TAG Heuer strikes gold with this new watch

The world-famous Carrera chronograph, now in gorgeous yellow gold

When Jack Heuer created the Heuer Carrera back in 1963, his desire was to introduce a motorsports-inspired chronograph that eschewed superfluousness to measure and display time as cleanly and accurately as humanly possible. Sixty years on, Heuer’s vision ensues—though now with a greater spirit of showiness that befits the watch’s illustrious legacy.

Jack Heuer designed the Carrera as a no-nonsense chronograph for motorsports drivers. Photo by TAG Heuer

The latest iteration of the Carrera Chronograph certainly reflects its iconic stature. Inspired by the gold-clad Carrera watches that Heuer used to gift motor racing legends like Ronnie Peterson and Niki Lauda, the new model is sheathed entirely in 18k yellow gold. The precious metal adorns the watch’s 39mm case, pushers, dial and hands—save for its black chronograph totalisers—brimming with gravitas and nostalgic allure.

The modern version isn’t an exact reproduction of the timepieces that once adorned the wrists of the drivers, but they share the same resplendence and dynamism. Although the new Carrera Chronograph maintains the same silhouette and bi-compax chronograph display with date window at six o’clock, everything else has been updated for a more contemporary look.

The facetted on the hour numerals are more distinct, a modern Carerra case replaces the tonneau-esque profile of its predecessor, and the vintage Milanese gold bracelet is replaced by a sporty perforated black leather strap (though it would have been great to have that option, too). TAG Heuer’s designers, however, endowed the watch with a ‘glassbox’ design—a domed sapphire case with curved dial flange—that has been introduced this year to positive feedback from collectors. The design not only grants the Carrera models better readability, but imbues 1960s-style aesthetic that befits the collection.

Under the hood, the new Carrera runs on TAG Heuer’s new in-house automatic calibre TH20-00. An update on the Heuer 02 movement, this engine comes with a bi-directional winding system for faster and better winding efficiency, and stores up to 80 hours of power reserve. It is also equipped with a column wheel mechanism—a feature found in upscale chronographs— that elevates the tactility and activation of the chronograph function. The watch’s innerworkings are on full display via a sapphire caseback.

Due to the Carrera’s sports-hewn disposition, TAG Heuer doesn’t really make a lot of yellow gold Carrera models, save for the occasional steel-and-pink gold models. This iteration adds to another vintage homage piece introduced earlier this year that pays tribute to the ref. 1158CHN from the 1960s, also in yellow gold but with gold sub-dials set against a black lacquered backdrop. For unbridled boss-worthy shine, however, this version just about nicks it for us.

TAG Heuer