LVMH Watch Week: TAG Heuer Refines the Chronograph & Harnesses the Sun
At the 2024 LVMH Watch Week confab in Miami this week, the Swiss watchmaker brings both heritage and technicality to the Carrera Chronograph line and taps more solar power for a new elegant Aquaracer collection.
The iconic Carrera Chronograph from TAG Heuer, which debuted in 1963 and quickly became one of the chronographs of choice for professional racers as well as watch enthusiasts, has an undeniable historical gravitas. But that heritage, coupled with at least one unexpected refinement, brings the collection that the watchmaker presented in Miami even more into the here-and-now than last year’s 60th Anniversary Carreras.
Inspired by the 1968 Carrera 45 Dato – which delivered unparalleled legibility with a black-and-white, mono-sub-dial execution and date aperture relocated from 12 o’clock to the 9 o’clock position – the Carrera Chronograph launched at LVMH Watch Week 2024 harkens back to that established design. Except, this time, the dial is a stunning racing green (TAG calls it “teal green”) monochrome variant.
First seen on a 2021 limited-edition Carrera, this green colorway is bright and fresh, while details, like a domed “glassbox” crystal, deliver the right dose of vintage flair to satisfy Carrera enthusiasts. Improved case ergonomics and a more elegant flange join the vibrant dial to deliver the au courant portion of the equation.
Rendered in steel, this watch’s vintage-sized 39mm case features prominent round chrono-pushers, making it easy to spark off the 30-minute chronograph function, even if you are heading into a sweeping back-track curve at high speed, and an exhibition caseback shows off an in-house Heuer 02 movement (officially pegged as a TH20-07 reference) that packs an impressive 80-hour power reserve.
Like the latest Carrera Chronograph, the new Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon takes the same teal green approach but at a larger 42mm case size. Moreover, this steel-encased watch sports a classic bicompax dial design (minute counter at 3 o’clock, hour tallier at 9 o’clock) but adds a gravity-fighting tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
While the addition of the glass-framed tourbillon cage might be considered a bit unexpected in a “racing” watch, the location actually underplays the fussiness of the complication (like the Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon associated with the 60th Anniversary pieces did), yet the soupçon of sophistication is undeniable.
Sun, Meet Splash
While the sun-powered TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph first debuted in a 40mm carbon-bezel execution two years ago, the watchmaker showed a fresh line-up of Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph timepieces during LVMH Watch Week 2024. This time, however, the brand went with a steel 34mm case size and five new dial options.
Comprising the unadorned executions are a distinctive icy blue Aquaracer Polar Blue option ($2,150), a version with TAG’s signature deep-blue dial ($2,150), and a compelling mother-of-pearl dial iteration ($2,350). The mother-of-pearl use, a first for the Aquaracer, is expanded on with both an 11-diamond index-set execution ($2,950) and a loaded-up index- and bezel-set model ($5,000).
Fun Fact: The new Solargraphs with mother-of-pearl dials required some deft adaption to work with the Solargraph battery-charging technology.
All coming on classic three-link steel bracelets, the deep blue, unadorned, and index-set mother-of-pearl versions are available starting in February; the Polar Blue model will become available this April; and the index- and bezel-set TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph arrives this June.
All check the dive watch boxes with a unidirectional rotating bezel, screw-down crown, and 200 meters of water resistance, as well as all tapping into the solar-enhanced battery life of the TH50-01 quartz movement (only two minutes of sun or artificial light exposure will charge the watches for an entire day).