TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition
The Carrera we were waiting for, featuring the Heuer 02 in-house caliber.
A great event marked the year that has just turned to an end: the celebration of the TAG Heuer Monaco's fifth anniversary. The cherry on the cake was, towards the end of the year, the unveiling of a new TAG Heuer Monaco boasting the in-house Heuer 02 caliber, a remarkable tribute to the original model equipped with the Chrono-Matic automatic movement, from a technical standpoint and a strong message to Heuer collectors, too. In 2020, TAG Heuer turns 160 and has taken this opportunity to add another great timepiece to the Heritage collection.
The TAG Heuer Carrera is and always will be not just a milestone for the brand, but a landmark in watchmaking. It is one of the sleekest and cleanest, aesthetically speaking, chronographs ever conceived: highly legible, robust, perfectly sized (the original, the so-called 2447S, measured 36mm, across), the original Carrera (the photo above belongs to Vintage Heuer Carrera) is no doubt one of the best-designed sports watches ever. The original 1963 version is highly sought after by collectors, and its prices on vintage marketplaces keep growing at a steady pace. In recent years, TAG Heuer recurrently re-issued the original one, yet none of the limited edition watches released so far had that same charm, and technical refinement too, of the first-ever Carrera, powered by the glorious Valjoux 72 caliber. This hand-wound caliber, featuring a Breguet coil-spring, a column-wheel mechanism, and a 46 hours power reserve, is easy to identify, from the outside: if you take a look at the gap between Chrono pushers and crown, you'll notice that the one between reset button and crown is bigger than the one existing between the start-stop button and the crown.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, introduced as an 1860 piece limited edition collection, is an excellent tribute to the original one, primarily from a technical standpoint, the most stringent requirement to meet so far, thanks to the adoption of the new Heuer 02 caliber. This caliber comes equipped, like the original was, with a column-wheel mechanism (paired to a vertical clutch) and more.
It guarantees, for instance, an 80 hours maximum power reserve, thus outperforming most modern chronographs, whose power reserve is not this high. It is no doubt one of the most refined automatic Chrono calibers out there. Not only is it efficient, but it is also remarkably compact, and smaller than the original in-house Heuer 01 caliber. Despite not matching Valjoux 72's 6,25mm overall thickness, the Heuer 02 measures an excellent 6,95mm, given we're talking about a self-winding movement.
Aesthetically, the new TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition is a faithful re-edition: the dial showcases the historic "HEUER" logo, the case has grown to 39mm, across designers respected the original proportions, standing well below the 40mm threshold. The registers' displacement has technically and visually changed (the running seconds are now at six), but the spacing between registers, logos, and applied indexes is close to perfection. The new TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition is not just a call to action for Heuer die-hard fans, the undersigned included, who were eagerly waiting for the next-gen Heritage collection, it is nonetheless a strong proposition among modern but vintage-inspired sports chronographs, in general. The TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition will retail, once it will hit boutiques and authorized retailers in June, for €5,850. It is a fair price, in my opinion, considering the specs' sheet, and the collection's pedigree.
(Photo credit: courtesy of TAG Heuer)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®