TAG Heuer’s gift for Jack Heuer’s 80th birthday, the Jack Heuer 80 Carrera, has become the gift that keeps on giving. The watch was one of the best received modern TAG Heuer designs, and managed to draw on the history of the Carrera without being a straight-up re-edition of a past model- a heritage watch rather than a retro watch, if you will. Given this success, TAG Heuer has released three other chronographs based on the Carrera 80 design, each with limited availability to ensure the look doesn’t become played out. The latest member of the family uses the classic colour scheme of McQueen’s Heuer Monaco- the 2015 TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 blue dial.
While the Carrera 17 Blue is not a re-edition, it does draw on historic Heuer models for its looks, most notably the Heuer Carrera 73353N above. This is a second-generation Carrera from the early 1970s, and strictly speaking the dial is not really a blue…. it’s more of a dark charcoal. Later Calibre 15 Carreras did use a metallic blue dial, but those models don’t have the classic two-register dial. The “Blue dial with white sub-dials” look is more associated with the Heuer Monaco 1133B rather than the Carrera, but the racing dial looks just as good on the Carrera in our view.
In fact, it was this colour scheme that we had in mind when we designed “our” version of the stillborn Carrera CH80 last year, albeit “our’ dial is more electric baby blue rather than the nicer metallic deep blue of the newcomer.
The Jack Heuer 80 Family
Like the other three chronographs in the family, the new Carrera Calibre 17 uses a 41mm steel case and the Carrera 1887-style pushers. It’s a beautifully simple design without any extraneous detailing on the dial. When the Carrera 80 first came out we thought that the red tips on the chronograph hands were perhaps a step too far, although over time it’s become just part of the look rather than a distraction.
Put simply, the dial is sensational. A wonderful dark metallic blue with a sunburst finish. We’re biased, but for a sporty chronograph it’s hard to go past the iconic blue and white design, complemented by the red Heuer shield and central chronograph hand.
Dial aside, the rest of the watch is the same as the other Calibre 17 Heuer Carreras.
The caseback is the same design as the two 2013 models and similar to that of the Jack Heuer 80, although it features the Heuer shield instead of the Heuer family crest.
The new watch uses the Calibre 17 movement, which traditionally has been the ETA 2894-2. This movement has long featured in TAG Heuers, so much so that we’ve written an entire post on the history of the Calibre 17. Given that the movement is a modular chronograph based on the ETA 2892, it’s possible that today’s Calibre 17 is built from the Sellita equivalent module, the SW300. We’ll try and find out which version sits inside the newest Carrera.
Look closely at the four dials of the Jack Heuer 80 family and you’ll notice that the two 2013 models are Chronometers, meaning that use COSC-certified movements. The 2015 model uses the same standard grade movement as the original Jack Heuer 80.
On the Wrist
Prices and Availability- Carrera CV211A
The 2015 Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 Blue Dial is limited to 500 pieces and only available in selected European and Asian markets- just as the 2013 models were only made for TAG Heuer’s boutiques, these watches are designed for a limited release rather than being a mainstream model. European price is EUR4,700.
You couldn’t get a bigger contrast than this Carrera and the Carrera we reviewed last week, the Carrera Heuer-01. While it’s clear that traditionalists will prefer this Calibre 17 model, we stand by our view that there is room in the Carrera range for the modern to mix with the classic.