This year, TAG Heuer is celebrating its 160th anniversary, and to celebrate this occasion, the brand is bringing the new TAG Heuer Carrera 42mm Heuer 02 steel replica (Reference: CBN2011.BA0642) to young people who love life. Let’s take a closer look at this extraordinary creation. There are four TAG Heuer Carrera chronograph replica watches in the new range- stainless steel models with a blue, black or anthracite dial and a stainless steel model with rose gold dial highlights and a silver dial. And we’ll be talking about dials quite a lot in this review, because the dials on the new Carrera series are perhaps the most beautiful that TAG Heuer has produced in recent years.
As any fan of the vintage Carrera will tell you, the classic TAG Heuer Carrera replica has three key attributes- it’s modestly sized, it has a simple, highly legible dial and finally, it doesn’t have an external bezel. Back in the 1960s, it was the Autavia range that had an external bezel- not the Carrera. This changed in 2005 when TAG Heuer launched the first Carrera with an external bezel, and some 15 years later, the external bezel is a common feature of many Carrera replica models.
From a design perspective, the replica TAG Heuer Carrera Elegant series follows the style of the Carrera 1887, the 41mm Chronograph launched in 2010. When the Calibre 1887 movement was phased out in 2018, TAG Heuer replaced this watch with a Calibre 16 Carrera, also in a 41mm case with the same 12-6-9 layout.
The Newcomer shares the same basic case design as the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport copy watch, but in a smaller 42mm diameter. What this means is a case that keeps the traditional Carrera look, but with re-profiled lugs that flow around the case and a slimmer, re-profiled mid-section. The result is a case with thickness of 14.4mm, meaningfully less than the outgoing watch, which was 15.9mm. The 160 Years Silver and Montreal editions are 14.7mm, despite being 39mm diameter cases. The reduced thickness makes the 1mm increase in diameter easier to accept- but yes, it would have been even better if TAG Heuer had held the case dimensions at 41mm, but we can live with the increase, which really isn’t noticeable on the wrist.
One of the highlights of the watch’s design is its sleek, rounded steel bezel without tachymeter scale, reinterpreting the elegant simplicity of the design aesthetic of the original Tag Heuer Carrera replica launched in 1963. On the other side are the cylindrical steel chronograph pushers and the crown, with the upper chronograph pushers activating the \pause chronograph hand and the lower chronograph pushers operating the zero function.
While the replica Carrera Sport introduced a circular brushed pattern to the dial, the Elegant series uses two styles of dial- two sunray dials and two opaline dials. The blue and anthracite dials are a return to TAG Heuer’s classic “sunray” dials, made by ArteCad, the TAG Heuer-owned dial manufacturer. It’s worth saying again: these are perhaps the most beautiful dials that we can remember from TAG Heuer.
While blue-dial watches have been all the rage over the last five years, TAG Heuer continues to “do blue” better than most. There’s a fantastic depth to the blue colour, which works beautifully with the silver finishing on the dial and case. While there is no blue leather strap option (yet) for this watch, we think it would look more sporty on a calfskin strap.
The black and silver dial models use glossy opaline dials, adding a different look to the sunray duo, and working especially well on the silver dial which is complemented by rose gold (plated) detailing on the dial. Like the Carrera Sport, the Elegant uses the newly designed hour-markers and a new serif font for the Carrera printed script on the dial, which evolves the classic Carrera font of the 1960s.
While the TAG Heuer watch replica has three registers, in the usual Heuer 02 “3-6-9” positions- it follows the replica Monaco Heuer 02 in having prominent 9 and 3 0’clock registers, but no defined register at 6 o’clock for the sweeping seconds. Instead, there is the crosshair pattern, again inspired by Heuer’s dials of the 1970s. The effect of this is that the watch looks like it has two registers, with the third only becoming apparent on close inspection. We asked Guy Bove about this choice and why not simply have three registers of the same look and size.
The crosshair was used quite frequently in Heuer times so it is fully in line with our DNA and it also serves to reduce attention on the running second while keeping it present for those who want to check precision/ running. In contrast with our Sport collection, we wanted to highlight the bi-compax look here and go to a more dashboard-style look for the Sport collection with three subdials. Finally, we have the hands, which are the same style as the replica Carrera Sports series.
All up, these dials look fantastic- still a Carrera, but with enough detailed touches to set the new series from the previous series. We’ll again bore regular readers by pointing that that these dials would look even better with only two registers, dropping the sweeping seconds hand, but we’re sure that marketing would have something to say about a watch that didn’t have any obvious moving hand.
The chronograph pushers and crown are also new and a different design to those featured on the Carrera Sport replica and a nice improvement on those found on the Calibre 16 Carrera that this new watch replaces.
A nice surprise with the new series is the new bracelet- essentially, a more refined, slimmer version of the existing H-Link bracelet. Again, we asked Guy Bove to tell us the story of the new bracelet:
”The bracelet is still an H-design but for the Elegant collection we created a more seamless flow between strap and case and between the strap links to highlight the case itself and the dial, whereas the Sport has a more technical look and a thicker strap to highlight its sense of power. This logic will continue.“ Guy Bove- TAG Heuer Creative Director
The bracelet feels good on the wrist- lighter than the H-Link bracelet and arguably more comfortable. The bracelet has a double-push clasp (see below) and a nice combination of brushed and polished surfaces.
The sapphire glass caseback reveals the beauty of the movement. Inside is the Tag Heuer Calibre Heuer 02, a complex and innovative in-house chronograph movement entirely made by the brand, composed of 168 components, equipped with all the column wheels and vertical clutch of a fine chronograph and with a power reserve of up to 80 hours when fully wound.
The new series is priced as US$5,350 for the black, blue and anthracite dial models (black and blue on a bracelet; anthracite on a leather strap), while the silver-dial watch with rose gold highlights is US$5,500, meaning that all models are a few hundred dollars less than the larger Carrera Sports range.
Inspired by the spirit of the original racing timepieces, the Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph replica combines elegance and sporting dynamism to create a timepiece for today’s young man. As the latest model, we are designing. More information, please visit our latest replica Tag Heuer watch listing, we are selling almost all model AAA grade 1 :1 cloned Tag Heuer watches.