It’s safe to say that, pandemic notwithstanding, 2020 is shaping up to be an annus mirabilis for TAG Heuer — and the Carrera. The storied watchmaker marks its milestone 160th birthday this year, and in celebration of such a remarkable feat, the Maison has elected to honour the memory of fourth-generation scion and peerless pioneer Jack Heuer by turning the limelight on his proudest invention, the iconic Carrera, which was inspired by and named after the perilous Carrera Panamericana road rally across Mexico. Releasing a slew of special-edition designs, TAG Heuer once again confirms its enduring expertise and insatiable appetite for innovation.
Hard on the heels of the historically-influenced Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition and Carrera 160 Years Montreal Limited Edition, last month the Swiss marque unveiled the final model in its anniversary trilogy, the (deep breath) TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition. Paying homage to the classic 1960s Heuer “Dato 45”, while also nodding to the fresh-out-of-the-box Carrera Sport series launched back in July, this new tri-compax chronograph debuts in a robust 44mm stainless steel case with two chromatic combinations for the fine-brushed dial and fixed ceramic bezel: blue/blue and white/black.
Superbly legible thanks to a domed and bevelled sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment, the lustrous white or blue dial features a “panda” or “reverse panda” layout, with azurage minute and hour counters at 3 and 9 o’clock, respectively, and a permanent seconds indicator at 6 o’clock. Ensuring ease of reading in all light conditions, the rhodium-plated applied indices and hour and minute hands are coated with SuperLumiNova®, while the tachymeter scale that runs around the bezel is executed in white such that it leaps to the eye.
The chronograph’s standout design element, however, is the date window positioned distinctively and unusually at noon — a hallmark of the original Reference 3147N Dato 45 — with the numeral rendered in crimson against a white background. A red lacquered central seconds hand and red motion stripes on the 3 o’clock subdial dovetail neatly with the date aperture, emphasising the athletic, assertive character of the timepiece, as does the stainless steel H-shaped bracelet.
Under the hood lies the Maison’s go-to in-house movement, the automatic Calibre Heuer 02, which consists of 168 individual components, including a vertical clutch and a column wheel for improved precision and stability. Packing a power reserve of 80 hours, almost double the industry norm, the manufacture movement can be admired through a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, along with an openworked oscillating weight engraved with “160 Years of Avant-Garde” and a checkered pattern that alludes to the Carrera’s racing heritage.
Limited to 1,860 pieces in each version (a tribute to the year Edouard Heuer founded his watchmaking workshop in the Jura Mountains), the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition is undoubtedly one for the ages.