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2015 Carrera Heuer-01

The new Carrera Calibre Heuer-01 is an important watch- it’s not just the first example of new CEO Jean-Claude Biver’s vision for what TAG Heuer design should be, but also the first watch to feature the new Heuer-01 Calibre, a development of the Calibre 1887. Biver strongly believes that to justify the higher cost of an in-house movement, you should instantly be able to distinguish a TAG Heuer with an in-house movement without resorting to reading the small text on the dial- mission accomplished. Don’t expect to see this design offered with an ETA/ Sellita Calibre.

But despite offering a modular/ composite case and an in-house movement, the Carrera Heuer-01 stays true to the Biver vision of aggressive pricing for  TAG Heuer, with pricing about the same as the existing Carrera 1887 Chronograph.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01

There is no question that the new Carrera has a Hublot-feel to it, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has seen the similarities between the new Jerome Lambert-led Montblanc collection and the designs he rubber-stamped during his time at Jaeger-LeCoultre…a brand’s watches naturally reflect the tastes and preferences of the boss. That doesn’t mean that the entire TAG Heuer range will morph into mini-Big Bangs, but you will see flourishes and influences from TAG Heuer’s sister brand.

Case

TAGHeuer_HEUER01_CAR2A1Z.FT6044_SeductionThis is not your grandfather’s Carrera. Yes, the case still echos the original Carrera, but the construction is entirely different. Rather than being made from a single piece of steel, the Carrera Heuer-01’s 45mm modular steel/ titanium case is made from 12 different components:

  • Lugs (X4)
  • Middle Case
  • Bezel
  • Caseback
  • Crown and mouldings
  • Push-buttons
  • Gasket between the middle case and the bezel
  • Upper and lower sapphire crystals

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01The modular nature of the case means that it will be easy to offer small variations of the design , without needing to retool for an entirely new case.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01The strap is rubber, with what looks to be titanium end-pieces- not sure how well this will work, so we’ll need to check this out in person.

Dial

TAG Heuer dialThe Black skeleton dial has with 3 counters, with the Chronograph minute counter at 12 o’clock, Chronograph hour counter at 6 o’clock and small counter at 9 o’clock for the current seconds- the same layout as the existing Calibre 1887-powered watches. We may see a further evolution of the Calibre 1887 with an alternative dial layout, but for the moment the Carrera sticks with the familiar 12-6-9 layout.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01

The hour-markers are Rhodium-plated with red dot detail and white and red Super Luminova, while the hands are rhodium-plated with a polished finished. Note the stylised TAG Heuer logos on the tip of the hour and minute hands.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01

Movement: Calibre Heuer-01

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01

Chevenex1

The TAG Heuer Calibre Heuer-01 is a development of the Calibre 1887. We know that TAG Heuer has continued to evolve and improve the 1887 since it’s launch in 2010, and we’re now on the 4th generation of the Carrera 1887 (denoted by the “-4” suffix on the model reference). The key dimensions of the movement are unchanged (still 39 jewels; still 50 hours power reserve), but we do have some cosmetic changes, such as the Red column wheel, a new skeleton weight and chronograph bridge.

Chevenex2The front of the movement shows off the visible skeleton date disc.

We’re keen to find out exactly what separates the Calibre 1887 and the Heuer-01 and whether it’s simply a case of a new name and cosmetic changes, or whether the differences go further. Either way, it makes sense to move on from the Calibre 1887.

CALIBRE HEUER 01 BACK VIEW

Why the Carrera Calibre Heuer-01 is Important

Carrera Now and thenOver the last few weeks we’ve seen two interpretations of the Carrera- yes, it’s a watch with a wonderful heritage stretching back more than 50 years, but it’s also at the centre of today’s TAG Heuer collection and will continue to be going forward. The Carrera must be as relevant and bold in 2015 as it was in 1963- time and time again we’ve seen that while retro designs please some of the purists, they do nothing to move the brand forward. There has to be both a heritage and a future vision.

And that’s what the Carrera Heuer-01 offers. Jean-Claude Biver told us that TAG Heuer’s had to be bold and avant garde, which meant using modern materials rather than just steel. The Carrera clearly ticks those boxes. Those expecting Biver to simply “polish” the existing TAG Heuer collection underestimate the scope of change that he likes to implement. Whether it’s changing the TAG Heuer logo, the names of the movements or the designs of the watches themselves, expect revolution not evolution.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01 It also marks a change in philosophy on in-house movements. The old plan was to migrate the majority of the chronograph collection across to the Calibre 1887, which is why in some cases you had two almost identical watches, one with an ETA/ Sellita and the other with the in-house Calibre 1887. TAG Heuer will now continue to buy movements from the likes of Sellita and Dubois Depraz, meaning that watches with the in-house movement must be differentiated and special enough to justify their additional cost.

