Carrera Comparison --

Vintage (left) and Re-Edition (right)

The journey of the Carrera has been a fairly straightforward one . . . . The Carrera was introduced in 1964 and was offered in a number of varieties -- Three Register, with 12 Hour Recorder (shown above), Two Register, with 45 Minute Recorder, a Triple Calendar chrono and a 45 Minute Recorder with date. There were a number of options for additional data on the under-crystal bezel, with Tachymeter and Decimal appearing to be the most popular. The Carrera was seen by many as a design icon -- the perfect form for a three-register chronograph, with its clean lines creating an elegant sports watch.

The manual-wind Carreras of the 1960's evolved into micro-rotor automatic models in the 1969/1970 time frame, with larger cases required to house the fatter movement and a date replacing the third register. In cases similar to Heuer's Autavia, but having a fixed bezel under the crystal, instead the rotating outer bezel of it's Autavia brethren, the Carrera remained a micro-rotor automatic offering throughout the 1970's, offered in various shapes and colors. . . . In the early 1980's, the Carrera was briefly revamped as a Lemania 5100-based automatic model, until the Carrera name was put on the shelf with the advent of TAG-Heuer.

In the late 1990's, TAG-Heuer decided the time was right for a "Classics" line of re-editions, and two of Heuer's design icons were the first two watches to receive the "Classic" treatment -- the Three Register Carrera from the 1960's (shown above) and the unique "Monaco", from the 1970's. The first "Re-Edition" Carreras were all Three-Register models, produced in stainless steel or gold. The main difference for the Re-Edition Carreras was that because Valjoux had long since ceased production of the Valjoux 72, it's arch rival the Lemania 1873 (known by Omega-philes as the base movement for the Speedmaster Moonwatch) was selected as it's replacement.

Since the turn of the millennium, TAG-Heuer has produced many variations of the Carrera, most of them based on the ETA 2892/Dubois-Depraz 2030 chronograph module movement. These are easily distinguished by their inclusion of a date window at 4:00 (four o'clock). Recently, TAG-Heuer offered a 40th Anniversary edition Carrera in the style of the 1970's micro-rotor models, with this model known as the "Jack Heuer" Limited Edition.

Reviewing 40 years of the Carreras, most collectors would agree that the first three-register Carrera (shown above left) and the first re-edition Carrera (shown above right) represent the finest designs of this chronograph. In this Comparision Table, we have a look at these two models.

For a comprehensive history of the Carrera, see the History of the Heuer Carrera by Matthias Liebe-Kleymann and Chuck Maddox -- Heuer Carrera Chronographs: A Brief Overview: Then, Now and the Future.

For an overview of the vintage models, see the Carrera section of OnTheDash

The style and size of the two chronographs are almost identical, with the major elements -- case, dial, markers, hands, registers, pushers and color -- being almost indistinguishable.

Both case-backs are brushed steel, with the Re-Edition bearing the Heuer shield, as well as a model reference number.

Case Measurements
Vintage Carrera
Modern Carrera
Across the Dial
 35.0 mm
 35.0 mm
 44.7 mm
43.8 mm
 12.8 mm
13.0 mm
 Between the Lugs
18.2 mm
 18.0 mm

The cases, pushers, crowns & crystals of the two chronographs are virtually identical, in their dimensions and construction.

Last Updated: 2004.08.03.04- JMS