TAG Heuer has kicked off its 2013 launches with this watch- the Jack Heuer Calibre 1887 Chronograph (Ref. CAR2C11). The watch combines the bullhead Chronograph layout of the sensational 2012 Mikrogirder and several key design elements of the 80th Birthday Jack Heuer Carrera.
At the heart of the new Carrera is a rotated Calibre 1887 movement that allows the watch to sport the classic 3-6-9 dial layout, unlike the standard Calibre 1887 which has a 12-6-9 architecture.
The 2013 Jack Heuer 1887 has a large 45mm case (2mm smaller than the Mikrogirder) that is made from a combination of steel and titanium. The black fixed bezel is steel coated with titanium carbide.
The idea behind the design of the watch is that it combines the look of a stopwatch and the look of a traditional wristwatch. The illustration below shows how the two parts fit together, with the bottom part of the circular case fitting flush with the base, while the top protrudes at an angle- literally, a merger of the two styles.
The dial is also made of two elements: An inner silver dial and an outer anthracite dial- both featuring a sunburst finish. The two-element design is similar to the one TAG Heuer introduced on the Mikrograph and gives the Jack Heuer 1887 a distinctive look.
In addition to using a Mikrogider- style case, the new watch also borrows the look of the 80th Birthday Jack Heuer Carrera- as you’ll see below.
Comparison with Mikrogirder
The design link between the two watches above is immediately obvious, and while the Mikrogirder is 2mm larger, the 2013 Carrera is no shrinking violet, weighing in at 45mm- the largest production TAG Heuer.
The most obvious difference- putting aside the movement- is the dial, with the Carrera 1887 being more legible given its traditional layout. Of course, there is no need for a window to see the vibrating mini-girders, as there are none to be seen.
Comparison with Jack Heuer 80 Carrera
And given that the new watch is dedicated to Jack Heuer, the man who launched the first Carrera in 1963, it’s no surprise that the 2013 Carrera also shares its looks with 2012’s Carrera Jack Heuer 80th Birthday edition (above left).
The similarities are especially evident when comparing the inner-dial of the new watch, which looks identical to the dial of the 80th Birthday model.
The two models share the same hands, including the red-tipped sub-dial hands.
So, how did TAG Heuer adapt the Calibre 1887 to the new Bullhead design? Simple: they rotated the movement 90 degrees. The photo above shows how this is done- image turning the new watch on its side and merging with a Carrera 1887. Simple, but effective.
At the back of the watch is a clear Sapphire crystal caseback, showing off the rotated Calibre 1887. This is decorated with the Heuer coat of arms and Jack Heuer’s signature.
Live from Geneva- Mark Moss
Now for some first-hand impressions of the watch too, the third Jack Heuer marked Carrera after others in 2004 and 2012.
This watch is bigger than both of those at 45mm, but the size is masked somewhat by the tungsten carbide element standing clear of the steel “frame”. The case is more or less borrowed from the Mikrogirder, allowing a more affordable route into that case without having to pay for the haute horologerie movement.
The case stands proud of the steel lugs at the top, allowing for easy access to the pushers. This “bullhead” design has been used before, by manufacturers such as Omega and Seiko, but the layout, whilst appearing unusual at first, does allow for natural-feeling operation of the pushers when timing.
All in all, it’s an attractive, wearable watch but it may prove to be a polarising one, with its larger size and bullhead configuration.
Price and Availability
While official pricing has yet to be announced, we understand that the 2013 Carrera Jack Heuer 1887 won’t be available until Sept- Oct this year…and expect a price close to CHF 7000 (Swiss Francs) when it does come to market.
We also understand that the watch
is a limited edition of 1,887 watches, but expect to get confirmation on this later today. is not a limited edition, but like the Monaco Twenty-Four Gulf, will be made in limited numbers and for one year only.
Overall, the watch looks great, especially the angles, such as the one above, that show off the asymmetrical case design. Pleasingly, TAG Heuer haven’t gone down the retro path with the first of the 50th anniversary models, but instead chosen to highlight one of its boldest recent concept watch designs.
All live photos courtesy of Jeff Stein, http://www.onthedash.com