Editor’s note: The longer I spend around watches, the less I find myself in bells and whistles (Patek alarms and Jaquet Droz excepted). In fact, I find myself more and more drawn to simple, pure designs that just work. The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Day-Date is a perfect example of this. On the surface there’s nothing flashy or fancy about this watch. But it’s precisely this steadfast design and supreme versatility that makes this watch such a winner …
It’s easy to think of the Carrera as purely a collection of chronographs, as that complication is where its roots and, indeed, heart lies. But for a long time the TAG Heuer Carrera has been about more than just sports timers. It’s evolved into something more, a shorthand for sports pedigree and precision. This is the spirit with which the Carrera Calibre 5 Day-Date shines.
The Carrera look is still there, of course, notably in the 41mm steel case, with those proud lugs and polished bezel. But the heritage is there in the dial — the simple baton markers and matchstick hands aren’t too far off those of the earliest Carreras. What’s new, though, is the day-date apertures: large, legible and neatly framed. Honestly, I really like this sort of execution of dates. They cop a lot of flak when they’re done in a haphazard, last-minute manner, but that is most definitely not the situation here, where the supremely practical calendar info is king, standing out from the matt black dial in a good way.
This Carrera is a classical beauty, and the day-date doesn’t detract in the slightest. It’s also a watch built for the everyday. It feels comfortable and solid on the wrist, is handsome yet unobtrusive. It’s a perfect companion for daily life. It’s a watch with some great, storied names on the dial, powered by a reliable engine (the Calibre 5 is TAG Heuer’s in-house name for the 2824 or its Sellita version) and finished to a solid degree, with its brushed flanks and polished front.
From all accounts, this is a popular model for TAG Heuer, a brand that has smartly positioned itself at the more accessible end of the Swiss watchmaking spectrum, and, really, even though it might lack some of the pizzazz and excitement that people who ‘follow’ watches have come to expect, it’s easy to see why. The Carrera Calibre 5 Day-Date is a good-looking unit.
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Day-Date Australian pricing
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Day-Date, steel on bracelet, $3550