Introducing the Carrera Three Hands & New TAG Heuer Ambassador, Ryan GoslingBy Revolution
What is in a Name?
Jack Heuer writes in his self-titled autobiography that in January of 1962, having lent the organizers of the race a handful of Heuer pocket watch chronographs with spilt seconds, he was invited by the Sports Car Club of America to attend the 12 Hours Race at Sebring in Florida.
In those years, where endurance racing is concerned, Sebring was the place to be. It saw notable names from both the professional and amateur circuits descend, from the likes of German racer, Jochen Rindt, the Mexican racing brothers, Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez, and even the one and only, Paul Newman.
While at the track, Jack mostly hung out at the Ferrari pits. He clearly was a fan, as he spent enough time there to get acquainted with the Rodriguez brothers and their parents. The brothers were piloting for Ferrari that year.
Recounting one of the conversations he had with the brothers’ parents, Jack writes, “They told me that they were lucky that their boys were so young — Pedro was then 21 and Ricardo 19 — because if they had been born a few years earlier they would certainly have participated in the dangerous race across Mexico known as the Carrera Panamericana Mexico. At the time it was considered to be the most dangerous sports car race in the world and over a period of five years had claimed over 30 victims. It was called off in 1955 because of safety concerns, a decision no doubt reinforced by the disaster at Le Mans the same year.”
It was at Sebring that Jack first encountered the word Carrera, and now, as history holds, it clearly left a deep-seated impression on him. Jack writes, “I loved not only its sexy sound but also its multiple meanings, which include road, race course and career. All very much Heuer territory! So as soon as I got back to Switzerland I rushed to register the name under ‘Heuer Carrera.’”
Read more: TAG Heuer Dedicates 160th Anniversary to the Carrera
Designing the Carrera
As a student, Jack Heuer had developed an interest and love for modern design. He writes that he loved the works of furniture designers Le Corbusier and Charles Eames, and architects such as Eero Saarinen and Oscar Niemeyer. Jack shares that, in fact as a student, he even saved enough to buy himself an Eames lounge chair, which he admits, looked oddly out of place in his student accommodation.
When time came to design the first watch of his career in the industry, as majority shareholder of Heuer, he applied principles that he learned from following the works of these world renowned designers to his own creation.
Jack starts off sharing that wristwatch chronographs were popular in those days (in the midst of WWII), particularly in the military and artillery officers who used their chronograph wristwatches to calculate distances and synchronize attack times with troops on the ground. “Many of these chronographs were equipped with artillery telemeters with spiral scales which made their dials difficult to read. I wanted a dial that had a clear, clean design, and a new technical invention came to my aid.”
Jack elaborates, “A manufacturer of plastic watch crystals had invented a steel tension ring that fitted inside the crystal and kept it under tension against the surrounding steel case, thereby greatly increasing the degree of water resistance. I decided to use the inside bevel of this tension ring to carry the markings measuring one-fifths of a second. In other words, the flat dial surface no longer had to carry these markings — they had now been shifted off onto the tension ring — and this was the secret behind the fresh, clean and uncluttered appearance of my first ‘Carrera.’”
Inspired by this very philosophy, contemporary TAG Heuer introduced time-only executions of the Carrera, first in the year 2000. This was intended for individuals who loved the Carrera’s sense of legibility, as mandated by Jack Heuer himself, but were after something that would provide for a simpler daily-wear, time-only watch. 2021 years on, this particular line of the Carrera is now receiving an update, in line with the brand’s present-day motivations.
Says Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer’s CEO, said “Since its first introduction more than two decades ago, the TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands has become a centerpiece of our offering, and we are delighted to introduce a new line that ties the watch firmly to its illustrious roots, while projecting bold modernity and refinement. With 4 variations and 13 new timepieces, our clients and collectors will undoubtedly find the TAG Heuer Carrera that uniquely matches their lifestyle while enjoying its signature understated design and unrivalled legibility, features which have made it the lasting success it is.”
The four variations that Mr Arnault speaks of are as follows: The Carrera Day Date 41mm, Carrera Twin-Time Date 41mm, Carrera Date 39mm, and last but not least the Carrera Date 29mm. With clarity of the stainless-steel case sizes mentioned in their names, the Carrera Day Date 41mm as its name suggest, presents an abbreviated day indication paired with a date window at 3 o’clock. Four flavors of dials will be offered for this one, all of which are powered by the automatic TAG Heuer Calibre 5.
Next, the Carrera Twin-Time Date 41mm, essentially presents a GMT-style hand for those looking for a no-nonsense timepiece that offer dual time tracking. This GMT-style hand bears a prominent red arrowhead to avoid any confusion when tracking home and local times. A date window is then offered at 6 o’clock. The Carrera Twin-Time Date 41mm is offered with a blue sunray-brushed dial, only and is powered by the automatic TAG Heuer Calibre 7.
The Carrera Date 39mm will be offered with four dial options, presents a date window at 6 o’clock and is powered by the automatic TAG Heuer Calibre 5. The Carrera Date 29mm will also be offered with four dial options, presents a date window at 6 o’clock and is powered by the automatic Calibre 9.
Straight forward as it all may sound, what is not to be taken lightly is the aggressive price points that TAG Heuer has placed all four version at. The Carrera Day Date 41mm, Carrera Twin-Time Date 41mm ranges from within Euro 2,750 to 2,950; the Carrera Twin-Time Date 41mm is priced at Euro 3,000; the Carrera Date 39mm ranges from Euro 2,550 to 2,750; lastly the Carrera Date 29mm ranges from Euro 3,100 to 2,220. All of which present superb value propositions given the name borne on the dials.
But Wait, There’s More
Accompanying the launch of the refreshed TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands lineup, is the announcement of the brand’s latest ambassador: Canadian heartthrob and superstar, Ryan Gosling.
Says Mr Arnault, “We are thrilled to announce Ryan Gosling as TAG Heuer global ambassador, for his first ever brand partnership. A star since his early days, he has grown to become an icon – one both enigmatic an inscrutable. He is a true artist who chooses his projects with utmost care and dedicates himself to them like no other, not only shaping his character but the entire creative direction. The movie Drive represents the strongest link with who we are today, and we are excited about the creative projects we have together.”
From La La Land to Blade Runner 2049 and even First Man, where Gosling took on the lead role as the one and only living legend and astronaut, Neil Armstrong — the actor’s accolades are plenty. And, as Mr Arnault points out, Gosling’s performance as the Driver in the 2011 movie, Drive is perfectly in line with TAG Heuer’s racing heritage.
Gosling shares, “TAG Heuer has quietly and consistently been a classic and iconic pillar of excellence in its field for over a hundred and sixty years. Partnering with them was an easy decision and time, in general, is just something I think a lot about now. My kids are growing up fast so I keep an eye on the clock in a way I never used to.”
More information: tagheuer.com