TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Having just visited the TAG Heuer website, I learned that there are currently 120 different TAG Heuer Carrera models available as of the time of writing this article. Among them are the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph and the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 that I will compare in this review. Yes, that number includes men's (97 of them) and women's models, as well as all the style variations available - but in short, that is a lot of Carrera watches to choose from.

Being the most popular collection of watches from Swiss TAG Heuer with roots to the early 1960s, the Carrera collection is meant to have wide appeal. That means models in various case sizes (from about 40mm wide to 45mm wide for men), with various movements, and various complications, as well as various aesthetic styles can be had. Another way of breaking down the variety of TAG Heuer Carrera models is into watches which celebrate the past with more retro designs, and those which celebrate today with more contemporary designs.

For this review, which is a bit different from most watch reviews on aBlogtoWatch, I wanted to compare two different TAG Heuer Carrera models that are nevertheless very similar. These watches have the same size case (in width), similar movements, and similar wearing styles. Each, of course, contains a lot of TAG Heuer Carrera DNA, but expresses it in unique ways. Moreover, these watches are priced very closely to one another. I can see potential customers earnestly struggling to choose between the two, so I figured I might help by pointing out the differences. At the end of the day, neither the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 or the Carrera Heuer 01 is a winner or loser. Rather, it demonstrates the broad spectrum of diverse consumer appeal that today's TAG Heuer is aiming for.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I think what you'll find is that the similarities between these two different TAG Heuer Carrera models are more striking that their differences. What you may also find is that one appeals to you a lot more than the other, despite how similar these watches are. That probably proves how important minor details are in watch design, and how we as consumers make large purchase decisions based on extremely small features.

For this comparative review, I wanted to select two watches that in my opinion are mainstream in their appeal and celebrate the best of what TAG Heuer offers in the Carrera collection featuring their in-house-made mechanical movements. Each of these models comes in a healthy assortment of variants, so be sure to check out TAG Heuer's website for very similar models to these with different dials, bezels, straps, and in some instances, materials.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The two watches are the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Automatic Chronograph 43mm reference CAR2A11.BA0799 and the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Automatic Chronograph 43mm reference CAR201Z.BA0714. The former model is the one with the gray dial, but TAG Heuer also produces an almost identical Carrera 1887 with an all black dial (among others) which is the reference CAR2A10.BA0799.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Even though each of these watches is in the Carrera family, and currently produced by TAG Heuer, they are different in almost every way - despite perhaps looking similar at a glance. The case, bracelet, dial, hands, and movement are all distinct. I can't think of too many other watches produced at the same time by a brand which are so similar yet different - which is pretty cool. The TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 is more linked to Carrera design of the past, and will likely appeal more to classicists, while the Carrera Heuer 01 is the most contemporary Carrera model family, and represents the more forward-thinking, youthful side of the brand.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Speaking of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01, this particular model is among the most conservative of the family. Most TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 watches are marked by skeletonized dials and wild, modern designs. I consider them to be "baby Hublot Big Bang" watches - for a number of reasons, actually. This particular TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 does not have a skeletonized dial, offering special sort of hybrid look between both traditional and modern design. aBlogtoWatch previously did a full review on the more modern TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 watch here.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews
The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 with skeletonized dial

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 is available in both a 45mm-wide and 43mm-wide case - with this model being the smaller 43mm-wide case that is probably a better fit on more wrists. I specifically chose it because it was the same size at the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887. The cases are of similar height, but the Heuer 01 might be a tad bit thicker. It also looks larger because of the solid black ceramic bezel, while the 1887 has a steel outer bezel with a black ceramic insert. The dial might look larger on the 1887 because the bezel is thinner compared to the wider bezel of the Heuer 01 model.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Each of these Carrera cases is water resistant to 100 meters with domed sapphire crystals. They also each feature sapphire crystal display casebacks with a view of the movement. Case finishing and design is distinctively "Carrera" given the contrast brushed and polished surfaces, as well as the signature angular lug design of the Carrera collection. With that said, even though both models contain TAG Heuer Carrera classic DNA, they have numerous differences. The easiest way to see this is by looking at the side of the case. The TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 is a more traditional solid line, whereas the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01's lugs and middle case are separated as distinct elements.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

When looking at the watch directly, the Heuer 01 version of the Carrera is a bit more angular and aggressive in its lines as compared to the slightly softer 1887. It's sort of like comparing the aesthetics of a Lamborghini to a Ferrari. It is useful to point out that the bracelet of the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 is actually a bit wider than that of the Carrera Heuer 01, which alters the aesthetics just a little bit. With that said, both of these watches have three-link brushed and polished steel bracelet with folding deployant clasps that are very similar in design. But again, all the parts are unique.

TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Automatic Chronograph Compared To Carrera Heuer 01 Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Another reason I chose to compare these two models is that they each offer their own take on the classic Carrera Chronograph watch dial with its dark tones accented by light amounts of red, with baton/numeral hour markers. It is a handsome and youthfully sporty look that has been a staple of the watch world for about 20 years.

What do you think?
  • I want it! (25)
  • Thumbs up (19)
  • Interesting (14)
  • Classy (12)
  • I love it! (10)
  • commentator bob

    It would have been interesting to include a Seiko Credor GCBK981 ($4,600 at the US Seiko Boutiques) in this comparison to show the full range of watches built on the Seiko 6s37 (when used internally) / SII TC78 (when sold to outside parties) chronograph movement.

  • A_watches

    Looks like you have taken notice of my comment from the IWC article! 😉 These represent much better bang per buck (considering the big discount available on tags) than the new “michael kors” Ingenieurs

    • Rupert Muller

      Of course you are right.
      But, on the backside of the medal, please don’t complain about watches not (100 %) swiss-made! Just taking the bracelet as an example: TAG sources them from China, whereas IWC’s bracelet are all swiss-made.

      • A_watches

        i love upsetting fanboys! btw, i’m not an IWC hater as an owner of the 89 calibre

  • I guess my age is showing as I prefer the 1887 over the Heuer 01 (even though I’m sure the 01 wins in low light with more lumed elements).

  • SuperStrapper

    The 01 just doesn’t seem right now without the skleletonised dial.

  • ??????

    Prefer the 3-6-9

  • MrJKLFoams

    its simple. If you want modern design carrera go for heuer01 but if you want classic that is true to its heritage then go for 1887. Me? I owned both in racing edition for 1887 and the skeleton dial heuer01.

  • James Hsu

    It’s not really an in-house movement… It heavily borrows design from Seiko…

    • commentator bob

      It is a licensed Seiko design. And you can still buy the original Seiko, as a Credor, for less money (see below). It is interesting that Tag went full circle and offered a Japanese market version of the 1887 movement that it licensed from Japan.

      If someone really wants a Tag chronograph the smart thing to do is wait for the H-03 movement, which is an actual Tag design and will have a proper 3-6-9 layout.

    • Ariel Adams

      This is a pretty old story by now. TAG did work with Seiko to redevelop a movement at the time when ETA was going to stop selling movements like the Valjoux 7750 to brands outside the Swatch group. TAG Heuer didn’t have time to develop something itself in a short amount of time. The 1887 isn’t the same movement exactly and it is manufactured in-house at TAG Heuer – which is among the few watch brands that has as much engineering and manufacturing capabilities as it does. So no, you can’t get the same movements in this form from Seiko – that is an incorrect thing to say when people suggest it.

      • commentator bob

        The Seiko 6s37 movement is also a 4HZ movement with a column-wheel and vertical clutch. Unlike the Tag 1887 and Heuer 01, the Seiko adds a power reserve indicator, extra jewel (40 vs 39 in the Tags) and better finishing with rhodium plating.

        So it is good for Seiko that you clarified that then movements are not the same, since the Seiko is better in a number of ways.

        But the 1887 and Heuer 01 are not the same either, so it would have been interesting to see three very similar movements, the 6s37, 1887 and Heuer 01, compared.

        • SuperStrapper

          Are the number of ways that the 6s37 is better the extra jewel and PR indication? Because I don’t see how that makes the movement ‘better’. Different, sure, but it sounds like ‘better’ is subjective.

          I generally find PR indicators on automatic watches superfluous and without much real use other than cluttering the dial. I’ve looked at that Credor you posted below a few times and the PR hand always turns me off. Worst part of the watch.

          • commentator bob

            It depends what you want. If you want the highest, purest form of the 6s37 / 1887 / Heuer 01 movement available in the US market it is the Credor GCBK981.

            If you want a nice automatic column wheel chronograph you can a Longines or Seiko SDGZ003 for under $2,000.

