Introducing The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche Chronograph Watch

TAG Heuer introduces a surprising new chronograph designed with Porsche drivers in mind.


Watchmakers and carmakers have been working together for some time, and it’s a match made in heaven usually as it combines macho motoring with about the only jewellery a man can wear other than a ring. Although I’m sure there were other tie-ins that started before, it was Breitling’s collaboration with Bentley that really told the world that these collaborations can work. Now, we’ve had all kinds of them, from the likes of IWC and Mercedes-Benz, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin to B.R.M. and DS Automobiles.

One brand synonymous with sports cars is Porsche, and they’re a bit of a weird one. If you wanted a watch designed in the style of (and often by the same designers as) the cars, you could buy a Porsche Design watch, if you wanted a Porsche collaboration watch you used to have to go to Chopard. Things changed a few years ago, and now TAG Heuer is the place to be if you want a Porsche watch that isn’t a watch designed by Porsche Design. Confused yet?

You’d think a watch meant for a Porsche driver would be all about sleek, modern angles and stuff. But both Porsche and TAG Heuer are very aware of where they came from as well as where they’re going, and are even better at capitalising on it. What you’re looking at is the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche, a handsome-looking watch meant to be somewhat reminiscent of the past.

It comes in a case measuring 42mm x 14.9mm which, incidentally, isn’t reminiscent of the past at all, you can have it in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold. Water resistance is 100m.

The dial is where it gets more interesting, with some references to the past such as the 9 O’clock subdial which has an area marked in red indicating the engine’s redline in a Porsche 911. Or, how about the 6 O’clock subdial showing the running seconds? Not only is the hand red like the other subdials, but the area between 50 and 54 seconds is striped which is as it was on the speedometer of Porsches from the 1970s, the red lines indicated the 50km/h speed limit that lots of areas had at the time. This blend of history sat on a silvery dial and oozes class, but it still gets better.

You may have noticed the strange layout of the markings for the chronograph seconds, which seems to suggest that ten seconds somehow take ten seconds. No, you’re not going crazy. Some clever engineering using from TAG Heuer using snail gears means that the chronograph’s seconds hand runs at double speed for the first ten seconds and then slows down to regular speed. This allows for extra accurate timing over the first ten seconds of each minute. Exactly how practical that is remains to be seen, but it is nonetheless interesting.

This is all thanks to the calibre TH20-08, which can be traced all the way back to TAG Heuer’s fabulous in-house calibre Heuer 02. It comes with a 4Hz beat rate, 80-hour power reserve and a column wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch. The automatic rotor is also designed to look like the steering wheel of a classic Porsche.

The only downside to all this horological interesting-ness is the price, which is CHF 9,000 in steel or CHF 23,000 in 18k gold. I think that price may make this a harder sale than some of TAG Heuer’s other chronograph watches using a standard Heuer 02 movement, While they lack the technical complexity of this piece, some of them are half the price in stainless steel.