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First Look: TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Gold

Continuing with the 2012 Basel TAG Heuer watches are a brace of Gold Carrera 1887 41mm Chronographs- two in 18k Rose Gold and one in Steel and Yellow Gold. The watches continue both the expansion of the Carrera 1887 range, and the tradition of the Carrera in Gold.

The increase in the number of Calibre 1887 Carreras reflects not only the popularity of the initial 1887 series, but also the increased availability of the 1887 movement as TAG Heuer ramps up production.

History of the TAG Heuer Gold Carrera

Regular readers will recall Mark Moss’ articles on the history of Heuer and TAG Heuer precious metal watches. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Carrera 1158CH (above) from the 1970s. When I interviewed Jack Heuer at Basel a couple of years ago, I asked him about his memories of this watch and its links with Ferrari and Formula 1:

“Yes, this of course is the one that I gave all of the Formula 1 drivers and it was engraved with the name on the back and the blood type- not sure if they all have the blood group, but some had.

One of the reasons that we put the name in the back was so that they wouldn’t re-sell it, because these drivers would change team- they didn’t stay very long with their team- let’s say they were two years with Ferrari and then he [Enzo Ferrari] threw them out and then another guy came, so over the nine years that we were with Ferrari we had 15 different Ferrari drivers and they all had the chronograph and interestingly enough it worked. Niki Lauda remembers his watch- it was stolen from somewhere in his garden, in his house.

When we relaunched the Carrera in 1996, some of the Formula 1 drivers came and they would all come with their gold chronographs to show me, so there is a lot of emotion to that.

One thing that I’ll never forget is that 5-6 years ago it was the Grand Prix of Monaco and Gilles Villeneuve’s son, Jacques, he had this big boat and he had his mother on the boat, and so he gave a little reception on the boat and we had to go up these stairs to get to the top deck where we had the reception and at the top of the stairs was his mother who received guests. When I was introduced to her, she said “You know that I still have the watch that you gave to my husband” and so you nearly cry, it’s so emotional to think that she cherishes this gold watch, so these are some of the memories…this is one of my favourite watches.”

While the watch with the “Champagne” dial (hence the “CH” suffix”) is the  best known version, the one that I prefer is the Carrera 1158S, which uses the same case, but with a white dial- just like the 2012 releases. The magnificent example above belongs to Heuer collector Gianvittorio Molteni, who has a blog dedicated to the Heuers of the 1970s.

There have been several other Carrera models in solid Gold over the last 20 years, including the elegant TAG Heuer Carrera re-edition from 1997

and this Carrera Chronometer from the mid-2000s.

Stainless Steel & Yellow Gold

The first of the new watches is the Stainless Steel and Gold Carrera (Ref. CAR2150), which- as the name implies- uses a combination of materials:

  • Base Case: Stainless Steel
  • Bezel: Solid Gold 18k
  • Push Buttons and Crown: Gold Plated
  • Hands & Hour markers: Gold Plated

The bi-metal combination has never been my favourite, but they are a popular style across several brands.

Rose Gold- White Dial

The Rose Gold Carrera 1887 is available with a choice of two dial colours. The pick of these is the White-dial version above (CAR2140), which has the same style as the Carrera 1158S of the 1970s. The case looks magnificent when combined with the white dial- sophisticated and timeless.

TAG Heuer now have a range of Rose Gold watches, from the Mikrograph, to the Monaco V4 and now the Carrera. I’ve always preferred Rose Gold to Yellow Gold and nothing changes here. It’s a great looking watch and my favourite of the Carrera 1887 range to date.

Rose Gold & Anthracite

As outlined in our Basel coverage, Anthracite is the TAG Heuer colour of 2012. The Gold and Anthracite Carrera 1887 (CAR2141) combines a Rose Gold case with an anthracite dial and leather strap to give a very different feel to the white-dial version.

