TAG Heuer has expanded the use of its Calibre 1887 movement to another model in the Carrera range- the 2012 Carrera 1887 43mm Chronograph. As the name implies, the watch has a 43mm case diameter, 2mm larger than the existing Carrera 1887 Chronograph.
Along with the larger diameter come a range of tweaks to the design, many of which we have seen on other watches in the Carrera range. While the 41mm Carrera 1887 is still very much a sporting TAG Heuer Chronograph, the larger models veers towards the luxury end of the scale.
Putting aside the obviously larger case, the new watch effectively brings together the design of the Carrera Heritage series with the second version (“V2”) of the Carrera 1887 41mm (above left). Compared with the V3 1887 in stores today (below), the V2 Carrera had a simpler design: no tachy scale on the inner bezel, less overt silver sub-dial rings, no silver date-window and no circular pattern on the 9 o’clock register.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera 43 combines the simpler design approach of the V2 Carrera with some of the luxury touches of the Carrera Heritage series (below)- most notably, the rose gold Arabic numerals replacing the usual hour-markers.
To further distinguish the 43mm from the 41mm model, all models in the new Carrera 43 series have Gold hour and minute hands to match the gold Arabic numerals. This is contrasted by the black sub-dial hands at 12 and 6 o’clock, while the hand on the 9 o’clock register is also rose gold. The black-dial model breaks from this formula with all-gold hands.
The overall impact of these changes is a watch that looks quite distinct from the 41mm Chronograph- more elegant and more luxurious, albeit one that is reminiscent of the IWC Portuguese.
The Chronograph uses the traditional Carrera case design, and like the 41mm model, the case is quite deep. We’ll have some live photos coming soon to show you the depth of the 43mm relative to the 41mm.
The cream-dial watch (CAR2012) comes with three ways of connecting it to your wrist: the usual Carrera “5-Brick” bracelet, a beautiful dark-tan leather strap or a black leather strap.
The black dial version (CAR2014) comes with either a black leather strap or the bracelet.
Personally I find the Black and Rose Gold combination a little too much- on the cream dial the Rose Gold seems to blend in more- the Black dial only highlights the Gold, making it more bling.
Finally, there is a special version of the watch that is likely to be available exclusively through the boutiques. The Anthracite coloured dial is combined with a Sunray effect and an Anthracite dial.
Anthracite is very much the “2012 colour” for TAG Heuer, with the new Formula 1 series and the second Mikrograph LE also coming in what used to be called Slate Grey.
Price and Availability
The 2012 TAG Heuer Carrera 43mm Chronograph range should start to appear in stores from April 2012, with the exact dates varying by country. Expect prices to be around 20% more than the 41mm 1887- so around CHF5500 for the 43mm versus CHF4500 for the 41mm in Switzerland.