One of the first novelties of 2023, the limited-edition TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary celebrates a genre-defining Design
Nowadays, it’s all too easy to dismiss terms like “groundbreaking” or “trendsetting” as exaggerated buzzwords to hype up new releases that rarely live up to those grand descriptors. On the other end of the spectrum are designs that simply can’t be overstated. Case in point, the TAG Heuer Carrera. And this year, as the legendary chronograph turns 60, the Swiss watchmaker has rolled out a fitting commemorative timepiece: the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary
AN ICON AMONG ICONS
Back in 1962, Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of brand founder Edouard Heuer, met with Mexican brothers Pedro Rodríguez de la Vega and Ricardo Valentín Rodríguez de la Vega and was regaled with tales of the Carrera Panamericana road race. A year later, in 1963, the watchmaker unveiled the Heuer Carrera. The race’s challenges and arduous nature supposedly inspired the new chronograph’s name. More importantly, however, the Carrera was designed with a race car driver in mind: It focused on heightened legibility through high-contrast elements, allowing racers to calculate speeds and measure lap times on the fly under strenuous conditions.
With its elegant profile, streamlined design and road race DNA, the Carrera would set thestandard for chronograph watches in the decades to come. British Formula One champion James Hunt was known to be partial to the Carrera in the 1960s, as was rock legend Mick Jagger in the 1970s. And today, Ryan Gosling counts himself as an ardent fan of the collection. Speaking of today, this year marks the Carrera’s 60th anniversary. Naturally, TAG Heuer has prepared an exciting commemorative piece, this time based on arguably the most collectible piece among the vintage Carreras: the reference 2447 SN, which came out in the late 1960s. The SN notation stood for silver and noir or black, which introduced the combination of a silvered dial and black sub-dials—popularly known as the “panda” dial. The dial configuration also included many small touches to enhance legibility, turning the Carrera 2447 SN into the perfect example of an understated design merged with elevated functionality. And as the Carrera turns 60, the 2447 SN’s legacy returns to the world stage with the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary.
“The colorway faithfully follows the 2447 SN’s iconic look: A silver sunray-brushed dial with three black “azure” sub-dials”
THE PANDA RETURNS
The limited-edition and individually-numbered TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary comes in a 39mm stainless steel case which—along with its vintage chronograph pushers, beige lume and tension ring along the edge of the dial —gives off a nostalgic retro feel.
The most exciting element of this new chronograph is the dial layout. The colorway faithfully follows the 2447 SN’s iconic look: A silver sunray-brushed dial with three black “azure” sub-dials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, the “Carrera” inscription is placed together with the vintage Heuer logo. And perhaps most importantly, many of the reference 2447 SN’s legibility-enhancing features have been kept. There are the black stripes running down the hands, the double stops at 12 o’clock (which makes it easier to tell if the chronograph is properly zeroed) and black counters with high-contrast black markings. A final retro touch comes in a perforated black calfskin leather racing strap with a pin buckle.
All that being said, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary is a full-fledged modern chronograph. The lume elements on the dial no longer use tritium but are filled with Super-LumiNova, but still retain the beige color scheme of the 2447 SN.
Replacing the vintage Carrera’s Valjoux movement is the cutting-edge Calibre HEUER 02 Automatic movement. Details of the movement—including its Geneva Stripes and commemorative rotor design—are fully visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. Furthermore, engraved on each watch’s caseback is its individual number and water resistance rating of 100m.
THE FIRST OF MANY
As any longtime fan of TAG Heuer can tell you, the brand rarely celebrates the anniversary of its most prominent collections with just one release. In fact, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary is only the first entry in a series of launches planned for the year. Still, as a nod to one of the most celebrated Carreras ever created, this is the perfect novelty to get the party started as watch connoisseurs worldwide will be scrambling for one of the 600 pieces released. Watch collectors; start your engines!
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