Prices and Availability

The premium pricing of these watches won’t surprise anyone who has followed metal price over the last few years. CAR2150 will cost around CHF5800 in Switzerland when it arrives in the next few weeks, while CAR2140 and CAR2141 will arrive mid-year with a price of CHF15,000.

Live Photos

Many thanks to Abel Court for these live photos straight from Basel.

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Photos

Live photos: Abel Court

Lemania Carrera Re-edition: Enrico de Paoli

  • Mark

    The case looks great in rose gold! Now, if only they would engineer the 1887 to allow 3-6-9 register configuration, that would be a great watch. The bi-metallic isn't for me though.

  • DC

    Hi Mark,

    I was very curious to get your view given your love of the Carrera. I really do love the rose gold case and agree with you on the movement. Mu understanding is that you would have to add another plate to convert the lay-out- not impossible, but not cheap.

    My guess is that long-term, TH see the 1887 as replacing the Calibre 16 (7750). Now they need a nice bi-compax/ 3-6-9 movement!

    David

  • Mark

    When M. Babin was asked about the configuration on WUS before an 1887 watch was launched, he replied "3-9", which got me excited as the movement is natively 6-9-12 as we see now. So I was a bit disappointed when the first watches came out in the Vj7750-alike configuration we have now. So perhaps something they did, have and are considering to do at some point – given the inexorable increase in price of the Carrera models, maybe it's something to look at again and absorb within those increases. It's about my only quibble with the 1887, bar what I feel is some overly fussy detailing on the v3 compared to the v2.

    Do that, and get the registers far enough apart (i.e. a bit further apart than on the 80th birthday LE) and have them equally sized and I think they'll have nailed it. A modern watch that nods to the past without being a pastiche.

    And the rose gold is fine by me – I'd have loved to have seen a '60s Carrera 2456 in rose gold too 🙂

  • Peter

    Someone has mentioned it before but the rose gold TAG Heuer use is the nicest rose gold I have seen used on watches. It's not as pink and not as gold and is overall, less "look at me!".

    Perhaps that's why it looks equally good with dark and/or light colour straps and dials.

    I agree with you guys on the 3-6-9 layout and the 3-9.

    I love the classic 1964 Carrera and would love to see a modern line-up of the Carrera 12 and 45 dial layout models, if for no other reason than to mark them out as being different to the 7750.

    Previously, I could understand the reluctance as the Carrera models with the black tachy bezel would've been a bit too close to the Speedmaster if it were given the 3-6-9 layout but if they revert back to the plain bezel across the board, it would be the pure and simple Carrera we all love.

  • Andy

    I'm so glad i bought the V2. I very much prefer its clean and elegant dial compared to the V3s. But the rose gold and anthracite with leather strap is a gorgeous combi. Too bad the price of gold means i can't afford any gold cased watch at the moment. Still can't help imagine if the new gold carrera had the V2 dials instead, i would be losing lots of sleep lusting after one. Btw David, remember i said on a comment in april last year about wanting to buy the monaco vintage on my bday last nov? And you said you wouldn't rate my chances of it still being available. Well you were right but i'm happy to report that i managed to track one down from an AD in the USA and got it shipped to Malaysia. I'm loving it 🙂

  • DC

    Good to hear Andy. You'll always have collectors- vintage and new- tell you that a particular watch or part isn't available. Don't believe them: as you've shown, it's just that most people give up too easily!

    dc

  • Looks stunning in rose and black.

    I dont understand the thinking behind the new movement, why copy the vj7750. Why not go with what was originally said, 3,6,9 layout and make the 1887 something that is realy theirs!

  • TAG Heuer Watches

    I love the rose gold, so classy.

    TAG Heuer Watches are the only watch manufacturers I know that offer a nice rose gold look. I think Rolex does Rose gold, but looks nasty. Less is more, and TAG Heuer has nailed the design again.

  • Enrico

    I like them all. Specially the one with the pen!! 😉 Great article for reference of future fans, David. Thanks for one more.