Funky colours and subtle upgrades for the TAG Heuer Carrera Date Funky colours and subtle upgrades for the TAG Heuer Carrera Date

Funky colours and subtle upgrades for the TAG Heuer Carrera Date

Borna Bošnjak

Colourful, time-only watches have become the new hot thing, as their mechanical simplicity offers a great canvas for some funky dial tones. The latest in line is a quartet of TAG Heuer Carrera Date models, sized at a unisex-friendly 36mm diameter and with some subtle changes that make for a hugely improved on-wrist feel over its Three Hands collection predecessor. There’s an upgrade in the movement department too, with the collection now sporting the ETA 2892-based Calibre 7.

The dials

Starting with the most subtle of the new colours, the sunburst silver is paired with golden ingot indices, hands and appliques for a warm touch. Though simple and with basically no complication bar a symmetrically positioned date window at 6 o’clock, there’s plenty of depth here, owing to the faceted nature of the indices, applied TAG Heuer shield and steep rehaut, separated from the dial by a reflective ring for even more visual interest.

For all the subtlety of the silver, my pick of the bunch is the snailed sunburst dial of the pink model. Save for some salmon or copper variants, it’s actually really rare that we see a tastefully executed hot pink dial – I can count the number of watches to have done so on one hand. Another touch I appreciate is the backdrop of the applied logo, which corresponds to the dial colour – in this case it’s a pink backdrop with silver letters printed on.

The final two colours tone it back down a little, with a pastel sunburst green and deep royal blue – both with gold dial accents. Both are safe choices for those wanting something a little more playful than silver, but don’t want to go all out with pink – a blue dial is timeless, with green making a case for itself in the last few years too.

The case

Most of the focus will be on the new, bold dial colours, but the more significant change, and one that could easily be overlooked, is the improvement in case design. The 36mm case is an amazing sweet spot for many wrists, as is the 10mm thickness, as we see the case size trend continuously decrease once again. The lug-to-lug is an ultra-compact 41.6mm, though, thankfully, TAG Heuer doesn’t skip out on those sharp, faceted lugs that Carrera fans have come to know and love.

Both the thickness and lug-to-lug measurements have been reduced by about 2mm when compared to the Carrera Date’s predecessor, and though that may not seem as much, is a significant change on-wrist. For my relatively small 6.15in (15.5cm) wrist, it’s perfectly poised as an everyday all-rounder, with the slight curve to the lugs improving comfort even further. Though its origins are clearly sporty, this time-only Carrera takes on a number of polished facets for some extra shine to its stainless-steel case.

The bracelet

While I expected the Carrera Date to fit well, I did not expect to like the H-link stainless steel bracelet as much as I did. The rounded surfaces of the larger links make it very comfortable, while the polished facets of the intermittent links give an extra touch of bling, if you like that sort of thing. The clasp closes with a reassuring snap while not taking up too much vertical space, though that does mean it sacrifices some flexibility, with no micro-adjust to speak of, though TAG Heuer does include some half links for finer adjustment.

The movement

The aforementioned reduced thickness is largely thanks to the new movement, which is TAG Heuer’s Calibre 7. Improving over the ETA 2824-based Calibre 5 in its predecessor, it’s thinner, better-decorated and with a higher power reserve, and its ETA 2892/Sellita SW300 base makes a much more compelling argument in the value side of things, too. Spec-wise, it beats at a rate of 28,800 vph and has a 56-hour power reserve, which is an improvement over previous executions of the Calibre 7 as well.

The verdict

Upon release, I was happy to see TAG Heuer making strides with the time-only Carrera side of things, not taking it too seriously as is evident with these colours. Spending some time with the pink model (my pick of the bunch for its snailed dial) on the wrist however, and I was even more pleasantly surprised, as its size suited my preferences perfectly, while the build quality was downright impressive. I’m happy to see the brand making technical improvements too, opting for an improved movement when compared to previous Carrera time-only models. Considering TAG Heuer’s recent collaborations with Kenissi in the likes of the Superdiver and the brand new bespoke TH31-00 calibre produced by Sellita subsidiary AMT Manufacture, however, I would love to see TAG Heuer moving away from basic ETA/Sellita ébauches for even more of their models.

TAG Heuer Carrera 36mm pricing and availability:

The TAG Heuer Carrera Date 36mm is available now in silver, blue, pink and green. Price: A$4,600

Brand TAG Heuer
Model Carrera Date 36mm
Reference Numbers WBN2310.BA0001
Case Dimensions 36mm (D) x 10mm (T) x 41.6mm (L2L)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Dial Sunburst silver, blue or green
Snailed sunburst pink
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Strap Stainless steel H-link bracelet with folding clasp
Movement Calibre 7, ETA 2892 base
Power Reserve 56 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Availability Now
Price A$4,600