Black and Gold is a Racy Look – The New TAG Heuer Carrera ChronographBy Ross Povey
No matter how far forward technological advancements take watchmaking, many of the established players in the industry can’t help but take an occasional glimpse in the rear-view mirror. As a passionate fan of vintage watches, this is a good thing to me. For every space age new interpretation of time telling from a new indy brand, there is an established maison with a rich heritage that it, quite rightly, looks back on and celebrates. TAG Heuer is one such brand that, whilst keeping the modern flow of reinterpretations quite high, has a storied past and bone fide historical tie with motor racing and also sporting chronographs. The Carrera is arguably the most well-known of these watches. In 1970 Heuer, as the brand was known back then, released its first yellow gold automatic Carreras as reference 1158 CHN, a model that was to become a personal favourite of founder Jack Heuer. In the true spirit of the golden age of racing, the Carrera has a new gold and black livery.
The new Carrera, reference CBN2044.FC8113 (I know, another Tatooine-based droid designation), is a 42mm 18kt yellow gold chrono that houses the Caliber Heuer 02 automatic movement that can be admired through a sapphire display case back. The dial is black, with a sunray finish, and has yellow gold-tone sub dials that is the inverse of the original 1158 CHN. TAG is keeping the appearance of a two register chrono, the gold sub dials are a minute (right) and hour (left) totalizer with a subtle third running seconds at six o’clock that is without sub dial background. There is also a date at six.
This watch also marks the third time, in my memory or in my time as a watch fan, that a watch has been associated with the black and gold livery of the 1970s and 80s Lotus Formula 1 team.
The first and most well established is the collector-given name to a very specific iteration of a sports chrono. The second occasion was a modern independent brand that was celebrating the modern-classic era of F1 with its watch. I think it’s fair to say that TAG Heuer has the best claim to actually using this title, as the late Aryton Senna actually drove for Lotus at the beginning of his career and was a TAG Heuer ambassador. As the brand says, “The black and gold design proves just as attractive a combination today as it was in the 1970s. It expresses all the excitement, glamour, and thrills of racing in decades past and carries on Jack Heuer’s vision faithfully into a resolutely modern piece that exudes confidence, character, elegance, and sophistication.”
TAG Heuer Carrera
Movement: Calibre Heuer 02 automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case: 42mm 18K 3N solid yellow gold with display case back
Dial: Black sunray brushed dial with gold sub dials
Bracelet: Black alligator strap with 18K 3N solid yellow gold pin buckle
Availability: November 2022 at CHF 20,000