5 minutes on the wrist - The Heuer Carrera Calibre 7 Gold Glassbox
The Heuer Carrera Calibre 7 Gold Glassbox is the (second) concrete proof that clearly shows us the Heuer line of business of TAG Heuer is alive and kicking. TAG Heuer is wisely creating two smaller brands out of a single one, and is broadening the gap between those people who will purchase a Carrera Calibre 01 and those Heuer addicts, who can already count a 1969 Monaco, an Autavia or a Camaro in their collection. The Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 Telemeter and the Heuer Carrera Calibre 7 Gold Glassbox are probably the most beautiful watches released by TAG Heuer this year and they are definitely among the nicest crafted by the company in the last few years. The Heuer Carrera Calibre 7 Gold Glassbox is the vintage counterpart of the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5: the watchmaker has replaced its stainless steel case with an 18-karat gold case and swapped the bracelet with a black leather strap sporting a tang buckle. The final result is the re-invention of a classic three-hand timepiece from the 70s.
Simply replace the TAG Heuer logo with the historical Heuer one and you will get the perfect Heuer vintage timepiece: an item that nobody in their 40s has ever been able to purchase, but has actually always wanted to own. The final touch is given by the sapphire glass box resembling a traditional hesalite crystal. New technologies allow the crafting of sapphire crystals with the very same curvature as hesalite ones, while also sporting unparalleled transparency and scratch proofness.
Calibre 7 is the name that TAG Heuer gives to a more customized version of an ETA sourced movement, which is actually called Calibre 5 in the current collection, while the maker's GMT version featured in the Carrera Twin Time is also called Calibre 7. It might sound confusing, but it is probably a simple case of calibers renaming. The movement is particulary robust, not exactly prestigious, and it features a customized rotor, a 4Hz frequency and 42 hrs of power reserve. These figures are not too impressive and they are definitely not among this watch's pros, and I would have preferred TAG to opt for a manual wind caliber as it would have fitted this timepiece better.
Whatever the movement chosen is, this watch clearly stands out for its style and it is part of that select group of timepieces that are supposed to emerge from below a cuff rather than worn with a sweater: the perfect so-called “dress watch”. At Baselword 2015, there has been a lot of buzz around the Heuer Carrera Calibre 7 Gold Glassbox and some other watches sporting the Heuer logo; they had been “hidden” so well from the media that most aficionados actually started thinking that these timepieces had been greenlit by the previous company's CEO rather than by Biver himself.
I personally think that the idea behind this differentiation is the company's strategy to create two separate brands: TAG Heuer is supposed to be the line that features innovative and affordable products that are aimed at a younger audience, while Heuer should represent the brand's legacy targeting its faithful connoisseurs. The Heuer Carrera Calibre 7 Gold Glassbox is today's best example of the manufacturer's Heuer collection and its immediate success will heavily depend on the price positioning (the selling price has not been released yet), while its next move will have to be the adoption of in-house calibers.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury