Here’s your early look at the first of TAG Heuer’s 2014 Baselworld collection- the Carrera Drive Timer Calibre 5. Yes, the new model is yet another Carrera, but the look is unlike other Carreras. The Drive Timer gives us a hint about what to expect for Basel 2014- and while the Carrera will feature prominently in the new collection, chronographs will not.
We’ve been telling you for a while that 2014 will be the year that TAG Heuer pushes hard with its 3-hand watch range. Yes, there is the Carrera Calibre 1969, but putting the new movement to one side, most of what you’ll see from TAG Heuer in six-weeks time will be non- chrono. models.
Why? The simple answer is the Chinese market, where TAG Heuer are pushing to take a similar market share as it enjoys in other major markets. And while one has to be careful about generalising too much about a market as large and diverse as China, it is true that 3-hand watches continue to be preferred to chronographs.
Carrera Drive Timer WAR2A80- Titanium Carbide
There are two models in the Carrera Drive Timer range, the first being the Titanium Carbide version- WAR2A80.
The watch has a 43mm case and features two crowns- the traditional crown at 3 o’clock and a second crown at 10 o’clock that is used to rotate the internal 60-minute bezel. Again I’m reminded of the words of our Carrera expert Mark Moss: a Carrera should not have an external bezel. Rotating the bezel until the Red triangle sits level with the minute hand means that you now have a 60-minute timer while you blast down a mountain pass in your vintage Carrera RS, or battle the traffic to the shops in your Corolla.
The dial is unusual for a Carrera- large numerals set out each hour. Likewise, the hand-set used on the Drive Timer is unique to this watch and unlike the usual Carrera design.
Carrera Drive Timer WAR2A10
The second model- WAR2A10- is the same watch as above, but with a stainless steel case that alternates brushed and polished finishes. We haven’t seen the new Drive Timers in person, but based on the photos, this is the model we like most.
Both watches are available only on a black calf-skin rally style strap. If you have a Carrera Jack Heuer 80th Birthday, then the strap will look very familiar.
Movement- Calibre 5
We exclusively told you last June that TAG Heuer was planning on developing its own in-house 3-hand watch movement, but until that project is further developed, the Calibre 5 will continue to be the primary watch movement offered.
While the Calibre 5 (as seen in the Aquaracer 500m) used to be the ETA 2824-2, the majority of Calibre 5 models today have the Sellita SW200- essentially the same movement, but one not supplied by Swatch Group.
Price and Availability- Carrera (Ref. WAR2A10, WAR2A80)
While TAG Heuer has not yet dropped the full details of the new Carrera, we understand that prices range from EUR2500- 3000, depending on your market and model.
Both versions of the watch will only be available from TAG Heuer boutiques- this one won’t be on general release.