First Look- TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36

TAG Heuer’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Carrera continues with this new watch, the 2013 TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback. This is the first time that the Carrera has featured the Calibre 36 movement- TAG Heuer’s modified version of the famous Zenith El Primero, perhaps the classic Chronograph movement, which traces its origins back to 1969.

The new flagship Carrera’s look are a development of the 2011 Heuer Mikrograph design, with a little of the new Ceramic Bezel Carrera 1887 thrown in for good measure.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 El PrimeroThe Calibre 36 also features a Flyback complication for the first time- a function that we’ll explain shortly.

Design

The Carrera Calibre 36 is a thoroughly modern development of the Carrera, perhaps disappointing those hoping for a retro-themed model to mark the 50th anniversary of the Carrera. In fact, TAG Heuer has resisted the temptation to release any re-edition Carrera models this year. A good thing in my book.

The watch features the classic Carrera case in a 43mm diameter- a large size case, which in part explains the design of the dial. When the El Primero movement was launched back in 1969, most men’s watches had a diameter around the 36-39mm mark- significantly smaller than today’s watches. Using a vintage movement like the El Primero means that the position of the sub-dials and date are fixed, so despite the case and dial being larger, the movement is unchanged and so can look awkward in a larger case.

Carrera Flyback El PrimeroTo get around this problem, TAG Heuer has created a two-part dial. This allows the registers to sit inside the inner dial while the broad outer ring adopts the style of the Heuer Mikrograph (below). Also like the Mikrograph, the time is read from the inner dial (hence the shorter hour and minute hands), while the outer ring is purely for reading the elapsed time of the Chronograph.

MIKROGRAPH_MUSHROOM_HDThe inner dial of the Carrera is a “sunburst” Anthracite finish, with either a Black or “Silver” (Officially Silver…but White to you and me) outer ring and flange. The outer ring features double Arabic minutes, a similar style to the recently released Carrera 1887 Ceramic Bezel.

The Titanium Racing model takes a different approach, with a black Sunburst dial, but without the contrasting outer ring.

The hands follow the current TAG Heuer trend of being Silver with Red tips- Red also being used for highlighting the “Calibre 36” and “Flyback” script on the dial.

Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback- CAR2B10 Black Dial

There are three dials variants of the Flyback Carrera, the first being the Black/ Anthracite model above. The watch is available either with the Grand Carrera “square-brick” bracelet, or a Black leather Alligator strap.

While it’s hard to be too definitive based on press photos alone, I reckon that this will be the pick of the models, as the two colours work well together- the Black offering a more subtle contrast than the white dial.

Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback- CAR2B11 Silver Dial

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback- CAR2B11.BA0799Like the Black dial, the Silver/ Anthracite model is also available with a Black alligator strap, or the Grand Carrera bracelet you see above.

Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Racing- CAR2B80 Titanium

The hero model in the Carrera Calibre 36 line-up is the Titanium Racing model. While the other two models offer a stainless steel case, the Racing version uses titanium-carbide coated Grade-2 Titanium case. To add to the stealth looks, the hands, sub-dial rings and minuterie are finished in Black Gold.

The Calibre 36 Racing also gets a unique overmolded rubber Crown and “piston-style” Chronograph pushers

This is the second Titanium Racing model in the Carrera range, joining the 1887 Carrera Racing (below).

The titanium case is also available with a Black strap. It’s an interesting design, which layers a Black Rally-style layer.

Movement: Calibre 36 Flyback

The Calibre 36 is a development of the Zenith El Primero 400 series- in this case,  the El Primero 405 (the flyback variant).

So, what is a “Flyback”? In a normal Chronograph you press the top pusher to start and stop timing and the bottom pusher to re-set to zero- fine for timing say a 100m sprint. But if you were timing a car around the race track, a flyback allows you to finish one lap and then immediately continue to time the next. As you re-set the chronograph, it will automatically start timing again, rather than having to press stop, re-set and then start.

The 2013 Carrera Calibre 36 is the first of the new watches from Baselworld 2013. Read about each of the 2013 Carrera models here and stay tuned to Calibre 11 in the next few hours as we’ll be bringing you live photos of some very cool watches.

Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Price and Availability

Carrera Calibre 36 Black angleSo, how much will the new Carrera cost? The watch is priced as you would expect for the premium Calibre 36 movement.

We understand that the Silver and Black models will be priced at CHF7,500 (that is, Swiss francs) in Switzerland, while the titanium Calibre 36 Racing model will be CHF8,500. To put that in perspective, the standard Carrera 1887 41mm is priced at CHF4,750.

Live Photos

052Paul Boutros, a Senior Moderator over at Timezone.com took these great shots and kindly agreed to share them with us- thanks Paul!

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50 Years of Carrera

The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback is part of the 50th anniversary range of TAG Heuer’s most famous model- the Carrera. Click on the image below to learn all about the history of the Carrera and see the entire 2013 Carrera range.

 

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Check out all of the Baselworld 2013 releases from TAG Heuer at our dedicated page here