TAG Heuer celebrates Lunar New Year with the Carrera Chronograph Year of the DragonFergus Nash
- The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Dragon is their fourth special edition celebrating Lunar New Year.
- Its red subdials, strap, and dragon character are both powerful and subtle enough to keep the watch versatile.
- The 42mm case remains wearable with a 48.6mm lug-to-lug length.
TAG Heuer’s celebration of the Lunar New Year has become a topic of anticipation, having produced some breathtaking special editions in past years. Beginning in 2020 with an Autavia Year of the Rat, skipping to a Carrera Automatic Year of the Tiger in 2022, and followed up with a 44mm Carrera Chronograph for Year of the Rabbit in 2023, the animal print dials and splashes of red make for exciting releases. February 2024 will bring in the Year of the Dragon, which is especially significant as the only mythological creature in the Lunar zodiac. The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Dragon releases comes in steel or rose gold, trading in animal print for sophistication and a focus on colour.
If you have specific cause to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with a watch purchase, this special edition from TAG Heuer is going to be a great option. Even with the 18k rose gold model being so decadent in warm tones and burgundy subdials, it’s versatile enough to be worn all-year round, and indeed in subsequent, non-dragon years. From the dial side, the only clue that it’s not just a great colour combination is the Chinese character for dragon, printed in a calligraphic style. The rear of the watch is a bit more explicit, with a huge, engraved dragon encircling the sapphire display window. The version in stainless steel is even easier to wear on a day-to-day basis, with the red subdials and alligator strap popping off the sunburst silver dial.
This edition of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph has its roots in the 1960s original, while still being adapted to contemporary tastes with the large case. The baton indices and hands keep things clean and legible, while the needle-like seconds hands embeds a sportiness with racing heritage. The case is 42mm in diameter and 14.33mm thick, which is large but manageable thanks to the 48.6mm lug-to-lug length. The finishing emphasises the balance between refined and casual, with polished surfaces and sharply-angled bevels. Another happy specification is the 100-metre water resistance, meaning you could take this watch swimming if you change out the leather strap.
Powering the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Dragon watches is the Heuer 02, introduced in 2016 as an in-house movement. It boasts column-wheel actuation for satisfying pusher feel, an 80-hour power reserve, and a smooth 4Hz beat rate. The two-register subdial layout is symmetrically pleasing with minutes counted at 3 o’clock and hours at 9 o’clock, plus running seconds and a small date display at 6. Overall, it’s a much more balanced effect than something like a 7750-based movement.
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Dragon pricing and availability
Although the Year of the Dragon isn’t until 2024, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Year of the Dragon will be available from the TAG Heuer online store and boutiques from November 2023. Price: A$9,100, CHF 6,150 (Steel edition), A$32,600, CHF 22,000 (Gold edition)
|Model||Carrera Chronograph The Year of The Dragon|
|Case Dimensions||42mm (D) x 14.33mm (T) x 48.6mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel or 18k rose gold|
|Water Resistance||100 metres|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire front and back|
|Strap||Red alligator leather, case-matching hardware|
|Movement||Heuer 02, automatic, column wheel chronograph|
|Power Reserve||80 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph|
|Price||A$9,100, CHF 6,150 (Steel edition)
A$32,600, CHF 22,000 (Gold edition)