Yes, TAG Heuer is about to introduce at Baselworld yet another Concept Watch – it’s becoming a tradition for the La Chaux-de-Fonds based brand to launch something truly spectacular each year since the advent of the V4 as a Concept Watch, back in 2004. And, in a year dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Carrera, it will surely be associated with the iconic model conceived by Jack Heuer in 1963. But TAG Heuer is also introducing sophisticated new Carrera models to further complement its best-selling line.
After several new timepieces presented at the 50 Years of Carrera exhibition in Geneva last January, including a few ‘regular’ Carrera Calibre 1887 models plus a bullhead Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer Edition designed by the great man himself, TAG Heuer is upping the ante with the Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Chronograph. It doesn’t feature the in-house Calibre 1887, but it’s motored by an ‘in-group’ movement anyway: Calibre 36 is based on the famous El Primero movement from Zenith, a fellow brand of the LVMH stable. And it features a flyback function for some extra pedigree on a well designed chronograph that is worthy of the prestigious Carrera heritage: the two-tone dial with sunray effect on the inner dial exudes the traditional horizontal bi-compax disposition with subcounters at 3 and 9 o’clock, plus the date window at 6.
“Glorious past, great history”
The Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback also features something new within the Carrera line for 2013, besides a new three-link steel bracelet: a higher level of sophistication on the finishing of the cases, alternating polished and fine-brushed surfaces. Marc Wälti, product manager of the Carrera at TAG Heuer, has disclosed that the dual-type finishing will be the usual procedure for all Carrera timepieces from this year on.
“Why is the Carrera successful nowadays? Because already in the late 60s and the early 70s it was acknowledged as an incredible chronograph. Because of the minimalism, because of the easy readability, because of the style of the product”, says Jean-Christophe Babin. “Its success 50 years on stems from the fact that it has not just a past as such, but a truly glorious past. So I think we should be careful: being historic is not enough if you don’t have a great history”. TAG Heuer is definitely not resting on the Carrera’s laurels.
Back in Black
Moreover, even in the year of the Carrera Jubilee, there’s enough space for another TAG Heuer: the Monaco will be issued in a black limited edition dedicated to the Automobile Club de Monaco. The officially named Monaco Calibre 12 Chronograph Automobile Club de Monaco Edition is the first Monaco re-edition/re-interpretation in black, emulating a rare Monaco species from the 1970s that has been setting records in auctions, while specialists have yet to determine whether it was issued in a small series or if it was just a matter of a few prototypes.
Rugged titanium carbide coating provides the sophisticated dark look on the case and pusher guards, contrasting with polished and fine.-brushed steel on the pushers. The smoked sapphire caseback displays the ACM logo and the perforated calfskin strap is the perfect accessory for a cool version of the square chronograph made famous by the King of Cool, Steve McQueen.