The Carrera collection by TAG Heuer: cutting corners
Along with pieces equipped with ultra-specialized movements, TAG Heuer has released a series of three Carrera watches.
In 1860, in Saint-Imier, Edouard Heuer founded the eponymous brand specialized in chronometers and precision instruments. In this constantly evolving universe, this “global village”, however, ultra-specialization has its strengths but it also has its limits and can pose dangers. For example, as we know, over 60% of the overall quality watches produced annually feature just three hands and sometimes a date. Thus, not including this type of model in iconic collections could be seen as a statement of principle and it could have harmful consequences for brands in the long run.
TAG Heuer Carrera: focusing on the essential
Jack Heuer came up with the name Carrera in 1963 during the 12 hours of Sebring whilst listening to the conversations of drivers retelling their automobile adventures lived during the legendary “Carrera Panamericana”. In some ways, the Carrera line goes beyond the chronometer born from a fusion of a myth and a wish expressed by drivers to own a perfectly readable time-measuring instrument. On the whole, this series is an ode to automobile sports and contemporary design. It is to TAG Heuer what the Oyster Perpetual Explorer is to Rolex. The Carrera series also needs to keep reinventing itself in order to adapt to the changing tastes and needs of consumers.
Thus, to add to a series of products known for their strong identity and powerful timelessness, the brand has released three new references this year. Quite a number of experts who have taken a recent interest in the creations of this maison will see this range extension as something new amongst the Carrera series. This is however not the case as the simple watch version – also produced in Day-Date and GMT this year – is regularly reinvented to follow the market’s evolutions and the trends of the moment.
In the early 2000s – along with the release of the manual winding Carrera “Vintage” chronograph – TAG Heuer also launched a series of very elegant self-winding timepieces with a sixties design. These featured a sober and readable dial and – to extend the metaphor of the “revival”, which was back on track at the time – a plexi glass crystal.
The timeless Carrera in three new models and thirty references
The almost-timeless character of the Carrera is today found in the “universal” lines of the new generation consisting of about thirty variants stemming from three new models. The design of the Carrera Calibre 5 Automatic featuring a 39-mm case with an association of steel with either pink gold (5N) or yellow gold (3N) reinterprets the aesthetics and technical characteristics that has made the collection successful over the years. These self-winding models known for their reliability display the now-famous H-shaped strap, which is the signature of the Carrera collection. These two new watches combine gold with steel and polished steel with satin-brushed steel in a particularly interesting beat to seduce Asian or North American experts.
Even if two-toned watches have not been totally implemented on the “Old Continent”, their balance and underlying masculinity should attract the attention of western women always ready to wear instruments initially designed for men.
The TAG Heuer Carrera 5 Day-Date Automatic is only 2 millimeters thicker than the two-toned piece. It has been completely produced in steel in order to conserve its sporty character but its elegance is very much present in all the skillfully hand-applied elements of its dial. The hands – equally in steel – have been finely polished and satin-brushed to stand out on the dial. For the record, this quite vintage timepiece – especially the leather version – is driven by a reliable and self-winding mechanical caliber and displays day and date calendar information in a large double aperture classically placed at 3 o’clock. The timepiece has been made completely in steel to assume its urban character. Its owner may wear it according to the changing of the seasons since both an alligator and a sportier H-shaped Carrera signature strap are available.
In a constantly changing world, TAG Heuer follows the trends set. It released the Carrera Calibre 7 Twin-Time Automatic to meet the requirements of dynamic executives always between two airports. Just like the Day-Date version, this contemporary reference – 41 mm as is the current market trend – sports a case that needed fifteen stamping stages to achieve a perfect finish. It protects its self-winding mechanical movement visible through the openworked back from any exterior aggression. Given the reference number 7 in the TAG Heuer nomenclature, it is doubled with a simple but efficient mechanism enabling the display of the current standard time, the date, and a second time zone. The latter can quickly be adjusted and displayed on 24 hours thanks to a hand that points from the center to the numeral of the hour hand affixed on the flange with the use of a red arrow tinted with masculine touches. Finally, as this watch will travel across countries including some which sometimes register high hygrometry, TAG Heuer has chosen to present it on the famous textured steel link chain and H-shaped strap.