With its super-light, less than 19 grams body, a new Carrera Carbon Matrix Composite Chronograph is the first big Tag Heuer’s surprise in 2013, and I believe we will see them more. This futuristic interpretation of the brand’s iconic racing model from 1963 is crafted in a special carbon composite, previously used in Formula One and the aerospace industry. Inspired by the hi-tech design of the 2012 Watch of the Year – Carrera Mikrogirder, the watch is powered by the brand’s first in house movement, renowned Calibre 1887. Although it is still just a concept, we expect Tag Heuer to come with the commercial version during the year, hopefully. If you like the style, check out a new Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer 50th Anniversary Edition – 45mm watch.
This year, Tag Heuer celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first Carrera watch, designed by the brand’s icon, Jack Heuer who took the inspiration from the world of motor-sports. Although it is always nice to see some heritage Carrera edition that pays homage to the original version, I am simply delighted with a fresh hi-tech look of the new Carrera Carbon Matrix Composite Concept Chronograph.
By using the characteristic design of Mikrogirder’s asymmetrical “bullhead” case with base horns, as well as a crown and chronograph pushers mounted at the 12 o’clock position, like those of a classic stopwatch, the Swiss watchmaker made us sure that this futuristic style was not just the experiment, but a great solution for some of the upcoming models (Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer 50th Anniversary Edition – 45mm watch which features the same design and that I will also review in this post).
Beside its great design and an exceptional mechanism, the absolute highlight of the new watch is its super light and unbelievably resistant material, called Carbon Matrix Composite. Its case, case-back and bezel are crafted in thin carbon fibers organized as an isotropic matrix, which required the extremely delicate miniaturized manufacturing process, previously used only in F1 and aeronautics. Thus, not only that this material makes the watch incredibly light and comfortable, but also it makes a new Carrera much stronger than some commonly used material would do.
For those who would like to be more amazed, here is a list of individual weights:
Case: 10.5 grams
Case-back (without crystal): 4.35 grams
Two blade horns: 2.77 grams
Bezel: 1.23 grams
All together, the entire body of the new Carrera has the amazing lightness of 18.85 grams. Add its leather strap, sapphire crystal and a mechanism and it is still lighter than a small-sized chicken egg. The only high-end watch I can remember that is lighter than this one is a new Richard Mille’s RM27-01 Rafael Nadal watch, also presented this year at SIHH show inGeneva, which has 19 grams in total!
Powered by the Calibre 1887
This year, Tag Heuer has finally started with the wider use of its first in-house mechanism which debuted in 2011, marking the brand’s 150th anniversary. This integrated column-wheel chronograph movement with automatic winding represents a radical re-engineering of one Edouard Heuer’s revolutionary oscillating pinion of 1887. It comprises 320 components and 39 jewels, oscillates at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and provides the power-reserve of 50 hours.
With the Calibre 1887 usually comes a 12-6-9 dial layout, but in this case, the mechanism is rotated, so that the watch has 3-6-9 layout that looks pretty cool on such a wide dial. Chronograph counter takes the central part of the black dial, surrounded by the minute scale, designed in the vintage style. Finally, there is the tachymeter scale, running over the outer rim. The 12-hour counter is at the 3 o’clock position, the small seconds takes the 6 o’clock, along with the date window, while the 30-minute counter is located at the 9 o’clock position.
Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer 50th Anniversary Edition – 45mm watch
Inspired by the two-part construction of Heuer stop watches, this stunning timepiece honors the Carrera’s creator, the brand’s Honorary Chairman Jack Heuer. You can immediately notice the Mikrogrider’s style, although the case of Jack Heuer’s watch has 2mm less in diameter (45 mm case). Once again, the renowned Swiss watchmaker used the technology from Formula One industry and aeronautics, making the inner part of its case of black titanium carbide steel which is hand-brushed and polished to a high sheen. A steel cage (the second part of the case) is polished, fine brushed and sandblasted.
The dial of the new Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer 50th Anniversary Edition watch also has a distinctive, two parted design: The central part of the dial comes in sunburst silver and features chrono counters and the date indicator, while the outer anthracite dial, also decorated with sunburst finishes, features applied hour markers. The outer rim is inscribed with tachymeter and pulsometer scales, just like vintage Heuer’s stopwatches. Through the smoked sapphire-crystal case-back, you can enjoy the beauty of the Caliber 1887.