz frequency, 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. The movement can be seen through the sapphire glass with its openworked rose gold-coloured rotor.
The 2020 TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 42mm with black and blue dials come on a streamlined stainless steel bracelet with rounded links for a more fluid appearance and a clasp with double safety push-buttons. The models with silver and anthracite dials are paired with a classic brown alligator strap, making them slightly dressier than the bracelet versions.
The watches will be priced at CHF 5,200, except the silver dial model which will be priced at CHF 5,400. All the models will be available as of today.
For more information, please visit tagheuer.com.