2013 TAG Heuer Basel Preview

Baselworld 2013 is only a couple of weeks away, which means that it’s time to bring you a sneak preview of what TAG Heuer will be showing. For those new to watches, Baselworld (held in the Swiss town of Basel) is the traditional time for brands to show off their new 2013 creations.

It was at Basel in 1969 that Heuer first displayed the Chronomatic movement and the Monaco, and when TAG Heuer launched its first watch in March 1985 (the Formula 1), the company again chose the Basel show.

CAR2B80.FC6325_popartAnd for 2013 it looks like we have something very cool coming: a Calibre 36 Carrera- the first time that TAG Heuer have offered the Calibre 36 movement in a Carrera (although the movement has featured in the Grand Carrera series).

Given that the theme of TAG Heuer’s 2013 Basel show will be the 50th anniversary of the Carrera, all we have for the moment is a pop-art image of the new Carrera..but there are still a few clues that we can work through.



This Calibre 36 Carrera- ignore the coloured dial, the watch is a chronograph- looks to be a sporty addition to the Carrera range, as evidenced by the rally-style strap and the rubber over- moulding on the crown.

The tip of the central chronograph hand looks to be a different colour- let’s guess that it will be Red, in a similar style to some of the other 2013 Carrera’s that we’ve already showed you.

The other feature to point out is the length of the hour and minute hands…they look shorter than you’d expect for a traditional dial….

Calibre 36

TAG Heuer Monza Calibre 36So what is the Calibre 36? It is one of the finest chronograph movements in the world- the famous El Primero from TAG Heuer’s LVMH stablemate Zenith.

The El Primero was launched in 1969 as a competitor to Heuer’s own Chronomatic movement, and while collectors love the Chronomatic, it’s undeniable that the El Primero is the superior movement having stood the test of time for more than 40 years. During this time the movement was almost lost forever (as you can read here) and featured in the Rolex Daytona.

TAG Heuer’s Calibre 36 is based on the El Primero 400, but with more than 40 modifications to various parts including the plates and wheels.

TAG Heuer has offered the Calibre 36 in following series:

  • Link
  • Monaco Twenty-Four
  • Monza (shown in the photo above)
  • Grand Carrera
  • SLR

Baselworld 2013

BASELWORLD2013-Messehotel-FourPointsbySheratonSihlcityZuerich-823x234Baselworld is always great fun and the highlight of any watch geek’s year, as its our first chance to see all the new toys from the big brands. To get a taste of what it’s been like in the past, take a look at how we’ve covered Basel over the last three years:

Fingers crossed, we’ll be there in person to check out TAG Heuer’s new concept watch and show you in detail all the new 2013 models.


Carrera Flyback El PrimeroHere it is! The Carrera Calibre 36. Check out the details here.



  • KJ7

    David, any chance for mechanical movement for the Formula 1 series? Thanks!


  • Hi KJ,

    I don't expect so. Maybe we'll get a preview of the Calibre 1888, but I think a mechanical F1 is a little way off.


  • AussieAlex

    With short minute and hour hands, my bet is a tachy scale on the outer section of the dial.

  • DM


  • That would be cool

  • DM

    Flyback is definitely cool as so far, we've only seen it on the MP4-12C Carrera but that was a module.

    Seeing as the El Primero does already have this on one of its variations, it seems logical to use that instead of another module movement, especially seeing as the regular Carrera case (non Grand Carrera that is) has never seen a Calibre 36 model.

    I mean, the Calibre 360 was a module then they went straight to their haute horology movements.

    I'm a little worried about the likely pricing though, especially considering the flyback.

    Er, assuming it is a flyback…


    Also not too sure I'm completely sold on the looks of it or its size.

    Of course, the codenamed 1888 is what I'm really interested in but hard info on that is very hard to come by.

  • Latest info that I have on the 1888 is:

    – 100% in-house movement

    – Brand new design

    – Integrated Chronograph

    – 3-6-9 tri-compax layout

    – Expected to be thinner than 1887

    – Will not be called "1888"

    That was a couple of months ago, and long-time readers may recall that the layout of the 1887 changed at the last minute. All should be clear in a couple of weeks…


  • DM

    The impression I got was that it is also going to be more production friendly compared to the 1887. That isn't to say necessarily cheaper but maybe simpler. I mean, it went into a very expensive watch, in Seiko terms, when they used it in a watch and that one wasn't even a Grand Seiko model so that is an indication of its complexity and production costs.

    Factor in that the original 1887 was said to have a capacity of 50,000 and now that movement is to see duty in 3 models and we can see that it isn't enough. If they could make it quicker, I'm not sure they would've needed to develop another movement just so soon parallel to building another factory.

    By the way, have you seen the other Calibre 36 watch lined up for later this year?

  • It’s really very difficult in this busy life to listen news on Television, therefore I just use the web for that purpose, and take the newest news.