To mark its 160th anniversary this year, TAG Heuer has been releasing a series of limited-edition tributes to one of its most popular models, the Carrera, paying homage to memorable iterations of the storied line. Today, we look back to the mid-’60s and the Carrera 45 Dato ref. 3147 first execution – a classic and collectible version of the Carrera featuring a signature red date positioned, unusually, at 12 o’clock.
The two models that TAG Heuer has created to pay tribute to the historical model feature a more contemporary design in the form of a 44mm case and dial options in white or blue, with contrasting sub-dials. The white dial is paired with a black ceramic tachymeter bezel, while the blue dial gets a blue ceramic tachymeter bezel. Three red motion accents on the chronograph 30-minute sub-dial provide a nice design flourish that echoes the red date and red chrono seconds hand while also recalling the sub-dial stripes on other, somewhat later vintage Heuer chronographs. The watches are delivered in a special presentation box celebrating the 160th anniversary of TAG Heuer.
In each version, we have a highly legible chronograph that is faithful to the Carrera design in a very fundamental way. These are watches designed to be read at a glance in any kind of light. The use of a bright red chronograph seconds hand and contrasting chronograph sub-dials (in the case of the white-dial version, a panda-style layout) make sure of that. The ceramic bezels not only look sharp, but you can expect them to stay that way over time, even with daily wear.
The new Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition has a red date at 12, but from there, its design inspiration diverges from the historical watch. That’s because the Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition is part of the Carrera Sport Chronograph line introduced earlier this year, and the design cues that typify those watches – their large size, their tachymeter bezels, and their modern H-link bracelets – are the design elements that jump out most readily. These are, in fact, the first special editions within this new line to feature the Heuer 02 chronograph movement.
In this way, it’s quite a bit of a different take from, for example, the Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition that we covered earlier this year. As we saw with that watch, TAG Heuer has the smaller case size at the ready and could have easily made a very close homage to the historical reference if that was what it wanted to do. The purpose of this watch’s design, rather, is to blend historical elements of Heuer iconography with the current lineup of sporty Carreras. They say “TAG Heuer” right on the dial, not Heuer, after all. This is the third and final watch in the Carrera 160 Years series following the aforementioned Silver and the Montreal LE.
As mentioned earlier, under the hood you’ll find the Calibre Heuer 02, TAG Heuer’s go-to in-house chronograph movement with column wheel and vertical clutch. It’s a movement that was first announced back in 2013 as the cal. 1969 before being paused and brought back in a big way for the launch of 2017’s Autavia Heritage Calibre Heuer 02. The Heuer 02 has so far proven to be a sturdy chronograph movement that offers good performance and an impressive value for money. The limited edition watches you see here cost just under $ 6,000 each.
This isn’t an homage or a tribute watch. TAG Heuer has those, for sure, but this is something a bit different. It’s a modern reinterpretation of an interesting design feature from the Heuer archives that makes the date quite a bit more legible than it would have been tucked away in a sub-dial at six o’clock. Date windows will probably always be the subject of debate. But in my book, for a date window to work best, it shouldn’t be hidden away.
Brand: TAG Heuer
Model: The TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition
Reference Number: CBN2A1D.BA0643 (white circular brushed dial), CBN2A1E.BA0643 (blue circular brushed dial)
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: Blue or white
Indexes: Rhodium-plated applied indexes with white Super-LumiNova
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless-steel H-shaped bracelet
Caliber: Calibre Heuer O2 Automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date at 12 o’clock
Power Reserve: 80 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 5,950
Limited Edition: Each version is limited to 1,860 pieces and says, on its caseback, “ONE OF 1860.”
For more, visit TAG Heuer.