As most watch lovers will know, in a few days the first major watch event of the year – SIHH 2017 – will open its doors. On the sidelines of this massive event, some other brands (which traditionally exhibit at Baselworld), are also benefiting from the large crowd of journalists, collectors and retailers that the SIHH draws to Geneva each year. One such brand is not what you would call small: TAG Heuer. To kick off the festivities of the Geneva Watch Fair 2017 (Hublot and Zenith, also part of the LVMH group, will exhibit there too), here is the first novelty introduced, the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Full Black Matt Ceramic.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 made its debut two years ago at Baselworld 2015 and has since become the signature chronograph model from the TAG Heuer manufacture – yes, this watch actually features a movement produced directly by TAG. The main idea of this concept watch was to create a modern and bold collection within the Carrera range, which also comprises some vintage-oriented pieces, such as the Calibre 18 Telemeter, as well as some sports-oriented versions, such as the Calibre 16 Senna Special Editions. To differentiate this Heuer 01 sub-collection from the rest of the Carrera models, TAG Heuer went for a new overall design (yet boasting some iconic elements such as the faceted lugs), a new partially skeletonized in-house calibre, and a new modular case with 12 different elements enabling multiple combinations of materials and colours. Some pointed to a resemblance with Hublot in the concept, however, when applied to TAG, the recipe proved to be well received by the market, as this model is now the brand’s best-seller (and in the end, that’s all that counts).
For the Geneva Watch Fair 2017, this bold and masculine chronograph has received the full matt black treatment. This was not done via DLC- or PVD-coating, but rather by crafting the entire case and bracelet from highly scratch resistant ceramic. The case, bezel, lugs and case middle (all the parts exposed to friction) are made from black ceramic. This material, besides being rather light, offers unparalleled scratch-resistance. It is presented here with a micro-blasted finish for a deep black design. Technically, to guarantee perfect water resistance to 100 metres, steel is always present on all the functional parts of the watch (inner box section, screw-down case back, push-pieces) to enable the gaskets to fulfil their function.
Combined with this fully matt black ceramic is a matching treatment on the dial, which features a deep black and dark grey color scheme. Whether you look at the hands, the sub-registers rings, the plates of the movement, the date wheel or even the logo, not a single ounce of color has been applied to the dial, enhancing the deep-black theme. Maybe not the best solution in terms of legibility, but the result is admittedly bold and impressive.
Behind the sapphire caseback of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Full Black Matt Ceramic, we still find the calibre Heuer-01, derived from the 1887, meaning an in-house produced automatic, integrated chronograph movement with column-wheel and oscillating pinion (as a reference to Heuer’s innovations). Plates and bridges are adorned with Geneva stripes, the column-wheel is painted in red (just in case you missed it) and the opened rotor uses the same black scheme as the rest of the watch. This modern movement ticks at 4Hz and boasts 50 hours of power reserve.
This bold and sporty 45mm chronograph, made from ceramic and featuring a in-house automatic chronograph, once again shows that TAG Heuer production costs have been carefully managed. Indeed, the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Full Black Matt Ceramic will be priced at 5,650 Euros, while the standard steel/rubber version comes for 4,750 Euros. Not bad. tagheuer.com.
Technical specifications of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Full Black Matt Ceramic
- Case: 45mm diameter – Modular ceramic (black and micro-blasted) case – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the front and back – 100m water resistant
- Movement: Calibre Heuer-01, in house – automatic – 4Hz frequency – 50 hours power reserve – hours, minutes, small second, chronograph
- Bracelet: H-shaped ceramic bracelet. Folding buckle in steel, coated with black titanium carbide