TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber 16By Ken Kessler
The Carrera has been a mainstay for TAG Heuer, evolving over the decades to include all manner of sport-related chronographs; the emphasis, of course, is on motor-racing. Like a periodic fresh coat of paint, the Carrera has been treated to an aesthetic brush-up, with the company pointing out that it’s not just about the looks: the new models offer improved legibility – always an issue with chronograph dials.
Like a new fashion season’s presentation, the 2019 collection of four watches offers new color schemes to suit assorted tastes and applications, the company stating suitability “from the office to a casual weekend on the go”. In redesigning the range, the 41mm Carrera Calibre 16 proposes an ideal marriage of functionality, comfort and style.
Common to all is the movement that gives the range its name, the 25-jewel, automatic Caliber 16 featuring rapid date correction, an oscillating frequency of 4Hz and a generous 42-hour power reserve. Its presence is indicated by a stamped caseback with the collection name, and a tyre-track pattern references the Carrera’s roots in the legendary race of the same name. Also upgraded is the crown, now with black lacquer around the centre and the TAG Heuer emblem.
Distinguishing the new Carreras from their predecessors are dials in sunray black or sunray blue. The chronograph’s three sub-dials are larger, for more instant reading of the hour and minute counters, hours, minutes and small seconds and date. TAG Heuer has replaced the dots of SuperLuminova with index markers filled with luminescent material. To add to the excitement, touches of color have been added: red tips the central seconds hand and subdial hands, the start/stop pusher and the flange from 12 to 3 o’clock on the black dial, while the blue-dialed models are tipped with orange.
TAG Heuer didn’t stop there. The stainless-steel cases appear thinner thanks to shorter lugs, while a mix of brushed and polished finishes change the overall character. Another visual effect applies to the bezels: they appear larger because they no longer have metal rings along their outer edges.
All that’s left for the client to consider is the color should one prefer the leather straps instead of the steel bracelets, with TAG Heuer particularly proud of the version in blue with a light brown leather strap. That edition’s strap is perforated calfskin, with stitching and lining in the same orange as the accents on the dial. The model with the sunray black dial is fitted a perforated black leather strap with red stitching. And whichever you choose, the heritage comes free.
Calibre 16 automatic chronograph, rapid date correction, 42-hour power reserve
41mm stainless steel case, fixed blue or black ceramic bezel water-resistant to 100m
Stainless-steel bracelet, black or brown leather strap