It’s interesting to think about TAG Heuer from the perspective of someone in my position. Product reviewers such as myself see loads of new watches a week, and each one provokes a different emotion from us. Some go as far as to spur a conversation, while others are replaced by the next product that comes our way. We all have our own way of seeing brands and how they relate to one another. Some people like to use a tiered system to group many brands into different categories such as “high-end luxury”, “mid-tier luxury” and the frankly hilarious “affordable luxury” section. For the majority, though TAG Heuer is the brand that a lot of people who aren’t that interested in watchmaking will go to first. I remember when I first started paying attention to the brands that I always thought of Omega and Rolex as a cut above TAG Heuer, although that didn’t mean TAG Heuer watches were poor or cheap.
Unlike the aforementioned brands, TAG Heuer at least seems to have gotten the hang of exclusive edition watches. Rolex hardly ever makes a special edition watch, and Omega is the opposite with a limited edition watch for every day of the week. TAG seems to have it sorted out, at least for a large-scale manufacturer. This watch is not a special edition, though I’d imagine it will be used as the base for one in the future.
This new watch is the Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic, a needlessly long name that we’ll shorten down to just ‘Carrera’ for you. It’s a watch that doesn’t seem to stand out, but it is nevertheless handsome. I’d think of this as their new standard chronograph sports watch, and even though it’s the standard model, it still sets the bar very high indeed.
The 44mm stainless steel case comes with alternating brushed and polished finishes, making for a luxurious appearance. The dial is large and clean, with very few frills but a high level of legibility. My favourite parts about the dials of all versions are the applied TAG Heuer logo and the date window which has been put at 6 O’clock to keep it all symmetrical. It is a shame that TAG Heuer hasn’t gone the extra mile and coloured the backs of the date disks to match the dial, but it’s not the biggest deal ever.
Inside all of the new watches in the collection is the automatic calibre Heuer 02, which we recently saw in TAG Heuer’s collaboration piece with Fragment design. It’s got a 75-hour power reserve which is very strong for a manufacture movement, and it has a 4Hz beat rate with a column-wheel chronograph.
Reference CBN2A1B.BA0643 – Black dial and ceramic bezel, steel case and bracelet – $5750