By Jovan Krstevski

The TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer is the first TAG Heuer chronograph to carry the Besançon Observatory’s prestigious designation.

The brand celebrates the 55 years of the Carrera brand with a tourbillon chronograph chronometer bearing a very rare certification from the Besançon Observatory just across the border from Switzerland in neighboring France. Note that this certification whose name is “Viper’s Head,” has only been applied to 500 watches making it a coveted stamp that every watchmaker desires to have. This rare stamp is displayed at the bridge of the new Carrera and since it is indeed rare, pretty sure some would certainly miss it.

Moving forward the new watch features a large 45 mm blue ceramic case. This material is corrosion-resistant and almost scratch proof so it is a welcome development. Then there is the nice color theme of the case which is rather peaceful thanks to the smart combination of grey, black, and blue. The bezel is also extremely useful and the tachymetre scale very legible. The pushers are also spaced properly from the crown avoiding a “sandwiched” feeling making adjustments pretty easy and comfortable.

Then there is the beautiful skeleton dial with amazing shades of white, grey, and blue. The rhodium-plated counters are impressive and the lumed indices and hands adds significant readability. We know for a fact that skeleton dials could be a tad to read but not on this watch, it really falls down on an effective design. The tourbillon is seen at 6 o’clock and the other 2 sub dials are at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock respectively.

Powering the TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer is an in-house Heuer–02T movement. This movement preceded the popular Heuer 02 chronograph movement seen on the Autavia range. The newer Heuer 02T features hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, and a tourbillon. This powerhouse cranks a good 65 hours of power reserve at 4 Hz or 28,800 vph. It is comprised of 33 jewels and is Chronometer Certified.

Finally, this is a big ceramic tourbillon chronograph which is technically a modern interpretation of the Carrera case, personally, TAG did a good job with the facelift. The price is $20,400 USD and as for availability, there would only be 155 pieces to be made. For more info, visit TAG Heuer online.