The New TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph drives a major partnership from the tarmac to your wrist
In a Nutshell: Breitling and Bentley, Zenith and Land Rover, TAG and Aston Martin, JLC and Aston Martin, BALL and BMW, Panerai and Ferrari, Hublot and Ferrari – the list goes on. The luxury worlds of carmakers and watchmakers have time and time again joined forces to present enthusiasts and connoisseurs dream products. Does the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph in 44mm diameter, with an in-house movement (Calibre Heuer 02), an impressive 80-hour power-reserve, and excellent dial readability follow suit? Let’s find out…
When, Where & Why
Thursday 4 February marked a major partnership between a watch brand and a car manufacturer in the form of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph retailing for $8’450 AUD (ref. CBN2A1F.FC6492 on a leather strap). But that’s not it; according to the brand 2021 will “feature a rich portfolio of joint projects that reflect TAG Heuer’s and Porsche’s shared commitment to speed and precision sports”.
Who Is It For
Obvious response is that it’s for the lover of both these brands. But more importantly, I reckon it’s for those who appreciate the skill and effort that goes behind such timepieces; from the use of an entirely in-house movement to a strong collaboration, there is a lot to appreciate with the launch of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph.
It’s not Porsche-esque enough. A new collaboration warrants a new design, not just a re-hash of existing models. A smaller diameter version would be nice – I would love to see this in the body architecture of the 39mm of 2020’s Carrera 160 Years Montreal Limited Edition, especially given that they both use the same movement. Also, the date window at 6’o clock feels forced and the timepiece should look much ‘cleaner’ without it.
The movement — Heuer 02 — used is an automatic manufacture chronograph movement. The 6.95mm thick movement is comprised of 168 components and beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’000 A/h), providing with a very impressive 80-hour power reserve. The relatively thin for a chronograph movement features a vertical clutch and a column-wheel; the former improves the precision of the start-and-stop functions as well as the running of the chronograph second hand, while the latter provides more accurate and precise functionality.
Albeit not hand-finished, the movement does feature Côtes de Genève patterns and a redesigned oscillating weight in the shape of a steering wheel which I am sure the collectors are going to cherish. One can admire the Heuer 02 movement in all its glory through the steel screw-down sapphire case-back.
The movement beats inside a 44m thick fine-brushed and polished steel case adorning a fixed ceramic bezel.
The grey asphalt dial shows the functions of central hours and minutes, a central chronograph seconds hand, a black “azurage” 12-hour chronograph counter at 9 o’clock, a black “azurage” 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock, and a permanent black “azurage” seconds counter at 6 o’clock. The applied logo branding at 12 is welcome as it complements the raised appliques and the overall 3D effect of the dial.
How Does It Do
The first collaboration offering may not be revolutionary enough worth the hype preceding this release, but overall the timepiece is impressive with design codes emblematic of both brands — more TAG than Porsche though — present in decent measure.
TAG Heuer and Porsche join forces to unveil an extensive partnership that in the future promises to be the one to look out for.
Personally the subtle use of red combined with Porsche inspired elements is the reason why I believe the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph shines. The grey asphalt base is a great added touch as well that brings the world of motorsports and cars to the wrists.
Legibility is another key feature that I admire on this release. Both the black gold plated applied indexes in-filled with white Super-LumiNova® in classic Porsche font — the Arabic numerals suggest the numbers on the dashboard of fine Porsche sportscars — and the rhodium-plated hour and minute hands again with white Super-LumiNova® dance in tandem to reveal the whatever mysteries of time the wearer may subject himself to.
But it’s the aforementioned reds that take the cake – its presence at the four cardinal points, on the central seconds and sub-dial hands, the ‘PORSCHE’ branding inscription on the bezel, and on the crown invokes a stylish ‘Sin City-esque’ appeal. This is only further complemented by the Porsche colours of red, black, and grey.
Add to these features the calf leather strap with innovative stitching that echoes the Porsche interior and what you get is a pretty good timepiece.
And for those who find the watch impressive but not with-in their budgets, and care less about the movement but more about the motorsports world, the 2020 Formula 1 Indy 500 2020 Special Edition is one excellent offering from TAG Heuer. For about one-third the price of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, one gets the similar asphalt dial with similar “azurage” sub-dials and a similarly sized 43mm case.
Let’s be honest; partnerships can often lead to tacky and tasteless collaborations, that frankly should never have seen the light of the day in the first place. The new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph just manages to avoid falling into this trap – it’s a bold timepiece that gets the job done. Much can be said in praise of TAG finally joining hands with Porsche, a partnership that on paper is a match made in heaven.
That said, should it have included more effort from the design teams than simply providing a different colour-way to last year’s 44mm diameter Carrera chronographs, it would have been a stellar way for TAG Heuer to start off 2021. It’s not innovation at its best, but at least it’s a promising enough start to this partnership. I look forward in anticipation to what’s next.
For more information on this and other TAG Heuer watches, please head to their website here. All images unless stated otherwise are courtesy ©TAG Heuer.