Pricing and Availability: TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Reference CAR2A1Z

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01

At this stage, all we know about the pricing of the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer-01 is that it will be priced at “less than CHF 5000” (Swiss Francs), so about the same as the 41mm Carrera 1887 Chronograph- that’s a very sharp price given the use of titanium, the modular case, skeleton dial and an in-house movement. If TAG Heuer can deliver it’s new Heuer-01 watches to market at these sorts of prices, then the revolution may be far more accessible that we thought.

Read our exclusive first review of the Carrera Calibre Heuer-01 here

TAG Heuer Forum

TAG Heuer Forums

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  • Jorge Borbolla

    I like the design very much, its different and you can see Jean Claude Biver influence on it. One thing that bothers me though is the 45mm size, I wish they kept 44mm the limit. Probably the Sellita movement carreras will keep their design “conservative” and they’ll go nuts on the in house movement carreras, throwing materials and large sizes all over the place. Big changes about to happen hope TAG doesnt lose its soul.

    • calibre11

      Jorge, I think that’s exactly what is going to happen. The Heuer-01 powered watches will push the envelope, while the rest of the range is more conservative. Also agree with you that change is OK, but there are many great aspects of TAG Heuer pre-Biver that would be a shame to lose.

      • John

        Well if that’s the case then I’m very glad I bought my 1887 when I did!

  • joe

    What is a modular case?

    • calibre11

      It’s not a single piece of steel, but separately cut pieces screwed together

  • Niall

    Stunner but a bit big for my wrist.

  • Mark

    Can’t see a single reason to call that a Carrera outside of the lugs on the case.

    • calibre11

      It’s the Carrera equivalent of the Monaco V4!

  • Peter Moller

    Wow that is ugly!
    Peter. Denmark

  • Derek

    I’d hope that there are more than just mere cosmetic and colour changes to justify the change of name from the 1887 to Heuer-01 in the movement.

    The two contrast photos of the Carrera Telemeter and this new Carrera Heuer 01 is absolute night and day difference. I am having a really hard time finding the similarities for the Heuer 01 to be called a Carrera. The lugs have similarities but having always seen it as a continuous piece from the case, this modularisation just doesn’t make it Carrera.

    The bezel is enormous, garish, legibility is awful (remembering the premise of design for the Carrera is legibility) and the whole skeletonising of the dial further increases the distractions when viewing the dial.

    Short of the Heuer/TAG Heuer shield emblems being thrown around like Skittles on the piece (bezel, hands, band) I’m really having a hard time seeing that it’s a TAG Heuer.

    It’s all well and good that a new CEO/acting CEO/brand overlord is now looking after TAG Heuer but there should still be some differentiation existing between products of sister brands. Especially design queues. You don’t see Lamborghini designs flowing into Audi. Audi to Volkswagen, Porsche to Volkswagen or any of the above into Skoda and vice versa. Sure the chassis, engine and transmission underpinnings are identical but the outward design is very different.

    I reckon TAG Heuer are a big enough company with clever and creative enough people that they can continue the heritage style look of a Carrera in delivering a new product while still inserting avant garde queues in the process and not be stifled by requirements of an executive leadership who should be focusing on running the business of the brand, not the brand itself.

    • calibre11

      Good points Derek. I wouldn’t expect major changes in the movement, more an evolution…as I said above, we are already at the 4th generation of the Calibre 1887, so it’s been changing steadily over the last 5 years.

      When I met with JC Biver two weeks ago he flagged some more significant changes (e.g. dial layout), but this may take some time.

      dc

      • Derek

        Well if it’s not much more than evolution of cosmetic changes, shouldn’t they be keeping the Calibre 1887 name? If there’s dial layout changes in the pipeline, when it occurs, then swapping it to the Calibre Heuer-01 would make more sense.

        Hell, use the Calibre 1969/CH80 for the Calibre Heuer-01 instead since it’s not something which has made it to production would make more sense than changing an already in production movement.

  • rage2

    I really like this watch, but I’m biased because I’m a big fan of Hublot as well. Really digging the price point as well, this model is going to sell like hot cakes at 5k.

    • calibre11

      Yes, I thought the indicated price was very sharp (even if we don’t have exact pricing yet)

      • rage2

        Aside from the V4, and maybe the MP4-12C, were there any other skeleton movement/dials from TAG? I can’t recall any.

        • calibre11

          Think that covers it

  • Lopez Victor

    I really don´t like it.

  • Not big on skeleton cases, but given the titanium case and in house movement it’s priced well. Shame they don’t make it with a traditional dial.

  • Remy

    Really, really, really awful….

    Biver does not have a clue what Carrera stands for.

  • Jorge
    • calibre11

      Wow, that is close.

      Slightly more expensive brother too 😉

  • Peter D

    Tags Baselworld 2015 watches are truely terrible (but I almost like the Mcclaren F1 – History and cheeky looks). This watch is the icing on the cake. Biver just wants to pound Tag into the grave it seems.

  • Fabrizio

    I am sorry to state this but this really ticks all the wrong boxes for me…

  • Arctic Opinion

    I don’t suffer from migrane, but I might develop it looking at that dial face.