Hands on Review- TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 Jack Heuer Boutique

TAG Heuer has dropped a surprise to close out the year with two new boutique-only Carreras based on the highly successful Carrera Jack Heuer 80th Birthday edition. Given that the new models pay tribute to the design of Jack’s 80th birthday present from last year, it seems appropriate to call the new pair the Jack Heuer Carrera 81…even if that isn’t an official name.

There are two new models to add to the family- one with Blue highlights (centre) and the second that inverts the colours of the original, offering an Anthracite dial with Silver sub-dials (right).

Carrera Jack Heuer Family

2012 Jack Heuer Carrera 80

Carrera Wristshot 2Of course, the 2012 TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 80th Birthday edition needs little introduction: it was one of the best- received TAG Heuer limited editions in recent memory. The watch offered a spectacular Silver star-burst dial, with Anthracite sub-dials and tachy flange. The 41mm stainless steel case uses the pushers from the Carrera 1887, but with the Calibre 17 (ETA 2894) movement.

And as you’d expect for a Birthday tribute for Mr. Heuer, the usual TAG Heuer logo is replaced by the Red Heuer logo.

2013 Carrera Calibre 17 Chronometer

So, apart from the colours, what are the differences between the Carrera 80 and the Carrera 81?

Let’s start at the rear of the watch, where the new Carrera 81 features a plain caseback with the Red Heuer logo, rather than the Heuer family crest and Jack Heuer’s signature, as found on the Carrera 80.

Behind the caseback sits the Calibre 17, although this time in Chronometer-grade spec.

…and unlike the Carrera 80, the new watches lose the red “80” on the tachy flange.

Jack Heuer Carrera 80 BoutiqueApart from those details mentioned above, the two new models stay close to the script of the original.

Carrera Jack Heuer 81- CV5111 Calibre 17 Chronometer

TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 81 Chronometer Blue dialThe first Jack Heuer 81 is essentially a Blue version of the 2012 Carrera 80- Blue sub-dials, Blue tachy-flange and a Blue-leather strap.

In fact, the differences between the Blue 81 and the original are quite subtle..depending on the light, it may be hard to spot the new shade of Blue.

The new strap features Blue stitching and a cream lining- while both models are available with a stainless steel bracelet, the leather “Rallye”-style straps compliment perfectly the vintage-feel of the Carrera design.

Carrera CV5110 Calibre 17 Chronometer

TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 81 ChronometerThe second model is much more of  departure from the Carrera 80, with a gorgeous star-burst Anthracite dial that gives the watch a very different feel.

TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 81 ChronometerThe contrasting White tachy-flange matches the two sub-dials, which are framed by Silver rings.

TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 81 Chronometer

If anything, the Anthracite dial is even more beautiful than the Silver original….it really is a great looking watch

TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 81 Chronometer

The Inspiration

52_Carrera_1153N_Chronomatic_no1_39D70D1A-1E4F-37DC-713CBDF161BF5339Only last week, Mark Moss brought you the story of the first Chronomatic models, including this wonderful 1969 Carrera 1153N model, with its Charcoal-dial and White sub-dials/ tachy-flange.

While the new model is more of a Grey slate colour rather than the Blue-tone of the original, the similarities are obvious.


TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 80 Anthracite ChronometerThe colour of the Anthracite dial changes depending on the light- you can see how much lighter in hue the dial appears above than the darker slate colour below.

TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera 80 Anthracite Chronometer

Price and Availability

Jack Heuer Carrera 81 AnthraciteThe 2013 TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 Chronometer limited editions are  only available from TAG Heuer boutiques, and in fact are already in stock. While production numbers haven’t been confirmed, at this stage there are no plans for the model to be more broadly available, although given that these new designs will almost certainly be highly popular, it wouldn’t surprise if they did become part of the regular range.

In Australia, the Carrera Jack Heuer 81 is priced at A$5,750.





Carrera 1153N: Paul Gavin- HeuerWorld

All other photos: Calibre 11