About TAG Heuer Carrera Watches
The TAG Heuer Carrera, developed in 1963, is a class motor racing-inspired watch. It was named for one of the world's most legendary and dangerous road races, the Carrera Panamericana. The race was a border-to-border sports car racing event on the open roads of Mexico, running from 1950 to 1954.
The first generation of Heuer Carrera was produced between 1963 and 1970 and featured the same overall design: the piece removed all decorative elements to showcase the chronograph function better. The timepiece is considered to be the flagship model of TAG Heuer, emphasizing simplicity and functionality. The watch features a large, legible dial with a practical waterproof and shock-resistant case. Standard elements include automatic movements and sapphire crystals. The watch's primary objective — to be used by racecar drivers — has remained the same.
Initially, all of the Carrera models were hand-wound. In 1969, however, a drastic design shift took place, and the company launched one of the first automatic chronographs with a micro-roto, the Calibre 11.
Due to financial difficulties, the company had to sell to various investors; however, in 1996, the legendary motorsport chronograph experienced a comeback with the release of a retro-style watch, inspired by the reference 2447.
The most famous chronographs among the TAG Heuer collection continue to be highly regarded within the world of motorsports. The timepiece is owned by famous racers such as Kurt Busch, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton. It also has the long-held ambassadorship of the multiple world champion Ayrton Senna da Silva. In 2011, the Carrera MP4-12C Chronograph watch was released to honor the relationship between the watch company and the supercar maker McLaren. The McLaren team even collaborated on the piece, and its members still use it to this day.
In 2013 Carrera marked its 50th anniversary by launching timepieces that pay tribute to five decades of design and technology. Among those released was the Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronograph Jack Heuer Edition, which pays homage to the famous founder by showcasing various vintage elements. As the name suggests, the watch uses the original 1887 movement.
This year, Heuer launched the 2019 Carrer 02T Nanogrpah. It featured several new design elements, including a new dial plate, an end-piece style with a "step-down" center, a redesigned leather strap, and a crown with a hexagon-style grip. The new Carrera is the first watch to use a TAG Heuer-developed carbon-composite hairspring, which ensures the balance oscillates at a constant frequency. Hexagons are the design signature of this watch because carbon, the material used for the new hairspring, has a molecular structure of a hexagon with carbon atoms at each corner. The hexagons also provide the timepiece with a different look as compared to earlier models.
The legendary Carrera collection remains popular both with motorsport and watch enthusiasts today. Despite a somewhat tumultuous history, the Carrera will forever find respect amongst those loyal to the brand. It remains a classic testament to the Heuer name and history.