TAG Heuer was born in Saint-Imier, Switzerland way back in 1860. In the subsequent 160 years the company has morphed and evolved several times: from pocket watches to dashboard instruments to wristwatches. In its more recent living history, TAG Heuer has been primarily defined by one significant model: the Carrera.
So it makes sense that to celebrate the big 1-6-0, TAG Heuer does so with a limited edition of this model, the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition. Now, this watch has been made very much with the fans in mind. At first blush, this is not the same brand that lives up to its avant-garde mantra with ambassadors like Alec Monopoly and watches like the Connected. This watch is a pure historical re-creation. Only, it’s not. Underneath that purist facade beats a much more modern beast.
The Carrera, for those of you needing a recap, was dreamed up in 1962 by Jack Heuer, who named his new chronograph after the dangerous Carrera Panamericana. Carrera is a name evocative of romance, danger and adventure, so it’s no great surprise that it stuck. The design of this watch harks back to the earliest days (and references) of the Carrera, a 1964 model with a monochrome silver dial known as ‘2447S’ by those fluent in reference. It’s a surprisingly dressy treatment for a watch that would go on to become one of the all-time great sports timers, but, looking at this modern re-creation, there’s no denying the pure charm and charisma this watch exudes.
The case is 39mm of polished steel, thicker than the original (more on that in a minute), but otherwise a fitting tribute. The pushers, the domed bezel and those classic Carrera lug lines are all in evidence. And on the dial – more heritage goodness. The silver sunray finish is radiant, the recessed registers are neatly done, and the faceted hands and hour markers with delicate beige Super-LumiNova lume plots are pitch-perfect, as is the minimal, period-correct dial text.
But it’s on the back where the most significant change is present. Gone is the Valjoux-based movement, replaced with TAG Heuer’s new powerhouse chrono, the Heuer 02. And while it adds a few millimetres to the profile, the payoff is worth it. Modern column-wheel construction, a 4hz beat rate and 80 hours of power reserve fast-forward this piece of ’60s design into the 21st century. It’s here where that spirit of avant-garde is on display. Literally, as the open-worked rotor proudly proclaims.
Calibre Heuer 02 Movement. Column-wheel chronograph beating at 4Hz with 80 hours of power reserve
Case and Dial
Steel, 39mm, Silver sunray, brushed
Black alligator with folding clasp
*Limited to 1860 pieces