Today, TAG Heuer introduced the TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary Limited Edition (Reference CBK221H). In this posting, we provide an introduction of the newest Carrera, including information about the heritage model from 1970 that provided the inspiration for the 60th Anniversary model. We also show the 60th Anniversary Carrera alongside another Limited Edition Carrera that was introduced by Watches of Switzerland a few weeks ago. We provide the full specifications for the 60th Anniversary Carrera, as well as an overview of the 10 “Glass Box” Carreras that TAG Heuer has now produced.
The Inspiration — Heuer Carrera, Reference 2447 SN
Heuer introduced the Autavia chronograph in 1962, with defining features of the first models being black dials with contrasting white registers and a waterproof case, with a rotating exterior bezel. The Carrera chronograph came in 1963, with key features being a waterproof case with angular lugs and dials that had been simplified to improve legibility. The registers on the early Carreras always matched the dials, with white registers on the white dials and black registers on the black dials. The inner bezel of the Carrera had a distinctive look, with hash marks for minutes and one-fifth seconds, and the bezel also serving as a tension ring to hold the crystal in place.
In 1968, Heuer updated its line-up of Carreras. Heuer introduced new versions of both the three-register and two-register Carreras. The second execution of the three-register Carrera 12 chronographs (Reference 2447) received wider markers and hands with black inserts; on the two-register Carrera chronographs, the 45-minute register (Reference 3647) was replaced by models that had 30 minute registers (Reference 7753). In this update of the Carrera collection, Heuer introduced two and three register models with contrasting dials and registers (i.e, black registers on white dials (the so-called “Panda”) and white registers on black dials (the “reverse Panda”).
Included among the new models were two versions of the Carrera with bright white dials and black registers — a two-register model, with a 30-minute recorder (the Reference 7753 SN) and a three-register model, with 12-hour chronograph capacity (the Reference 2447 SN).
Both the two-register and the three-register “Panda” versions of the Carrera chronograph were made in relatively small quantities. Neither model ever appeared in a Heuer catalog; we have never seen either of these watches featured on the wrist of a racer or in an advertisement. The two-register model was worn by Matt Damon in the movie Ford vs. Ferrari, and has become very popular among collectors in recent years.
The Carrera 60th Anniversary Limited Edition
The TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary Limited Edition was inspired by the Carrera Reference 2447 SN, circa 1970, which is shown above. Like the vintage predecessor, the 60th Anniversary Carrera has a brushed silver / white dial, with three black registers. Looking closely at the two models, we see that the sunray pattern on the 60th Anniversary Carrera is much more pronounced than on the vintage predecessor, and the registers of the new model are a true black, whereas the registers of the 1960s version are deep charcoal.
While both versions of the Carrera employ the 3-6-9 layout for the registers (which some call “tri-compax”), the use of the Heuer 02 automatic movement in the 60th Anniversary model dictates that the chronograph hours recorder is at 9 o’clock, the chronograph minutes recorder is at 3 o’clock and the running seconds is at 6 o’clock. On the vintage Carrera (powered by the Valjoux 72 manual-wind movement), chronograph minutes are shown at 3 o’clock and hours are at 6 o’clock, with running seconds at 9 o’clock. Neither chronograph has a date function.
The “tale of the tape” shows that 60th Anniversary version of the Carrera is considerably larger than the vintage predecessor, measuring 39 millimeters across the dial (versus 36 for the vintage model), with a thickness of 14.5 millimeters (versus 13 millimeters) and lug-to-lug measurement of 47.5 millimeters (versus 44 millimeters). On comparable leather straps, the 2023 model weighs in at 72 grams, compared with 54 grams for the vintage model.
Comparing the Carrera 60th Anniversary LE and the Watches of Switzerland LE
In November 2022, TAG Heuer introduced a Limited Edition of the Carrera that was produced in collaboration with Watches of Switzerland, a leading watch retailer. While both the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Carrera and the Watches of Switzerland Limited Edition are powered by the Heuer 02 movement, looking at the two models side-by-side illustrates the differences between two cases currently being used by TAG Heuer for the Carrera. The 60th Anniversary LE uses the 39 millimeter “Glass Box” case, while the Watches of Switzerland LE uses the 42 millimeter Carrera case that TAG Heuer introduced in September 2020. Looking at the 36 millimeter vintage model, the 39 millimeter “Glass Box” and the 42 millimeter WOS Limited Edition, we can say “would you like your “Panda” Carrera in a small, medium or large?”. In time, I will hope to do a head-to-head comparison of the two most recent models.
In addition to the difference between the cases, a comparison of these two models shows the difference between the silver / white dial of the 60th Anniversary model with its “sunray” finish and the true white (sometimes called “eggshell”) of the Watches of Switzerland model. Interestingly, Heuer used both these finishes on the early versions of the Carrera, circa 1963, so they do check the “DNA” box.
Additional Images — Carrera 60th Anniversary Limited Edition
Here are some additional photos of the TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary Limited Edition chronograph, including some photos that show the watch alongside some other vintage and modern Carrera chronographs.
Specifications – TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary Limited Edition (Reference CBK221H)
Limited Edition – 600 watches, offered through TAG Heuer Boutiques and www.TAGHeuer.com.
Movement — TAG Heuer Calibre Heuer 02 automatic movement; built with column wheel and vertical clutch; frequency 28,800 bph (4 Hz); thickness is 6.9 millimeters and diameter is 31 millimeters (13-3/4 ligne); power reserve at least 80 hours; offers hacking to synch the watch to a reference time; red on column wheel and engravings on oscillating mass.
Case — 39 millimeter polished stainless steel “glass box” case, with thickness of 14.5 mm; domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment; case-back has sapphire crystal, engraved “One of 600”; water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar).
Dial — silver sunray brushed dial; black chronograph hour and minute registers (at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock), with running seconds at 6 o’clock; registers finished with azurage (snailed finish); rhodium-plated applied indexes, with adjacent Super-LumiNova dots; red inner bezel (tension ring) marked in 1/4 seconds (corresponding to 4 Hz frequency).
Hands — Time-of-day hands and chronograph seconds hands are rhodium-plated with Super-LumiNova inserts.
Strap — Perforated black calfskin leather racing strap, with pin buckle; Heuer logo on buckle.
Price / Availability — Limited to 600 pieces; available now in TAG Heuer Boutiques and online at TAGHeuer.com; $7,400 USD (7,100 euro)
The Other Nine “Glass Box” Carreras
Here are some favorite photos of the nine “Glass Box” Carreras previously produced by TAG Heuer. For an overview of the eight “Glass Box” Carrera chronographs previously released by TAG Heuer, see my posting on The Edge, And Then There Were Eight — TAG Heuer’s Glass Box Carrera Chronographs.
Accordingly, with the introduction of the 60th Anniversary Carrera Limited Edition, the list now stands at 10 “Glass Box” Carreras:
- Calibre 18 Telemeter (2015)
- Skipperrera by Hodinkee (2017)
- Blue Dreamer by Revolution / The Rake (2017)
- Fragment Design (2018)
- 160th Anniversary — Silver (2020)
- 160th Anniversary — Montreal (2020)
- Hodinkee “Dato” Carrera (2021)
- Teal Dial (2021)
- Red Dial (2022)
- 60th Anniversary (2023)
January 10, 2023