It always seems as though our friends in Japan get all the cool stuff- the latest sneakers, talking robots, crazy gadgets and Limited edition watches.
TAG Heuer typically release a number of watches each year that are only sold in Japan- such as a series of Carreras to commemorate the great driving roads of the world, and an Aquaracer series to mark the world’s best diving spots.
This year, TAG Heuer Japan has released the Carrera Ring Master, a series of three Carrera Calibre 16 Chronographs with different coloured inner-bezels.
The Original: Heuer Ring Master
The Heuer Ring Master was a stop-watch released in 1957 with a series of interchangeable coloured rings, each of which has a different scale. The idea was that each ring is designed for a specific sport, such as athletics and boxing, and therefore showing different increments of time.
The watch you see below belongs to collector Peter Moller and is a beautiful complete set, including rings and a leather carrying pouch.
Alain Prost Carrera- Reference CV201Y
Each of the 2011 watches has its colour linked to the helmet of a Formula 1 World Champion associated with TAG Heuer. Red is linked to Alain Prost, although fans will know that Prost’s helmet design that he used for most of his career was mainly blue and white, with only a little splash of red. Prost still races in the occasional series, and the helmet you see above is what he uses today.
Only 350 of the Red watches will be made.
While the coloured rings on the original Heuer Ring Master each served a specific purpose, the benefit here are purely one of style.
Jenson Button Carrera- Reference CV201X
So while the changes over the standard model we get internationally are purely cosmetic, I like that TAG Heuer Japan go the effort of making something distinctive each year for their market. Given how ubiquitous many of the volume selling watches are today, the ability to choose something just that little bit different is a nice choice to have.