TAG Heuer TAG Heuer unveils its latest Carrera – and enlists Ryan Gosling
TAG Heuer has just announced a partnership with the wearer of a three-hand Carrera – actor Ryan Gosling. Forget ambassador; think trophy
There was a fine turn-out on Tuesday evening at the Automobile Club de France, in the very heart of Paris on Place Concorde. It was the perfect setting for the event in question: TAG Heuer announcing a new version of its legendary Carrera, on the wrist of an ambassador who’s in the process of becoming something of a legend himself: Ryan Gosling.
For TAG Heuer’s CEO Frédéric Arnault, Ryan Gosling certainly ticks all the right boxes: sky-high popularity across a very broad swath of admirers, a professional acclaimed by all (with a body to match), and a natural disposition to action. The actor is virtually a trophy – one can only imagine how many brands must have tried to win him over, all the more so because he comes untrammelled by any previous marketing partnerships in the world of watchmaking, an increasingly rare state of affairs.
Ryan Gosling © TAG Heuer
Ryan Gosling didn’t arrive unaccompanied: he was wearing a three-hand Carrera, the full name of which, appropriately enough, is the Carrera Trois Aiguilles, summing up the description of the watch and suitably capitalised. The collection in question first saw the light of day in the early 2000s; now, it’s back with a new look.
At first, this move might come as just as much of a surprise as when Breitling announced a Navitimer without a chronograph function. Whatever’s next? A Porsche without a rev counter? The fact (readily conceded, it must be said) is that the Carrera is a lineage, an ethos, and a story in its own right – one that can (fairly) easily accommodate a three-handed model. TAG Heuer has spared no effort to make sure everyone gets the message, too, with no fewer than 13 references and four different versions: the Day Date 41 mm, Twin-Time Date 41 mm, Date 39 mm, and Date 29 mm. Prices range from €2550 to €3100.
The collection has thus had the good taste to avoid aiming for men on the one hand and women on the other – apart from the 29-millimetre version, which does seem to be directed more specifically at the ladies. All the other models are unisex, and each has inherited the chief characteristic of their chronographic forebear: impeccable readability.
TAG Heuer Carrera Day Date 41mm © WorldTempus/Olivier Müller
Fine-tuned sports ethos
In any case, the gamble has paid off: the new models are instantly recognisable as pure Carreras, following the stylistic course charted by the Carrera Heuer 02 models released last year. They feature a new Carrera logo, broader hands, and brighter hour markers, as well as the familiar clean-cut profile of the case – edgy and sportslike, with a virtually seamless transition to the strap. The lugs have been refined to offer an even better match with a case that’s that bit slimmer due to the absence of a chronograph. The strap has kept the large central link that anchors to the edge of the bezel. A slimmer case means a thinner, more flexible strap; it’s narrower too, as one would expect for a maximum case diameter of 41 mm as opposed to at least 42 mm (and as much as 44 mm) previously. All models feature a sapphire caseback, a welcome detail.
TAG Heuer Carrera Twin-Time Date 41mm © TAG Heuer
Go for a Drive?
Should we conclude that the Carrera is no longer a sports watch? TAG Heuer rejects the suggestion, showing off its new collection alongside its new ambassador (now dark-haired and more virile than ever) and alongside cars from Porsche, another of the brand’s partners. Be that as it may, the new Carrera is just as much La La Land as it is Drive, exuding urban chic and thoroughbred sportiness in equal measure. “Drive [the movie] is the best reflection of what we are today,” insists Frédéric Arnault.
As things stand, the Trois Aiguilles is therefore a success, albeit one with no risk involved, taking up the essential ethos of the Carrera. One might have expected it to be a little more adventurous – a better distribution of leather and steel straps, for instance. As things stand, 12 of the straps for the 13 models are steel and only one is leather. Indeed, why not offer interchangeable straps? None of the movements are in-house, but since the brand is aiming for volume here, having a more attractive price has naturally been the deciding factor. Could the same reasoning open the way for quartz models one day?
TAG Heuer Carrera Date 39 and 29mm © TAG Heuer
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