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TAG Heuer celebrates 160 years of the Carrera

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Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer was founded by Edouard Heuer in 1860, and quickly developed a reputation for quality, innovative timepieces. Fast-forwarding to the 20th century, Edouard’s descendant, Jack Heuer became enamored of the Carrera Panamericana, one of the world’s most demanding road races. In 1963, Heuer released the TAG Heuer Carrera, a tribute to the race and to the drivers that compete in it.

To celebrate their 160th anniversary, TAG Heuer is producing a limited-edition reissue of the Carrera. It has most of the same features of the original, with a few modern improvements. In honor of the year 1860, the production will be limited to 1,860 watches. It will be available to the public in June.

Calibre Heuer 02 Movement

The Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition uses the Calibre Heuer 02 movement, which is an upgrade from the 1963 edition’s Valjoux 72 movement. In addition to being more accurate, it’s also slightly thinner, at 6.95mm. This allows for a thinner case, with correspondingly lower weight and a slightly more modest wrist presence.

First produced in 2018, the Heuer 02 movement is truly cutting edge. It’s Heuer’s follow up to their original Heuer 01 movement, which was released in 2015. It’s a relatively complex movement, with 3 subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and a date display at 4 o’clock. As always, not all of these features are found on every watch with a Heuer 02 movement. Notably, there’s no date window on the Carrera.

The Heuer 02 has 33 jewels, with 28,800 oscillations per hour, or 8 per second. This provides for a relatively smooth movement. You can still hear the watch tick – rapidly – if you hold it right up to your ear it’s silent.

Elegant Dial

The Carrera’s dial has a sleek, silver-white finish with large silver hashes at the 5-minute marks. The hour and minute hands are slender, but they’ve been improved from the original Carrera, with a SuperLuminova finish that offers excellent night visibility. Outside of the main index, there’s a stopwatch index, with tiny hashes that count from 0 up to 100 seconds. Small black numerals indicate the number every 10 seconds.

In the center of the dial, you’ll find three subdials. These subdials indicate hours, minutes, and a permanent second indicator. One change from the 1963 Carrera is that the permanent second indicator is positioned at 6 o’clock instead of 9 o’clock. This is necessary due to the design of the Heuer 02 movement, as opposed to the Valjoux 72. There’s also a prominent Carrera stamp at 12 o’clock, just above the Heuer logo.

Case & Crystal

The case is constructed from stainless steel and is brightly polished to match the silver markings on the dial. It measures 39mm in diameter, small enough for an understated wrist presence, but still large enough that the dial is easily legible. It’s surrounded by an elegant, slightly rounded fixed bezel. The crown is located at 3 o’clock, with a pair of pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock to operate the stopwatch function and subdials. The case back is engraved with the words “LIMITED EDITION” and “One of 1860”, which add to the watch’s authenticity.

The domed sapphire crystal has a retro look, but it’s not so steep that it distorts the dial. It looks nearly identical to the original 1963 crystal, but it’s been coated with a double anti-reflective finish to reduce glare. The case and crystal are water-resistant to 100 meters, good enough for showering and swimming, if not for diving.

Band & Extras

The Carrera limited edition comes with a gorgeous black alligator strap, with decorative perforations near the lugs. It has a polished stainless steel folding clasp that’s impressively secure. Double safety push buttons keep it from opening unless you intentionally press them.