Hands on Review- TAG Heuer Carrera Day Date Calibre 16
On the Wrist
At 43mm, this is a large watch. It’s not so much the diameter that gives it this “over-size” feel, but more the depth of the watch. You can see that the Day-Date is slightly deeper than the Calibre S (above left).
There are other deep TAG Heuer cases that don’t feel top-heavy on the wrist and that’s because of the way those straps meet the case. Take the Monaco Twenty-Four for example- the strap fits flush inside the lugs and is re-enforced with a rubber section at the end of the strap. This means that the watch never really moves around on your wrist because the weight of the watch-head is spread across the top of the strap.
The Carrera strap does not sit flush with the case (as you can see below) and so the weight is not spread out as effectively, meaning that it can feel heavy on the wrist.
Still, this watch will be bought by people looking for a watch larger than the standard Carrera, so if you want a larger watch, it follows that the watch is going to be heavier on the wrist than a smaller diameter model.
Designing the Next Carrera Day-Date
If I was handed the crayons to design the next version, I’d make several changes aimed at simplifying the dial and making it a little smaller. I wouldn’t change the overall look and feel of the watch, because those already work well.
- Case: Drop the diameter from 43 to 42mm and reduce the height of the case to reduce weight
- Delete the minute hash-marks from the dial
- Delete the words “Chronograph” and “Automatic” from the dial
- Use a thinner Day-Date window
- Make the applied “05-60” numbers smaller
- To compensate for the smaller diameter case, use a thinner bezel and drop the tachy scale (as per Carrera 1887)
- Movement: Would be nice to use the Calibre 1887 instead of the Calibre 16
I think these changes are enough to keep the spirit of the design, but to make its appeal a little broader. Deleting the tachy scale? Controversial given that this is a Carrera, but given the breadth of the Carrera range today it doesn’t hurt to have some distinction between the various models.
The Carrera Day-Date Calibre 16 shows how the design of TAG Heuer’s flagship watches like the Carrera 360 eventually trickle down to more mainstream models- we’ve seen it with the Monaco V4 and hopefully there will be a mainstream Carrera soon that uses the design cues of the Mikrograph.
The Day-Date Carrera is not designed to appeal to everyone- that’s why there are so many models in the Carrera range. What the watch does give is a premium design that appeals to those looking for something bolder, larger and more modern than the standard Carrera Chronograph. I really like the overall design theme of the watch and it’s beautifully executed.
If you’ve ever wanted a Carrera 360, but don’t need to time events down to 1/ 100th of a second, then this one is just for you.
TAG Heuer has just announced a new version of the Carrera Day-Date- you can read the review here.
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