Editor’s Note: Last time we looked at the midnight visage of the all-black Heuer-01 it was in the bustle and busyness of Baselworld. Eight months later and the watch is now starting to be seen on Australian wrists. Building off the modular platform of 2015’s bold new Carrera, this model is far more sexy than stealthy. But as David Chalmers explains, the black ceramic case makes the watch even tougher.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Black Ceramic is the first time ever that TAG Heuer has released a fully ceramic case for a watch in their men’s range (they’ve offered a women’s Formula 1 model in ceramic for the last few years), and, to get down to business right away, this new, blacked-out, phantom Carrera looks awesomely mean. And, not only does the glossy black case look great, it also offers real advantages over the more traditional steel or titanium. It is lighter than both, yet also harder. And this hardness has real world advantages, because it makes the case far more scratch resistant.
The downside of ceramics? Well, they can shatter, or crack if dropped from a height or if the case is hit very hard, but this would require a significant amount of force. We’ll assume you know that treating your sparkly new watch in this way is not going to end well, irrespective of what materials it’s made from. The case, bezel, lugs and case middle of the black ceramic Heuer-01 are each made from black ceramic. There are some steel parts used (inner case section, screw-in case back and chronograph pushers), mainly to ensure water resistance.
We’d say that the difference between ceramic and steel cases is not as stark as that between say, steel and titanium, but nevertheless it is a completely different wrist-feel.
Putting aside the details of what the watch is made from, let’s focus on the end result – an all black phantom for your wrist. It might be the same size and design as last years Heuer-01, but it feels completely different on the wrist, mostly because it’s so much lighter in ceramic as opposed to the steel of the original Heuer-01. We’d say that the difference between ceramic and steel cases is not as stark as that between say, steel and titanium, but nevertheless it is a completely different wrist-feel. The 45mm Carrera case is a large one, so balancing out that visual heft with a lightweight case material offers the best of both worlds.
The watch is only available on a rubber strap at this stage, but it’s one that suits the style of the watch very well.
No changes on the inside of the watch – it’s still powered by the Heuer-01, the Calibre that lends its name to the collection, and is a development of TAG Heuer’s own Calibre 1887 movement. This movement has been in production for more than five years now and over the next few years expect to see the movement reserved for the Heuer-01 models in the Carrera range. Stealth lovers beware – the sapphire caseback of the Carrera does reveal a rotor with bright red detailing, perhaps the only splash of colour on the otherwise inky-black Heuer-01.
TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 45mm Black Ceramic Australian pricing
TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 45mm black ceramic, reference CAR2A90.FT6071, $8650.