Brandishing a bold outlook, the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 exemplifies the positive potential of a new leadership.
When Jean- Claude Biver, maverick head of LVMH’S watch division, took the helm of TAG Heuer in late 2014, it portended a radical shake- up for the brand. True enough, his opening salvo with the Carrera Heuer 01 shows just that. More than simply a contemporary- looking chronograph with a hugely recognisable logo, its importance lies in shifting the brand’s direction towards the future.
Frankly, it’s been a while since TAG Heuer’s offerings gained traction with newer audiences – loyalists already own the Monacos, Carreras, and/ or Aquaracers they wanted, while millennials saw nothing that caught their attention (they weren’t interested in the whole mythology surrounding Steve Mcqueen, for example) – so a new mind-set, full of disruptive design and challenged perceptions, is precisely what’s needed to revitalise the brand.
Despite the familiar echoes of classic Carreras (the shape of the lugs remains, as does the racing chronograph identity), the Carrera Heuer 01 sports a new case, construction, movement, and overall design – elements that will go on to define a number of crucial releases down the line. The 45mm case stands out foremost, in bare or titanium carbide- coated steel, with a 12- part modular construction that includes separate middle, case back, bezel, and lugs. Also attention grabbing is the skeletonised dial (rightly so, as this is the face of a new collection), which has a highly technical outlook with see-through counters and exposed date ring alongside prominent hour markers and red chronograph hands. Beating within is the Calibre Heuer 01, a slightly modified version of the proven Calibre 1887 manufacture movement, with redesigned rotor (in black), red column wheel, and skeleton chronograph bridge; the chronograph mechanism is the same as before. The piece is completed with a sporty perforated rubber strap that’s highly characteristic of the brand.
This year, the Carrera Heuer 01 is expanded with three new iterations, all readily achievable thanks to its modular approach. They include the first bracelet in the collection, made from H-shaped links in the Carrera design, with alternating satin- brushed and polished finishes; full steel and titanium options (the latter is nicknamed “Grey Phantom”); and a ceramic and rubber combination for utmost resistance.