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While the Bullhead Jack Heuer Carrera 1887 may have taken centre-stage at yesterday’s model launch, the most important new Carrera to be launched this year from a sales perspective is without question the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Ceramic bezel 43mm.
This is effectively an update to the popular Carrera Calibre 16 Day-Date 43mm, but unfortunately the loss of the Date function has meant that the new model needs a new name (and one that could be confused with the Carrera 1887 43mm). While at first the design appears little changed from the Carrera Day-Date, the new watch has a host of small improvements that add up to a nice upgrade.
Remember our review of the Calibre 16 version back in 2011? We suggested a few changes that TAG Heuer should think about for the next model (i.e. this one)- take a look and see how we did (spoiler alert: less than a 50% strike rate..but not 0%).
Black Dial (CAR2A10)
Starting off the new range is the Black dial model which sports the new Ceramic bezel. Expect that the differences between ceramic and the previous steel bezel to be clearer in the flesh, with ceramic bezels typically having a cool, “glassy” look that catches the eye more than the traditional steel/ aluminium.
Like the Carrera Day-Date (which this new model replaces), the dial is dominated by three sub-dials and the double-digit Arabic numerals that mark out the minutes.
TAG Heuer have also upgraded the bracelet on the new model, replacing the traditional “5 link” bracelet with the “H” pattern bracelet from the Grand Carrera series. It helps give the Carrera ceramic 43mm a fresh look as another point of difference.
Powering the watch is TAG Heuer’s Calibre 1887 movement, replacing the ETA-sourced 7750. The movement is visible through a clear sapphire caseback- smoked sapphire on the Racing model (see below).
Anthracite Dial (CAR2A11)
12 months ago we declared Anthracite to be “the colour of 2012”. Looks like we were wrong, because the second 2013 Carrera Ceramic 1887 model sports an Anthracite dial, which looks fantastic.
Anthracite-colour straps can look a little like a washed-out Grey (missing the sunburst pattern that gives the dial such a vibrant colour), so in this case it’s the bracelet version that gets our vote.
Carrera 1887 Racing- Black Dial Titanium (CAR2A80)
The hero model in the range is the Racing model, which features a sand-blasted titanium case.
The contrast between the “Full Black” look and the bright red looks great- and while you can’t see it clearly in these photos, the Arabic numerals are Black Gold rather than polished steel, as is the date window.
Comparison with Calibre 16 Day-Date
It’s obvious that we’re not talking about wholesale changes, for example, the new model has:
- Ceramic bezel vs. Steel
- Date only vs. Day-Date
- Moved the TAG Heuer logo where the Date used to be
- Dropped the “100 Meters” script
- New “H-Link” bracelet
- TAG Heuer’s Calibre 1887 in place of ETA 7750 (“Calibre 16”)
Our main concern with the Day-Date was the thickness of the case, something that may not have changed much, as the Calibre 1887 is no light-weight. We look forward to getting the two watches together to see TAG Heuer has managed to shave off a few millimeters.
Price and Availability
We understand that the two stainless steel models will start at close to CHF5,000 (Swiss Francs) and will be available mid-year. Expect a premium of ~5% for the Racing version, which is likely to follow a few months later.
Note that there is no White-dial version at the moment- just Black and Anthracite, in keeping with TAG Heuer’s current strategy of fewer dial colours and model variations.
Fans of larger, sporty Carrera will love the new model, with those wanting a more refined and dressy watch having the option of the other 43mm Carrera 1887.