TAG Heuer Carrera

Glassbox design

At Watches and Wonders Geneva 2023, TAG Heuer continues to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its global icon Carrera with two new models: the 39 mm Carrera Chronograph — available in black or blue — and the 42 mm Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon, both of which promise to become keystone designs in the company’s collection of contemporary watches.

At launch, there are two models: one with a signature blue dial on a blue calfskin leather strap, and a second with a racier, black-and-silver “reverse panda” dial, the nickname given to black watch dials with high-contrast white or silver subdials. The reverse panda model is a greatest hits compilation of some of the most coveted Heuer Carreras of the 1960s, such as the reference 3147 Dato 12, the first Heuer Carrera with chronograph and calendar functions, and the reference 2447 NS, perhaps the rarest Heuer Carrera of them all, with an extremely limited production run of just a few years. It comes on a black perforated calfskin leather strap.

This evolution, overseen by TAG Heuer’s Movements Director Carole Forestier, is more significant than it may initially appear. In daily use, it delivers faster and more reliable winding, ensuring the watch is running closer to its maximum 80-hour power reserve and improving precision for more of the time it is in use. TH20-00 also has elevated finishings, thereby conforming to TAG Heuer’s vision to create technical yet elegant watches and movements. It joins the TAG Heuer TH30-00 and TH50-00 calibers in the new series of movements.

The two watches offer two expressions of the same evergreen philosophy. The blue model is inspired by modernity, whereas the black-and-silver model picks up more strongly on the TAG Heuer Carrera’s racing pedigree. Subtle differences in the application of the subdial scales help achieve this, as does the position of the date: at 6 o’clock on the blue, and pushed up to 12 o’clock on the black-and-silver model to make the chronograph readout as clean as possible.

TAG Heuer also announced the Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon, an elegant new model which serves as a sister watch to a collection of previously introduced Carrera tourbillon pieces with larger, sportier case designs. The new watch follows the same design principles and shares a base form with the new Carrera Chronograph, only it has a dial elevated by an aperture at 6 o’clock that reveals a tourbillon cage.

First perfected more than 200 years ago, a tourbillon is a continuously rotating cage that surrounds the escapement and is designed to counteract the influences of gravity on the accuracy of a mechanical movement. Even today, few watchmakers have mastered its complex form.The new watch is powered by TAG Heuer’s in-house tourbillon movement, the TH20-09, a chronometer-certified automatic movement also has a chronograph function and is backed by a 65-hour power reserve.

Every element of the watch has been refined to reflect the mechanical beauty of the tourbillon. For example, thanks to the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon’s curved sapphire crystal and fluid form, the tourbillon’s beauty can now be observed from a wider range of angles. And, on the dial, the flange and indexes have been subtly curved to mirror and complement the crystal’s edge, enhancing the watch’s elegant feel. Further details help elevate the watch’s overall look and readability. The deep azuré subdials are surrounded by high-contrast silver rings, making the chronograph read- outs as legible as possible. In the same way, the minutes scale running around the outside edge of the dial is punctuated by fiery orange detailing over each hour marker. A final, almost nostalgic touch is the chronograph’s central seconds hand, which has a crisp, triangular shape inspired by 1960s racecar dashboard instruments. As with the TH20-00, the TH20-09 was also created by Carole Forestier and the Swiss watchmaker’s technical teams, so that it now delivers bidirectional winding, increased efficiency and accuracy, and a higher level of finishing. Even with such refined detailing, the watch is arguably characterized most by its stylish, timeless color palette: stainless steel for the 42-mm case, a signature Carrera blue dial with a circular brushed finish, and a blue calfskin leather strap. A sapphire case back showcases the TH20- 09 and completes the drama.