TAG Heuer’s Carrera Glassbox Chronograph celebrates the 60th anniversary of the CarreraBorna Bošnjak
With the flashiness of the Carrera Plasma and Aquaracer Full Gold, TAG Heuer takes a more subtle approach for their Watches & Wonders release celebrating the Carrera’s 60th anniversary. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox features a new case size, refreshed movement and a gorgeously vintage box-domed crystal that takes us back right to the beginnings of the Carrera. A watch that has featured on wrists of action stars and race car drivers is one of those rare pieces that can claim the moniker of an icon, and this latest Carrera model is looking to celebrate just that. Lucky for us, we got to go hands-on with these new releases, which are not limited in production like some special Carrera models, just before they dropped at Watches & Wonders.
It’s one thing to put a new dial onto an existing piece and call it a special edition – that is not what TAG Heuer have done here, however. While it does retain the familiar aesthetic of the rest of the Carrera line-up, the tachymetre scale has moved underneath the crystal, while the chapter ring/rehaut adopts a bowl-like shape, meeting the tachymetre at a sharp point and giving so much depth to the dial. It is that very crystal that’s the star of the show here, with a pronounced box-domed shape, offering great viewing angles and lovely distortions, much like the plastic crystals of times gone by. The double-ingot rhodium-plated markers also angle inwards, subtly following the curvature of the rehaut, their shiny polish matched by the pencil handset. A touch of texture is added with the azurage finish of the sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock on the blue model, joined by the 6 o’clock register on the black dial.
There’s one other notable difference when it comes to the black dial. As it now features a tri-register layout, a reversed panda dial of the 36mm 60th anniversary Carrera, the date complication moves to the top of the dial, almost entirely replacing the 12 o’clock index. The silver accents are now even more prominent, including the framed date window, with the faintest touch of fauxtina on the hands and small dots beyond the hour markers.
TAG Heuer hasn’t messed much with the case size of the Glassbox, and for good reason. The wide, faceted lugs with sharp points seamlessly flowing into the midcase with protruding pump pushers and an unguarded crown, now with the addition of a tall box sapphire – it’s about as good as it gets. Sized at 39mm, it fits into the gap between the 36mm re-issue cases and the modern 42mm Carrera Chronograph. The dimensions are ideal for what the Carrera Chronograph Glassbox is trying to achieve – vintage cues in a modernised package.
A subtly re-designed detail is in the chrono pushers. They’ve been re-shaped and re-positioned to make them as ergonomic as possible. Their brushed concave surface contrasting against their mainly polished finish, a theme that continues with the rest of the Carrera Chronograph Glassbox. Cased in stainless steel, it combines a mostly polished finish with brushed case sides, while a screw-down caseback ensures a water resistance of 100 metres.
Both watches come paired with tonally stitched calfskin leather straps matched to the colour of the dial. On the blue model, it’s a smooth-finish deep midnight colour, while the black goes even further to its racing roots with a perforated black option. The clasps are polished stainless steel deployants with brushed chamfers and a minimal TAG Heuer insignia on the fold-over.
The Carrera Chronograph Glassbox also brings a re-fresh of the Heuer 02 movement, though it’s not just a difference in finishing. Renamed as the TH20-00, it now honours the naming scheme of the TH30-00 and TH50-00 movements. The column wheel automatic chronograph features an extended 80-hour power reserve and bi-directional winding, while the overall finish changes from black-plated bridges and plates to a brighter, though still monochromatic, colour scheme. A Geneva-striped going train bridge, secured by polished screws, covers most of the movement, though some of the chronograph train is visible, including the polished column wheel at 12 o’clock. A semi-skeletonised rotor has a flat brushed surface with polished surrounds and a spec sheet engraved in the rotor weight. It’s also worth noting that the new improvements also bring about an extended 5-year warranty from TAG Heuer.
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm Glassbox pricing and availability:
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm Glassbox is available from April 2023. Price: A$9,350
|Model||Carrera Chronograph Glassbox 39mm|
|Case Dimensions||39mm (D)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||100 metres|
|Dial||Circularly brushed black or blue|
|Crystal(s)||Box-domed sapphire front and sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Blue or black calfskin with stainless steel clasp|
|Movement||TH20-00, automatic column wheel chronograph|
|Power Reserve||80 hours|
|Functions||Chronograph, hours, minutes, running seconds, date|