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Carrera Ring Master- Japan Edition

It always seems as though our friends in Japan get all the cool stuff- the latest sneakers, talking robots, crazy gadgets and Limited edition watches.

TAG Heuer typically release a number of watches each year that are only sold in Japan- such as a series of Carreras to commemorate the great driving roads of the world, and an Aquaracer series to mark the world’s best diving spots.

Typically these Japan-only LE series are small variations on standard models, such as a unique dial or color combination.

This year, TAG Heuer Japan has released the Carrera Ring Master, a series of three Carrera Calibre 16 Chronographs with different coloured inner-bezels.

The Original: Heuer Ring Master

The Heuer Ring Master was a stop-watch released in 1957 with a series of interchangeable coloured rings, each of which has a different scale. The idea was that each ring is designed for a specific sport, such as athletics and boxing, and therefore showing different increments of time.

The watch you see below belongs to collector Peter Moller and is a beautiful complete set, including rings and a leather carrying pouch.

Alain Prost Carrera

Each of the 2011 watches has its colour linked to the helmet of a Formula 1 World Champion associated with TAG Heuer. Red is linked to Alain Prost, although fans will know that Prost’s helmet design that he used for most of his career was mainly blue and white, with only a little splash of red. Prost still races in the occasional series, and the helmet you see above is what he uses today.

Only 350 of the Red watches will be made.

With the exception of the coloured inner bezel, the Carrera Ring Master is the same as the standard Calibre 16 Chronograph, including the bracelet and Sapphire Caseback.

While the coloured rings on the original Heuer Ring Master each served a specific purpose, the benefit here are purely one of style.

  • Hi David

    Nice to see my Ring-Master here on your fantastic site. But I will point out that the pouch is vinyl and not leather.

    I don't think Jenson will be happy to be surnamed Batton! Baton is French for stick, so mayby he is The Stig!?!

    Keep up the good work

    Regards Peter, Denmark
    http://www.heuerwatches.net (under construction)

  • DC

    Hi Peter- Hah, I hadn't noticed that. Yes, poor Jenson won't be too happy. Thanks for clearing up the pouch- shame that its not leather, but guess that makes sense for a sports-timer.

    Thanks for sending through the link to your website. Anyone who wants to see some great photos of vintage Heuers should take a look at http://www.heuerwatches.net

    I especially like that Skipper!

    David

  • wynonie

    Very cool. Hopefully we'll see some more specific style concepts in watches sold in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi GP special edition was pretty un-inspired last year. Would like to see something like this, maybe on a leather strap with the colour of the ring accented.

  • Fabrizio

    Dear David thanks a lot for this very interesting find.

    I don't know if it's my vintage orientation (as it were) that makes me prefer watches from the past – even relatively near past – to current ones, but I got to admit that I like this Carrera more and more.

    It may end up to be the first TAG Heuer of mine sooner or later.

  • Vic

    I am surprised that this did not include Senna since he was a key driver in the mclaren line-up.

  • Mike K

    I like blue the best.

  • Himawan

    Very cool, David.

    Never realized that a small variation could make quite dramatic refreshment effect. The blue one is so unique, unlike other conventional TAG-Heuer colors..

  • Mark

    Nice little touches. I quite like the effect, for minimal effort. Wonder what they would have looked like if they went the dial recolour route – given the colours chosen, probably too close to the Schumacher Speedmasters is the answer, I would think.

    Poor Mr. Button. He's quite popular in Japan too, thanks to his links with the lovely Jess Michibata!

    If you have both the gold and red ones, does the gold one randomly crash into the red one, knocking pieces off? 🙂

  • DC

    I think the new inner-bezel makes a bigger difference than a dial with a new logo on it- as Mark and Himawan say, its a big impact for a very small change. I like Wynonie's idea about matching the colour to the strap

    Vic, Sadly TAG Heuer doesn't have the rights to the Senna image at the moment- lets hope that changes. Fast.

    Fabrizio, there may be a Carrera coming to Basel next year…just for you!

    dc

    p.s. Mark, Agree with you on Lewis…and Jessica!

  • Mark

    Didn't realise Jess had been signed up as an ambassador for TAG Heuer:

    http://www.tagheuer.com/int-en/home#/int-en-jessi

    • DC

      Yes, I think technically she is a "Friend of the Brand", which is one step less than a full Ambassador.

      Irrespective, maybe I need to appoint a few Calibre 11 Ambassadors…. 😉

      By the way, TAG Heuer in Japan have kindly sent through some updated images…so its Mr. Button now!

  • Newbie

    Newbie here, but where could I find a real Lewis Hamilton (yellow) version of this watch? Are there any online retailers that you trust?