One of TAG Heuer’s best-selling Chronographs has been refreshed, with the arrival of the new Carrera Calibre 16 with either a black or blue dial. Not only does the newest Carrera sport a refreshed, simplified dial, but it is also the first execution of a (subtly) new Carrera case design, justifying a new case reference designation.
While 2019 is the year of the Monaco and Autavia, we’re pleased to see a continued focus on the Carrera range, especially the heritage-style watches. In addition to this new Carrera, we also- finally- expect to see the Carrera Heuer 02 43mm Skeleton dial watches appear in stores in the next few weeks, some 18 months after they were first shown.
The basic template of the new Carrera is a familiar one: 41mm steel case, black dial, red highlights and a ceramic bezel- so far, so normal. But as we covered in the introduction, this is a new Carrera case design.
While the case is basically the same overall thickness as the CBK case (CBM: 16.2mm; CBK: 15.9mm), the elements of the case are different. Specifically, the case has a slimmer midsection, necessitating a slight cut-out in the case to accommodate the chronograph pushers. The other difference is that the horns on the case are shorter and re-profiled. The difference is not immediately obvious from the press shots, but we’ll show you the changes close up when we get one of the new watches for a hands-on review.
And while historically modern Carreras have had a metal bezel with an aluminium or ceramic insert, in this case the entire fixed bezel is made from ceramic.
The other major changes are found on the dial itself, which does mark a change of direction- no more “Calibre” reference on the dial, no reference to water resistance and no mention of being a Chronograph. We’ve been advocating for this less-is-more approach for a long time, and it looks wonderfully clean to see Just the applied TAG Heuer shield, the Carrera name and the reference to being an automatic.
This is the second new model after the Autavia Isograph to ditch the “Calibre X” reference on the dial, so we should assume that this is a sign-post of things to come across the full range.
Carrera Calibre 16 Black Dial- Ref. CBM2110
First up in the new range we have the black starburst dial with red highlights- reference CBM2110. The watch can be bought either with a stainless steel bracelet (Reference Ref. BA0651) or a calfskin leather strap with red stitching (Ref. FC6454). The red touches extend to red ring on the upper chronograph pusher.
The red line on the inner bezel is a nice touch, harking back to the Calibre 11/ 12/ 15 Heuers of the 1970s, as well as the 2018 Carrera Calibre 16.
Overall, the dial looks fantastic- classic, simple and sporty. If we would change one thing, it would be to shorten the length of the hour-markers. Just like the Aquaracer 300m series, they feel about 20% too big and unnecessarily cramp what is otherwise a clear, open dial.
Carrera Calibre 16 Blue Dial- Ref. CBM2111
The second model in the range has a blue sunburst dial with Orange highlights and a matching blue ceramic bezel. No-one does better blue dials than TAG Heuer, and this new Carrera is no exception.
In addition to the steel bracelet, the blue Carrera can also be chosen with a brown leather strap (Ref. FC6455) with orange stitching. There’s something about brown and orange together that just doesn’t look right to our eyes- a more conservative black strap with orange would have been a better choice. Having said that, over the last two years or so TAG Heuer has moved away from the “standard” colour combinations for straps into more adventurous options and combinations- so we can only assume that this is where customer preferences are heading.
The photos below from Oomiya do a good job of showing how the new Ceramic bezel wraps over the case- almost like a cap. Quite unlike the usual ceramic insert offered in most TAG Heuer ceramic bezel watches.
Both models feature a steel, patterned case back.
Price and Availability- Carrera Calibre 16 Chronograph
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Chronographs are priced at US$4,300 on a leather strap, or US$4,450 on a bracelet. This pricing means the new duo sit between the Calibre 16 CBK2110 model we referenced earlier in this story, which retails for US$4,150 on a strap and the Calibre 16 CV201AP which is US$4,350 on a strap.
Carrera Calibre 16 Fact Sheet
|Model Name||TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Chronograph Ceramic Bezel|
|TAG Heuer Reference Number||CBM2110- Black Dial; CMB2111- Blue Dial|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Movement||Calibre 16 (Sellita SW-500)|