Did Tag Heuer bring justice to Carrera’s 160 year journey with its latest re-edition?
The new TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition has been 160 years in the making.
The TAG Heuer 160 Years Silver Limited Edition is a re-edition of a monochrome silver-dialled model from 1964, a chronograph watch most strikingly remembered to this day amongst collectors for the simplicity of its three azurage sub-dial counters.
There are some watches that are destined to be grails.
The original monochrome starburst silver-dialled model from 1964 — often referred to as “2447S” among collectors — is one such watch.
Famed for its uniquely clean dial and silvery chronograph, this Heuer chronograph to some extent has been the cornerstone of the hugely popular Carrera lineup that was inspired by the legendary Carrera Panamericana, one of the most challenging road races in the world.
And now this re-edition, the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, takes the brand’s racing heritage from the 60s and brings it to our wrists today.
For those who either own the original and are looking to add this new version to their collection, or like us are excited to be a part of this latest Carrera movement, it is worthwhile to note that while both versions are very similar, there are a few differences.
Given the difference in eras, the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition is a faithful re-edition yet has had upgrades to bring it to the present day.
And before the purists amongst you start rallying in protest, bear with us while we list these changes and explain how they work in favour of the watch.
The latest stainless steel iteration presented on a black alligator strap measures a larger and more wearable 39mm instead of 36mm of the original. We say more wearable because the aesthetics of our times have changed. With brands like Hublot and Panerai swaying common beliefs, even 39mm for a sports watch seems a bit too small.
But the changes in the dial and the movement are where the real magic happens.
The dial shows the functions of hours, minutes and central chronograph seconds hand. In that, it’s a pretty standard chronograph. Whats sets it apart is the colour coding and layout of the dial.
The colour of the dial is silver with sun-ray brushed texture and has silver chronograph counters and a white permanent seconds indicator. The sub-dials may be the same colour as the dial but that doesn’t harm the legibility of the dial. They are recessed with printed tracks.
If you look closely, the sub-dials also have concentric circle rings. When the light falls on these dials, the sun-ray brushed look contrasts really well with the recessed concentric circles of the sub-dials, and this simple yet contrasting dial is what really sets this TAG Heuer 160 Years Silver Limited Edition apart.
Another change is the shape of the central hour and minute hands. They are now facetted. Given the increase in the case size, these new hands — rhodium-plated, polished and coated with beige SuperLuminova® — work well keeping in check the symmetry of the dial.
The lacquered central hand is black, just like the original, though the shape again has been updated keeping in sync with the hour and minute hands.
There are two small details on the dials of both these versions — 2020 and 1964 — that are the same which we think is very commendable on the part of TAG Heuer.
One, they have retained the branding of this watch at 12’o clock to be ‘Heuer’ and not ‘TAG Heuer’.
Two, they both say ‘Swiss’ at 6’o clock and not the standard ‘Swiss Made’.
Additionally, the collectors would be happy to know that “One of 1860” and “LIMITED EDITION” are engraved on the case-back along with “160 Years of Avant-Garde” engraved on the oscillating weight.
The other noteworthy feature is the movement used
TAG Heuer has updated the movement to calibre Heuer 02 from the original’s Valjoux 72, thereby influencing a change in the permanent second indicator which is now at 6 o’clock instead of being at 9 o’clock.
The Heuer 02 movement is in itself a sophisticated in-house innovation that is entirely Swiss-made and provides greater stability with a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour). What this frequency means is that the watch can technically measure up-to 1/8th of a second, and if TAG Heuer had chosen to indicate this on the dial, this could have been an added feature.
The Heuer 02 movement comprising of 168 components has an impressive power reserve of 80 hours.
Essentially you can wear this watch all week, leave it on your bedside table for the weekend if you choose to, and pick it back up on Monday and it will still be running.
It also has a redesigned oscillating weight, visible through the screwed-down sapphire crystal, and is adorned with a lacquer-filled engraving which we are sure the collectors are going to cherish.
A sports watch without a decent water rating is any oxymoron in itself. This new version beats this notion and water resistance is a good 100m (10 ATM) on this one.
The TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, reference CBK221B.FC6479, will have a run of only – you guessed it – 1860 pieces and should be available worldwide from June 2020.
The TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition is a good looking sports watch that can easily double up as a utility and/or dress watch. It’s got a unique sense of fauxtina and a retro feel to it.
It is classically built, derived from a legendary watch that is well regarded in TAG Heuer circles. The limited edition part will make it even more widely sought after.
The size of 39mm is not big especially for anyone under 16.5cm wrist size which is a positive aspect and hence this watch has a true place in our Fusion Friday list. The decent 100m (10 ATM) water resistance means it is can be taken out for a light swim now and then. We still won’t recommend this to go diving with, but the watch still can be worn for say swimming in pools and you can comfortably wear this in the rain or shower. Of-course the black alligator strap is probably not going to last under the shower but you get the idea: the watch has a decent water resistant. It also makes our His+Her list as the 39mm size will work for women lovers of the brand as well.
If you want to just browse the the technical details of this watch for future reference, we have a shorter tech specs review under our ‘Sneak Peek’ category accessible here for easy reference.
For more information on this and other TAG Heuer watches, head here.