Carole Kasapi explains the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche

TAG Heuer pays tribute to the Porsche 911.

In 2021, TAG Heuer and Porsche — two brands that have been flirting with each other for decades — finally made it official and entered into a strategic partnership. Already, we’ve seen a series of Porsche-inspired and liveried Carrera Chronographs emerge from La Chaux- de-Fonds, but not one quite like the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche.

This new watch takes as its base the new Carrera “Glassbox” design, first seen in a 39mm case at Watches and Wonders and amps up the automotive notes. It also amps up the size, as this release comes in at 42mm — the first for this style of Carrera, but certainly not the last.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in rose gold
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in rose gold

Carrera and Porsche

Right out of the gate, the Carrera is a fitting tribute to Porsche, given how closely the classic chronograph is associated with the automotive world, but there’s a host of elements in this design that dig a little deeper into the Porsche 911 (originally the 901), a car which, just like the Carrera, turns 60 this year.

Dial details of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche
Dial details of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche

The main party trick of this new special edition, which is offered in both steel and rose gold versions, is the chronograph caliber itself. When activated, the chronograph hand starts with a bang, gradually decreasing in speed over the course of the minute, in a unique mechanical innovation designed to echo the Porsche 911’s acceleration of 0 to 100km/h in 9.1 seconds. This is made even clearer thanks to the special chronograph seconds scale, which sees the 10-second mark down near four o’clock rather than up near two, where it usually resides. This variable speed lends the model its name, Chronosprint.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in steel
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in steel

Making the chronosprint tick

To explain just how this inventive new take on the chronograph works, we spoke to Carole Kasapi, TAG Heuer’s movement director. Kasapi, a legendary figure in watchmaking, is responsible for TAG Heuer’s movement strategy. Kasapi explains the broad brushstrokes of this strategy, “The strategy is for the maison to have a catalog of movements that offer better quality and durability. This is really what we have to target; this is the new normal for the Swiss luxury market today, and absolutely essential to offer tomorrow — better durability and quality for our clients.” Kasapi continues, “This is also the reason why we launched an evolution of the Heuer 02 movement, the TH20, with a new automatic system [that’s] higher quality and more durable.”

Carole Kasapi, TAG Heuer’s movement director
Carole Kasapi, TAG Heuer’s movement director

So, how does the Chronosprint fit into this picture, and how did the concept emerge? Says Kasapi, “A few years ago, we proposed a complication really dedicated to Porsche. One of the most well-known things about Porsche is, of course, the 911.

“We proposed a chronograph linked to that, with the idea of measuring the 0 to 100 kilometers very precisely, which is very difficult with a regular chronograph. A regular dial is not precise enough. We explored enlarging the scale for the first 10 seconds. We didn’t want to have a chronograph that just measured 10 seconds rather than 60 around the dial, so we explored enlarging just a specific area, and arrived at a solution where we had a running seconds hand with variable speeds over the course of a minute.”

Mechanically, this is possible thanks to the TH20-08 movement, a new interpretation of the in-house caliber TH20. Kasapi goes on to explain just how this version of TAG Heuer’s in-house automatic chronograph stands out. She says, “You have to imagine that you have a wheel running at the speed of the minute. From this, we have added a snail-shaped cam — well, it’s not exactly a cam; it’s a gear train in the shape of a snail at the end. The wheel will always take a minute to turn, but it will run at different speeds throughout the minute.” These wheels are crafted with state-of-the-art technology, the so-called LIGA process widely used in the micro-electromechanical (MEMS) industry.

Caseback of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche
Caseback of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche

Celebrating the legendary Porsche 911

Ever since it was first introduced in 1963, the Porsche 911 has captured imaginations with its power, precision and iconic silhouette. In addition to the titular Chronosprint, this watch pays homage to the legendary car in numerous fine details. Porsche-inspired details can be seen on the seconds subdial at six, a nod to the dashboard of a ’70s-era Porsche, as well as the subdial at nine, which echoes the critical redline noting where engine damage may occur.

All these details look absolutely stellar under the high dome of the sapphire crystal, which allows for incredible legibility from all angles. The steel cased version comes with a shimmery gray dial that accentuates the red highlights and on a black calfskin strap with an embossed 911 logo.

The 5N rose gold version feels appropriately opulent, with a shimmery beige dial and a brown embossed strap. Regardless of case metal, the watch sits 14.9mm high and is water resistant to 100m. This is a singularly handsome pair of watches, both of which would not look at all out of place near the steering wheel of a vintage Porsche.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in rose gold
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in rose gold

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche is an impressive and technically demanding machine, just like Porsche’s groundbreaking automobile. Both are signature designs that serve as a testament to the pursuit of excellence. The real joy of the car and the chronograph isn’t found only in the design; it lies in the human element as much as the engineering. We asked Carole Kasapi what it feels like to press the “start” button on this inventive new chronograph. She says with a smile, “For me, it’s that rushing spirit you get when you start a race. You need to be as fast as you can to get that pole position, and that’s something you feel with this watch. It’s a cool function.”

Tech Specs

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche

References: CBS2011.FC6529 (steel); CBS2040.FC8318 (rose gold)
Movement: Self-winding caliber TH20-08; 80-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date
Case: 42mm; steel or 5N rose gold; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Gray or beige; applied indexes
Straps: Black or brown calfskin; steel or rose gold folding clasp


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