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Tag Heuer Carrera Glassbox Watch Review

The Carrera is a legend of a watch; the last clutch of pages are more than enough to hammer that home. But while there have certainly been a lot of watches to bear the name over the past few decades, Tag Heuer have been slowly modernising the Carrera blueprint into something straddling the line between practical racing watch and more modern, automotive flavoured chronograph. The Tag Heuer Carrera Glassbox is perfectly in between those two poles.

While there’s a lot here that collectors will recognise – it has basically the same Carrera outline we’ve come to know and love – the main difference is instantly recognisable, and not just because it’s in the name. The titular Glassbox is a highly domed sapphire crystal that stands well above the bezel. Aside from the new look – and it’s definitely a different look – the crystal has the added benefit of allowing the tachymeter to sit below the crystal rather than on the bezel while maintaining readability. It’s gorgeous, and the tachymeter echoes the shape of the crystal, making it immensely aesthetically satisfying.

Tag Heuer Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Reverse Panda

However, while there are definitely shiny new touches, the sizing is a bit more vintage. 39mm of stainless steel is smaller than most other Carreras, and suits the look and feel on the wrist to a tee. Honestly, this might be my favourite TAG Heuer in years.

There are two colour options available. Here we have the reverse panda – black dial with white subdials – that will be pretty familiar to most collectors. There’s a reason this kind of high-contrast look is still incredibly popular. I do with they’d done away with the faux patina lume, but you can’t have everything, apparently.

Tag Heuer Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Reverse Panda
Tag Heuer Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Reverse Panda

The blue isn’t just a recolour; it’s a slightly different layout too. The entire dial is more restrained and actually uses a ghost running second subdial instead of the three-register layout of the black-and-white. The date window’s at six o’clock rather than 12 o’clock too, giving the entire thing a bit more of a retro, faux-bicompax look. Of the two, I prefer the black-and-white but honestly, there’s not much in it.

Tag Heuer Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Reverse Panda

Either way, the watch comes equipped with the Calibre TH20-00 automatic movement, a more-than-solid in-house number complete with a downright impressive 80-hour power reserve. I don’t usually give rotors much of a look but here the sharp-edged logo rotor is really cool, opting for an industrial, steel look instead of anything more ornate.

The only downside to the movement is that it’s relatively thick. That would be fine in most watches, but here the extra height of the Glassbox means that the watch as a whole is actually a bit thicker than I’d like. It’s not a deal breaker as part of its funky silhouette comes from that height, but it doesn’t feel as comfortable on the wrist as it could be. Still, it’s a small issue and for one of the best Carrera variations so far, it’s something I can forgive.

Tag Heuer Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Reverse Panda (

Both versions are priced at £5,600, which is about £1,000 less than a Speedmaster and a good chunk of cash less than a Daytona. It’s still firmly priced as a luxury watch – and the Glassbox is slightly more than other Carreras – but it’s still a good amount of watch for the money.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox
  • Ref: CBS2210.FC6534
  • Case/dial: 39mm diameter, stainless steel case, black dial
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Tag Heuer calibre TH20-00, in-house, automatic, COSC-certified
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 80h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
  • Strap: Perforated black calfskin leather
  • Price/availability: £5,600

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.