Editor’s note: The closer we have come to this new collection by TAG Heuer, the more details we have noticed and begun to appreciate. For example, the very unusual radially brushed finishing of the lush dials. See in the pics below. Yet more proof that big-box brands are still very aware of the power of nuance, detail and delight.
In true style, TAG Heuer are celebrating a very big birthday this year. The brand is celebrating its 160th anniversary and, as you can see here, have been marking the occasion properly with a number of exciting new watches. One of the most exciting releases from the brand is not an individual watch, however, but the new TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph collection that we first covered right here.
Sitting within one of the brand’s most important families, the Carrera, this latest collection of four new watches is an enthusiastic new take on a design that has seen tremendous success over the decades. Both the case and dial have been redesigned to offer a more modern and sporty-feeling watch on your wrist, without losing any of the critical design DNA that is found within the Carrera collection. We’ve recently had the opportunity to spend some time with the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph collection, and got to see exactly what has been packed into this new range of timepieces.
When you consider some of the most well-known case designs in the history of watchmaking, the case of the TAG Heuer Carrera family must be mentioned. The razor-sharp case and lug lines, the blend of brushed and polished finishings and the ergonomic shape all immediately come to mind. In this latest expression of the Carrera case, we have a substantial diameter, at 44mm across, and a case height that measures almost 15.3mm tall. While certainly not petite, vintage-inspired watches, don’t let the on-paper specs intimidate. The lugs have been shortened, and are downwardly angled to follow the contour of your wrist, which makes for a watch that feels present, but not overbearing. Combine that with the thoughtful integration of the bracelet and the case, and you have a comfortable new piece in your collection.
As you would expect, the case lines are remarkably sharp, and flow uninterrupted into those eye-catching lugs. The sides of the case and lugs are mirror polished, while the flat upper surfaces have been vertically brushed, adding to the impression of integration between the case and the bracelet, which has been finished in the same way. The chronograph pushers and crown are ergonomically shaped to be comfortable against the back of your hand, while also being articulately pronounced for ease of use. The pentagon-shaped TAG Heuer symbol can also be found on the crown as a nice additional detail.
Finishing off each of the cases is a fixed ceramic tachymeter bezel, apart from the reference with the green dial, which has the same bezel executed in stainless steel. The ceramic bezels also match the dials of their respective watches in terms of colour, with blue and black being self-explanatory, and the reference with rose gold highlights having its bezel markings in the same rose gold tone. All four of the different bezels add something to the overall impression of each reference, and as you would expect from TAG Heuer, the bezel details are well executed.
While the updated case of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph collection is an exciting change, most of the real visual impact lives in the dials of these four new references. Across the quartet we have green, blue and black dials with steel hour markers and hands, as well as a more luxe option that features a black dial with solid rose gold details that include the crown and pushers.
All of the dials feature three sub-dials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, as well as a date window integrated into the running seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock tracks 30-minute elapsed chronograph time, while its sibling in the 9 o’clock position is a 12-hour elapsed chronograph time. Both of these chronograph sub-dials feature a concentric circle pattern that adds both depth and texture to the dial.
Another interesting note about these dials is the use of a radially brushed finishing, rather than the typical sunburst finishing that is more traditionally seen. While it strays a little from the halls of Swiss haute horology, the radially brushed pattern emphasises the rest of the circles within the dial, and serves to focus your eyes on the dial in an unexpectedly successful way. The limited amount of dial text also makes it easier to focus on, with the dial being almost bare apart from the TAG Heuer logo, a mention of the Carrera family and a nod to the movement housed within the watches.
For this collection, TAG Heuer have opted for the in-house Heuer 02 movement, which was first offered in 2017. It is a proven workhorse caliber for the brand, with integrated chronograph architecture, as well as a column wheel and a vertical clutch, making it a more than sensible choice for this new collection. Ticking away at 4Hz, the Heuer 02 movement also boasts a properly 21st century power reserve, offering up to 80 hours between outings.
The movement can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback, and is made even more visible thanks to the partially skeletonised dark grey automatic winding rotor. The colour of the rotor gives good contrast against the rest of the movement, which has been nicely finished with Geneva striping.
The bracelets and leather strap
As previously mentioned, the bracelets feature the same vertically brushed finishing as the case and lugs, making for a coherent and genuinely integrated look. The bracelet links are H-shaped, allowing for another canvas to express both brushed and polished finishings, and make for an attractive finished product. All of the bracelets are secured with double-button folding clasps.
The rose gold and steel reference is the only member of the four-piece collection that doesn’t come on a steel bracelet, and instead arrives on a black alligator leather strap. It’s a welcome switch-up that elevates the two-tone piece to a more formal place, delivering a definite sense of refinement to the watch.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph collection is an equally well thought out and executed expression of a core component of the brand’s identity. The changes to the case and dial have revitalised the collection, making for a refreshed and youthful interpretation of the Carrera.
All considered, it is a step that progresses the design language, without losing any of the Carrera elements that have gained such an impressive enthusiast following over the years.
Additionally, the decision to equip them with the new Heuer 02 caliber cements their place in the present, making for a thoroughly contemporary watch that should be on the list of anyone looking to add a chronograph to their collection.
TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph collection price and availability:
The TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph in steel with blue, green or black dial, and on bracelet, are all AUD$8300, and are currently available.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph in steel and rose gold with black dial, on alligator strap, is AUD$9500, and is currently available.
For more details, visit TAG Heuer right here.
Made in partnership with TAG Heuer. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.