Tag Heuer’s ‘Glassbox’ Carrera was one of the best watches of 2023, near enough the perfect update for a design that stretches back to 1963. Its design team recreated the feel of the original Carrera without the new watch looking like a simple reproduction, which can be a tricky balance to achieve. It helps that current design trends – favouring small watches – seem to be edging in the direction of the 39mm diameter Carrera (and away from the bulkier sports-luxe style of the Royal Oak). And it’s worth noting that production techniques and limitations have a much stronger impact on the final look and feel of watches than is often credited – the original Carrera famously owes its most distinctive details, such as the angled inner seconds track, to innovations developed by Jack Heuer’s suppliers, while the finer precision of current production techniques can render designs sterile.
Wisely enough, Tag Heuer has revisited the formula to expand the Carrera collection with a ‘Dato’ style chronograph and a tourbillon, both in teal green, for general release (and you can assume that other colours will appear later, as well as boutique-only variations and collaborations).
Green and enviable: new Tag Heuer Carrera watches
The ‘Dato’ is the more interesting of the two, as it looks back to a 1968 variation where the chronograph hour totaliser was replaced with a date window. The result is a less cluttered and pleasingly asymmetric dial that gives greater prominence to the curved seconds track.
The Tourbillon version, which arrives in a few months’ time, is necessarily busier, with the running seconds subdial of the original replaced by the continuously moving tourbillon cage (which also works as a running seconds, turning once per minute). The watch is somewhat larger in diameter too, at 42mm, which offsets the extra content.
It’s pleasing that Tag Heuer has found a successful way to update one of the more attractive back-catalogue designs with so much character, the teal colour being a pleasing innovation in itself. Both watches are competitively priced and worth your attention.
Available at tagheuer.com
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James Gurney has written on watches for over 25 years, founding QP Magazine in 2003, the UK’s first home-grown watch title. In 2009, he initiated SalonQP, one of the first watch fairs to focus on the end-consumer, and is regarded as a leading horological voice contributing to news and magazine titles across the globe.
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