Chronographs remain immensely popular in the watch world, loved just as much for their technical utility as they are for their aesthetics and heritage. Even watches that weren’t originally designed as or offered with chronograph functions have since seen chronograph editions, such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso or Cartier Santos.
There are few chronographs more iconic than the Carrera: designed by legendary horological maverick Jack Heuer and first released in 1963, the Carrera from the get-go was designed not only to be the perfect racing watch for serious motorsports competitors but also to be a refined, charismatic timepiece that would look just as good off the track as on it. A gentleman driver’s watch.
To mark the brand’s 160th anniversary this year, the TAG Heuer Carrera collection welcomes yet another addition – this time, the iconic chronograph features an elegant design reminiscent of historic models with a touch of modern flair. These four chronographs have a refined and modern look inspired by the pure style that first made the TAG Heuer Carrera iconic – that gentlemanly spirit that speaks to the heart of the watch’s core design.
Previously known as the ‘Carrera Elegant’, the key feature of this reinterpreted ‘dress Carrera’ range comes from their sleek stainless-steel bezels, which have been designed without a tachymeter scale to keep the overall aesthetics of the timepiece in line with the unforgettable silver-dial the Carrera sported upon its 1963 debut. It’s surprising how much of a difference a simple bezel makes to the aesthetics of a watch: it feels like almost a completely new model compared to the other non-limited Carreras released this year, which feature a tachymeter scale.
The dial treatments are particularly handsome, and perhaps more noticeably differentiate the ‘dress Carreras’ from their tachymeter siblings. There’s four on offer: opaline black, sunray brushed blue, anthracite and silver. The anthracite is definitely our pick, as it not only suits the watch perfectly but sets it apart from the other Carreras released this year.
All feature ‘azurage’ subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock and a running small-second counter at 6 o’clock above a discreet date window. The models with black and blue dials are presented on a streamlined H-shaped stainless-steel bracelet. The bicoloured version with a silver-coloured dial and rose gold-plated hands, plus the model with a deep anthracite dial are both instead offered with a handsome brown alligator leather strap.
Like the other Carrera models released this year, these ‘dress Carreras’ feature TAG Heuer’s proprietary movement, the Calibre Heuer 02, which was first introduced in 2018. Visible through the transparent caseback, this entirely Swiss-made movement comprises 168 components, including a column wheel and a vertical clutch – signatures of improved chronograph timekeeping – and boasts an impressive power reserve of 80 hours.
Available from October this year, these good-looking chronographs are the perfect balance between a dedicated dress watch and the sportiness of a classic chronograph. Why should a gentleman have to compromise?
- Ref. CBN2010.BA0642 (black) / CBN2011.BA0642 (blue) / CBN2012.FC6483 (anthracite) / CBN2013.FC6483 (silver)
- Movement: Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
- 2 visible counters: minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and hour chronograph counter at 9 o’clock
- 42mm polished and fine-brushed stainless-steel case
- Super-LumiNova on hour and minute hands of all models
- Domed and bevelled sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment
- Polished stainless-steel standard crown at 3 o’clock + round stainless-steel push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock
- Stainless-steel screw-down sapphire caseback
- Water-resistant to 100 metres (10 bar)