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Tag Heuer’s New 1960s Inspired Carrera Chronograph Panda

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda CBS2216.BA0041

Tag Heuer have been producing watches under the Carrera banner for over 60 years and the new colourway Carrera Chronograph draws on some of that original 1960s inspired design. But don’t worry, the modern Carrera aesthetic hasn’t been lost with the latest ‘glassbox’ sapphire crystal carried over from 2023’s releases. Tag Heuer themselves describe this new Carrera Chronograph panda as a blend of ‘historical reverence with cutting-edge design’.

The stand out feature of the watch is the panda dial. However, it comes with a slight twist. We are used to seeing pandas with the usual black and white combo, yet, this Carrera pairs black sub dials set against a brushed silver sunray dial. This colour combination is a throwback to the second series Carrera, the 7753 SN of the late 1960s. The initials SN were denoted in reference to ‘Silver’ and ‘Noir’. A slightly curious decision to mix both English and French in the name. Despite heralding from nearly 60 years ago the 7753 SN has hit headlines more recently thanks to the Ford V Ferrari film where Matt Damon, as Carroll Shelby, wears an original Heuer Carrera 7753.

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda CBS2216.BA0041

There are a couple of key differences between the original Carrera panda and this new edition. The new chronograph utilises a tri-compax layout and in the name of symmetry positions a date window at 6 o’clock. The 1960s version was a bi-compax chronograph with no date window. In order to maintain as much of the 1960s aesthetic as possible the 6 o’clock seconds are almost disguised against the silver sunray dial. It begs the question if Tag Heuer wanted to truly honour the 7753 SN why not remove the 6 o’clock seconds all together and stick with a bi-compax layout. In a similar vein to Tudor’s Black Bay Chrono.

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda CBS2216.BA0041

The use of contrasting colours for the dial and sub dials is all in aid of improving legibility. This was a key component of Jack Heuer’s original designs which he showcased by matching black sub dials with white hands. The 2024 release takes legibility a step further with the application of red lacquered hands on the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock black azuré registers. The use of red accents give the watch a sporty racing look whilst still offering a nod of appreciation to Heuer’s original concept.

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda CBS2216.BA0041

Tag Heuer’s now iconic glassbox design sees the 39mm case encapsulate the tachymeter within the domed sapphire crystal. A continuation of last year’s blue and black dial Carrera Chronographs, the glassbox concept is set to become a staple of the modern Carrera. Expect to see future releases continue this design signature.

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda CBS2216.BA0041

The modernisation of the 1960s Carrera Chronograph Panda is complete with 3 link steel bracelet and an open case back. The case back displays the newly designed shield rotor with semi skeletonisation to help showcase the in house Heuer 02 movement. Regarded as one of the best value chronograph movements around, the Heuer 02 boasts an impressive 80 hour power reserve.

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda

In summary, the panda chronograph is likely to be the hero of the Carrera Chronograph line up. The silver dial is a nice touch over the traditional white dial panda’s we’ve all come to expect and the red accents really stand out. I would have loved to see Tag stay true to the original with a bi-compax layout and you could argue about the necessity of the date window. Priced at £5,900 Tag Heuer have packed a lot into this new release.

Price and Specs:

Model: Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Panda
Case: 39mm diameter, stainless steel, glassbox domed sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Strap: Stainless Steel bracelet with TAG Heuer shield folding clasp
Price: £5,900

More details at Tag Heuer.

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About the author

James Lamburn

James' love affair with watches started when his grandad left him a two tone Tissot. From that moment he was hooked and he’s been daydreaming about watches ever since. Over the years his passion for watches has expanded beyond collecting and dinner party conversation. James now operates as a freelance writer covering all things watches and horology.