HANDS-ON: The TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands Collection delivers accessible style in a range of sizes

HANDS-ON: The TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands Collection delivers accessible style in a range of sizes

Zach Blass

More than 60 years ago, Jack Heuer was inspired to create a timepiece with clean lines and proportions – a watch that leveraged a sense of modernity and purity. He wanted to create a harmonious chronograph watch that conveyed all the necessary information that drivers would love, but in an uncluttered manner that would allow anyone to quickly discern the time even during the heat of a race. In 1962, Jack Heuer heard about the famous Carrera Panamericana car race, one of the most dangerous in the world. The Spanish word Carrera, which means road, race, career or course, immediately caught his attention. It would be the perfect name for a new timepiece. Decades later TAG Heuer would further hone in on the concept of simplicity, stripping the Carrera to the essentials while maintaining the clean lines and aesthetic the collection built its name upon with the Carrera Three Hands introduced in the early 2000’s. Today, TAG Heuer revisits the collection – ushering in the next generation of three handers with the new Carrera Three Hands Day Date 41, Carrera Three Hands Date 39, and Carrera Calibre 9.

As a flagship icon, TAG has maintained the winning formula the collection has excelled with – clean stainless-steel cases with sharp lines and faceted lugs. The front facing elements of the case, the bezel and lug hoods, are all mirror polished, but a satin brush is introduced in the caseband perimeter (of the 39mm and 41mm references) to create light play through mixed finishes. While perhaps an elegant and dressy watch on the surface, it maintains its sports heritage with a 100 metre depth rating suitable for today’s active lifestyles.

Carerra Three Hands Day Date 41, Date 39

The Carrera Day Date 41 and Date 39 are both available with the same dial colours and finishes: two black sunray dials, one with rhodium-plated hands and applied accents and one with 5N rose-gold plated hands and applied accents. You also have a blue sunray and silver sunray dials to choose from as well if you would prefer a brighter aesthetic to your timepiece.

Each of the dials have bold applied hour indices and applied TAG Heuer logos, with a stepped outer minutes track taking the flange real estate to create a clean aesthetic and provide the utmost legibility.

Where they differ is through their date complication. The Carrera Day Date 41 has day and date apertures at 3’, while the Carrera Date 39 has a date aperture at the symmetrical 6’ position. Both the Day Date 41 and Date 39 use the TAG Heuer calibre 5, their manufacture take on the tried-and-true ETA 2824-2 movement, with 38 hours of power reserve. And dial purists will be glad to know that calibre 5 is no longer printed on the dial in this collection update, strictly the word automatic – dropping the 6’ dial text from two lines to a more acceptable one.

Carrera Three Hands Calibre 9

While the Carrera Calibre 9 is at least 10 millimetres smaller than the aforementioned duo at 29mm in diameter, it is still every bit as much watch. It shares the same case lines, profile, and even 100 metre depth rating found on its larger siblings.

Effectively you will see all the elements of the Date 39 on its dial, but limited to two dial colours: blue sunburst or white mother of pearl each with or without diamond hour indices. The white mother of pearl dial is absolutely eye-catching, and it really distinguishes itself among the rest of the Three Hands Collection. Perhaps down the line the dial style will be introduced in the larger sizes, for those who really want to peacock on the wrist. By using the caliber 9 inside the watch, based on the Sellita SW1000-1, it actually boasts a longer power reserve of 40 hours.

The bracelet (and strap)

Carrera Three Hands

All of the watches, except for the silver dial Day Date 41 found on a brown leather strap, are offered on TAG’s H-Link stainless-steel bracelet with twin push folding clasp. Look closely and you’ll notice the satin-brushed link pieces result in an H Shape, broken up with alternating polished central links to create the H aesthetic. It is a familiar combination of mixed finishes, but presented in a distinct manner tied to the TAG Heuer brand – making it both familiar yet unique.

Carrera Three Hands

Overall, this collection presents entry-level essentials, with buyers having a range of aesthetics and complications to choose from. Whether your first luxury watch, or an addition to a growing collection, this Carrera Collection is definitely an approachable point of immersion in Carrera heritage.

TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands Collection pricing and availability:

The TAG Heuer Three Hands Collection is available for purchase now from $3950 AUD