Introducing: The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche
The TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox was one of our favorite releases at this year’s Watches and Wonders in Geneva. No wonder the brand is using that model to celebrate the 60th anniversary of both the TAG Heuer Carrera and the Porsche 911 (originally called 901). It comes in both stainless steel and rose gold, and its design pays tribute to the Porsche 901’s sprint from zero to 100km/h in 9.1 seconds. And — spoiler alert — it features a decelerating chronograph seconds hand to mimic the movement of a speedometer’s needle. Let’s take a look at the all-new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche.
At the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung Frankfurt (IAAF) in 1963, now exactly 60 years ago, Porsche introduced the successor to the Porsche 356 as the 901. However, because Peugeot owned the rights to three-digit references with a zero in the middle, Porsche changed the name to 911. What hasn’t changed much since then is the design of Porsche’s most popular model. It has, of course, been modernized, but it’s still very recognizable when you look at that original design. The same can be said about the TAG Heuer Carrera with its applied markers, three sub-dials, and fixed inner bezel. So let’s take a look at how these two icons have come together in the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche
As mentioned, the Carrera Chronosprint’s design is based on the Carrera Glassbox that was introduced earlier this year. And when you look at the watch for the first time, you’ll see that the two share many features. There’s the typical Carrera dial layout with the rounded inner bezel, which can be seen through that heavily domed sapphire. Also, the case shape looks very similar to that of the Glassbox. However, this time it measures 42mm in diameter as opposed to the 39mm of the Glassbox. It’s also almost 2mm thicker at 14.9mm, but that has an interesting explanation.
Instead of having a flat sapphire crystal on the exhibition case back, the Carrera Chronosprint also has a domed sapphire “glassbox” crystal there too. And through it, you can take a look at TAG Heuer’s new TH20-08 movement. That’s almost the same movement that we saw in the original Carrera Glassbox. It’s still an automatic chronograph — now with a rotor that mimics Porsche’s three-spoke steering wheel — that runs at 28,000vph and offers a power reserve of 80 hours. There is one important difference, though, and that’s the way the central chronograph hand moves along the dial.
A decelerating central chronograph hand
To pay tribute to that famous 0–100km/h sprint in the Porsche 901, TAG Heuer tried to mimic the movement of a speedometer’s needle. To do this, the central chronograph hand isn’t attached to a regular wheel but to two snail-shaped wheels. That way, the hand decelerates as it goes around the dial. Just look at the scale that’s been used on that inner bezel. It still counts up to 60 seconds, but the first ten seconds visually take up about one-third. And that allowed the designers to highlight those 9.1 seconds it took to get to 100km/h.
So, that’s the explanation behind the red lines along the first part of the main minute track. Then we get to the red highlights on the sub-seconds register at 6 o’clock. This refers to the recommended speed of about 50km/h in urban areas. The red area on the chronograph hour counter at 9 o’clock starts at 6.8 hours and refers back to the maximum of 6,800 revs/m in the Porsche 901. Last but not least, the red sub-dial hands (all three on the steel version and sub-seconds on the gold variant) have been inspired by the needles on the meters in a car’s dashboard.
To complete the dial layout, there are the applied hour markers, and there’s a date window at six o’clock. All the text on the dial, like the TAG Heuer Carrera logo at 12 o’clock, has been printed.
Made of steel or gold
As mentioned, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche comes in two versions. There’s a stainless steel version with a silver dial, and there’s an 18K rose gold version with a beige dial. On the latter version, the hour markers, the central chronograph hand, and the hands on the sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock are also rose gold. Both watches have a polished finish on the top and the bottom and a horizontally brushed finish on the side of the case.
Just like the original Glassbox, the Carrera Chronosprint has a 100m water resistance rating. That’s impressive for a watch with two chronograph pushers and a push/pull crown. Both the stainless steel and the rose gold versions of the Carrera Chronosprint come on a leather strap stamped with the “911” logo. The one on the stainless steel version comes in black, and the strap on the rose gold version is brown.
I really like the stainless steel version of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche. I’m also a fan of the original Glassbox, and I think the designers have done a good job with the references to the Porsche 911. Would I have loved it to be 39mm and a bit thinner? Sure, but I think people with a bigger wrist would prefer this bigger watch. What I don’t understand, though, is the rose gold version. To me, it doesn’t resemble the no-nonsense style of the Porsche 911 and its drivers. But as a watch in and of itself, it doesn’t look bad at all.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche is available now. The stainless steel version can be yours for CHF 9,000, and the rose gold version will cost you CHF 23,000. For more information, please check out TAG Heuer’s official website.
Let me know what you think of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint × Porsche in the comments below.