It Tracks: TAG Heuer Releases the Turbocharged Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963
Cars & motorsport

It Tracks: TAG Heuer Releases the Turbocharged Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963

Inspired by endurance racing, this new chronograph pays homage to Porsche’s unparalleled success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is a gift to fans of both motorsports and watchmaking.

By Rhonda Riche
Editor-At-Large

Stories matter.

For example, the enduring fascination with motorsports is built upon feats of derring-do on the track and technological innovation in the garage. That is why many F1 fans can easily recall races that took place in the 1960s while listing off minuscule adjustments to the design of the cockpit.

As with motorsports, this unique mix of heritage and the pursuit of excellence is why the new turbocharged Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 from TAG Heuer is so alluring to enthusiasts.

For you see, this sleek timepiece isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it is refining and redefining the Carrera.

Bodywork

The Porsche 963 is the pinnacle of Porsche’s engineering expertise. Historically, it arose from the powerful DNA of the RS Spyder and 918 Spyder. But this hypercar is now based on a Multimatic carbon monocoque chassis conceived for the closed cockpit LMP2 category and developed and designed to compete at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 is no less an object of awe and beauty.

For one thing, its finely brushed and polished 44mm stainless steel case echoes the “tub” look of the Porsche 963 with details such as a black PVD fine-grained hollowed side and black forged carbon tachymeter.
 

However, the new Carrera also has dynamic touches such as a beveled, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, a black DLC steel crown, and round pushers. A nicely integrated Porsche logo completes the livery on the dial.
 

Meanwhile, an integrated black rubber strap inspired by the NACA-style low-drag air inlets, often featured on Porsche race cars back to the record-breaking Porsche 917, adds a subtle nod to the two TAG Heuer’s and Porsche’s shared heritage in endurance racing. Secured with a polished steel folding clasp with double safety pushbuttons and engraved with the TAG Heuer shield, the strap hugs the wrist quite pleasantly, as well.
 

These aesthetic elements are a major reason TAG Heuer is strongly associated with automobiles, but practical performance plays an extremely important role.

Under the Hood

TAG Heuer’s Carrera collection is already a classic watch design. And like a finely tuned racing machine, much of the power is contained under the bodywork (the engine, gearbox, etc.).

The engine of the Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 is the in-house Calibre TH20-00 with hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph functions. The TH20-00 has also been “personalized” with a red column wheel to the technical savoir-faire of this vertical clutch chronograph movement.
 

The vertical coupling of the chronograph mechanism is similar to the systems found in cars that connect the engine’s flywheel to the transmission. The benefit is that this construction provides the Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 provides with a smooth and “jump-free “ activation of the stopwatch function.
 

Fortunately for fans, this movement isn’t hidden beneath the body of the watch.

The Cockpit View

The Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 is a big boy (it is 15.1 mm thick, and, lug-to-lug, it measures 49.7mm); however, the expansive real estate allows for a lot of details. Luckily, the “Tubular” skeleton dial with NAC finishing (along with the screw-down sapphire caseback) means you can see the gears in motion.

For legibility, the markings are in white, red, and grey (which also happens to the colors of Porsche Motorsport). The counters are also delineated with color.
 

At 3 o’clock, there’s a shimmery black minute chronograph counter with four bright white Super-LumiNova blocks and a red lacquered hand. At 6 o’clock, there’s an openwork permanent second indicator with a rhodium-plated hand. Finally, at 9 o’clock, the hour chronograph counter combines all of the above.

Meanwhile, the central hour and minute hands are rhodium-plated and facetted, and the date glows white by day and blue by night.
 

It will be interesting to see where the turbocharged Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 will fit into the TAG Heuer canon.

Limited to only 963 numbered pieces, fans will have to act fast if they want to be part of this story. Check out the TAG Heuer website for more information.

(Images © TAG Heuer)

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