As part of the brand’s 160th Anniversary celebration, TAG Heuer just released two new Carrera Sport Chronographs, complete with their Heuer 02 movement, and I think they look great. These might be the best 160th Anniversary models yet from the brand.
Available in either a silver dial (my preference), or this nice blue model with matching blue ceramic bezel, this is a bit of a throwback to the 3147N “Dato 12” models of the ’60s. That said, these are thoroughly contemporary watches rather than an attempt to re-release the original, so it’s a new design that simply takes elements from the past.
As you’ll recall, the original was a bi-compax dial, but I think the 12:00 date looks much better on this modern version with three subdials. It gets the date out of the way, traditionally either shoehorned at 4:30 or occluding the 6:00 subdial, which is the case in some other Heuer 02-based models. At 12:00, however, weird though it may be, it gets clear of the chronograph and balances the dial nicely. You won’t hear me say this often about a date complication, but I’m really glad it’s there. I even like its red-on-white writing, a not-so-subtle homage to its predecessor.
The overall design of the watch, in either color, is extremely aggressive, with high-contrast subdials and bold red accents throughout. That, along with its ceramic tachymetre bezel, makes a very strong statement towards its sportiness and racing heritage. It’s not really intended to be an everyday watch.
But that’s not really a problem, especially with a 44mm stainless steel case. It’s a large, bold, and aggressive watch throughout. Even the pushers have high-contrast black accents. Basically, it’s a watch that knows what it is and isn’t attempting to fly under the radar.
Powering the watch is the now-familiar Heuer 02, complete with key chronograph features like a vertical clutch and column wheel. In this limited edition version, however, you get a custom rotor and some LE writing on the case back to set it apart. The rotor does look quite cool, combining elements of a steering wheel and a racing flag, and its complex design gives it an almost gothic feel, albeit unintentionally. On the other hand, the Heuer 02 has a nice industrial look to it, which is blocked more than necessary by this version of the rotor.
Both look great, and the blue and red theme seems extremely popular this year, but I like the more subtle (subtle being a relative term here) silver dial personally. I really like both of them though, especially their unique 12:00 date complication. If you’re looking for a large, and loud, sports watch, these should definitely be considered in this mainstream price range. Each model is a limited edition of 1860 and is priced at $5,950. Click either above to be taken to their respective pages.