Aside from the nearly 60 years between them, the modern 2020 Carrera is a world away from the original 1963 version aesthetically. Sure, they’re both racing chronographs, but that’s about it. Enter the new, 42mm addition to the new Carrera collection which is, in short, the best of both worlds.
Personally, I think this piece should be the Carrera Vintage or something similar as it’s definitely not just a slightly smaller version of the sportier, larger chrono launched earlier this year. The tachymeter bezel has been removed; yet unlike the original Carrera, it’s not under the crystal either. In fact, there is no tachymeter.
That kind of stretches the definition of a racing watch, sure, but at least it keeps the aesthetics nicely in line with the famous silver-dialled 1963 model. The chronograph is still easily legible thanks to the 60-second chapter ring and bi-compax layout, and its retro racing credentials are hammered home with the mushroom pushers, all streamlined and elegant.
Despite its vintage touches, the new Carrera 42 is still a contemporarily large watch and inside is nothing if not modern. It shares the Calibre 02 automatic movement of the 44mm model, a movement TAG Heuer is rightly proud of, with its vertical clutch column wheel chronograph and 80-hour power reserve. It’s a great piece of watchmaking and a serious upgrade from the last generation.
There are four different executions of the new watch, two on bracelets and two on straps. The bracelets play it safe with solid black and blue dials; the straps are offered in a lovely anthracite hue and my personal favourite, the classic silver with rose gold indexes. They’re all handsome, but that last is special, in good part thanks to the connotations a silver-dialled Carrera.
So, at one end you have sleek looks reminiscent of the original, iconic racing watch; on the other you have the horological credentials of the modern TAG Heuer collection. It might have lost some of its track-focused credentials but the result is worth a little compromise.
Just maybe don’t call it a racing chronograph.
Price & Specs:
Model: TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 42 mm
Ref: CBN2010.BA0642 (black opaline dial / stainless steel bracelet)
CBN2011.BA0642 (blue sunray brushed dial / stainless steel bracelet)
CBN2012.FC6483 (anthracite sunray brushed dial / brown alligator leather strap)
CBN2013.FC6483 (silver opaline dial / brown alligator leather strap)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter, fine-brushed stainless steel
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre Heuer 02, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph: 1/4 second, 30 minutes counter, 12 hours counter, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or brown alligator strap
Price/availability: £4,395 (CBN2010.BA0642 / CBN2011.BA0642 / CBN2012.FC6483)
More details at TAG Heuer.