This feature has been produced in partnership with TAG Heuer.
Performance cars and chronographs go together like potatoes and fondue, but few Swiss watch brands have an identity so entwined with the history of motorsport than La Chaux-de-Fonds’ TAG Heuer, which is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.
Much of that connection is the work of Jack Heuer, the brand’s honorary chairman and great-grandson of its founder. Thanks to his close collaboration with names like Ayrton Senna, Nicky Lauda, Steve McQueen and Enzo Ferrari – and his own groundbreaking watch design work – Jack Heuer has catapulted TAG Heuer to the highest echelons of both racing and watchmaking.
His most famous and arguably most sporty creation was the TAG Heuer Carrera. First released in 1963 during his tenure as CEO and named for the famous Mexican Carrera Panamericana, the Carrera has a deceptively simple design. Like a high-performance car, form follows function: ultra-legible, with the chronograph pushers and sub-dials pride of place.
But just as no-one would accuse the sweeping aerodynamic shape of a Porsche 911 of being boring, the Carrera’s utilitarian design is beautiful in its restrained simplicity. An essential tool on a race track and a stylish accessory off one too, the TAG Heuer Carrera is one of the icons of the watch world.
The dual character of the Carrera is best exemplified in TAG Heuer’s latest renditions of the classic chrono: a dressy, tasteful range that takes the pared-down beauty of their previous ‘Carrera Elegant’ models and combines them with the masterful new Calibre Heuer 02, and the exuberant Chronograph Sport range that combines the functionality of a racing tachymeter with colourful, masterful dial and case treatments.
For those who are looking for the ultimate driver’s companion, the latter range has you covered, available in either a deep blue with a matching ceramic bezel, a muted olive green with a silver steel bezel or two black versions with sleek black ceramic bezels: one with steel highlights, and one with sumptuous rose gold highlights.
But perhaps you want a slightly more formal watch. In that case, the uncluttered design of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph range might be more your flavour. Subtle changes make all the difference – TAG Heuer going back to their roots by omitting the tachymeter scale and letting the beautiful polished steel speak for itself – yet you don’t lose that ever-important chronograph function.
It’s a hard decision for sure, because both are so fantastic. Both ranges exude class and sporting style; both positively brimming with racing DNA; both chronographs par excellence.
But you ought to cross that line soon. Any good race car driver will tell you that Planning Prevents Poor Performance, and with Christmas not too far on the horizon, you’ll need to get in quick if you want to be in horological pole position in 2021.