            If you want a Carrera you should wait for the Heuer H-03 with the classic Carrera 3-6-9 layout.

          • SuperStrapper

            What makes it the ‘highest form’? Again, I don’t see how an extra jewel and PR indicator add much in terms of value or worthiness.

            ‘Purity’ is intangible and to me, meaningless. Would not factor into a buying decision among these watches.

          • Sevenmack

            “Purity” is not only meaningless, it is a word wrongly used in the context of watches. There can never be a pure watch or movement design because all are influenced by what came before it. Besides, as I noted in my earlier statement, TAG Heuer only bought the design to the Cal. 1887, and in fact, modified it so much that it doesn’t have a resemblance to the Seiko movement.

          • SuperStrapper

            Meh, I never really put much into the seiko movement thing anyway. Didn’t bother me any.

      • Sevenmack

        Additionally, TAG Heuer merely bought the design, then did substantial changes that essentially make the 1887 a new movement. This included moving the balance wheel’s position, flattening the movement (because Seiko movements are known to be thicker than those of the Swiss), and changing around the main plate, bridge and architecture of the oscillator. TAG Heuer ultimately did this because there are few fully-integrated automatic chronograph movements, and the ones that did exist at the time of the 1887 were either under Swatch Group (Valjoux and Lemania) or Zenith (El Primero).

      • James Hsu

        There really should be a “in-house” meter of some sort to gauge any movement that a brand claims to be in-house….. If Tag thinks that 1887 is in-house enough, why develop CH80 (now named Heuer-03) ?

  • IG

    Seiko automatic 6-9-12 layout movement in a TAG. Wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.™

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Over use of the ™ symbol.

      • Mark1884

        You would know Ray

  • Mark1884

    Never liked TAGs, don’t like these.
    TAG has always seemed to me, like the first watch purchase of a newbie.

    • Joel Schumann

      That’s me! I’m wiser and bolder now …

      I have to say, that TAG of mine got a decade of daily use but still looks pretty much like new, so I can’t say I have regretted it too much.

      • Mark1884

        Glad to hear that your watch served you so well, for so long. Continue to enjoy it.

      • Paul

        I’ve had my aquaracer for 6+ years. Looks great, fits great, didn’t pay full price for it. No complaints here.

    • Shawn Lavigne

      happened to me too. sold it to a friend and then it stopped working and he hasn’t bothered to fix it. eventually bought the rolex i had wanted in the first place.

  • benjameshodges

    TAG Huerreghhh.

  • DanW94

    Without question, I prefer the more refined 1887.

  • Shinytoys

    I do like the numbered face over the heavily indiced face, to me it looks less crowded and it’s smooth presentation from glass to outer casing. 120 models of the same name is dizzying. I would be interesting to see them all laid out side by side, maybe we could save Heuer some production costs by eliminating a few, say pare it down to 117 🙂 Otherwise, I like the look and the build. FYI Ariel, you may want to turn the gain up on your video camera, there is a big difference in volume between the ABTW lead in and out compared to your vocal. Thanks for the interesting story…

  • Blue Note

    Curious, why more often than not, watch reviews don’t mention the thickness of watches – why is that?
    Also in this article, it was just hinted in the text, beimg almost the same, but without proper measurement, and not listed im the “necessary data” . If I would care about, a watch being 1 or 2 mm larger in diameter, I also care about it being 1 or 2 mm thicker, don’t you?

    • Sevenmack

      Thickness doesn’t get mentioned because it is a matter of preference. Some are perfectly fine with 14mm watches, others prefer 10mm, others can go as far as 18mm. More importantly, you won’t know how the thickness works on your wrist until you put the watch on.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I don’t think that’s what his was query about.
        The TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 and the TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 01 both have a thickness of 14mm.

        • Sevenmack

          Blue Note did ask why wasn’t the thickness of either watch mentioned in the review, which is what I mentioned, not specifically mentioning either watch. In any case, my point stands: The matter of thickness is really a personal and subjective matter, one that cannot be assessed simply by knowing the measured mass of the watches discussed. As with so many things, it is also a matter of design, one that, again, cannot be assessed numerically.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Of course it can,…….. i’ve just told you,…………………what am i missing here ?. You know the width and length therefor it has a finite mass which can be easily imagined on your wrist.

          • Sevenmack

            Again, design matters, and a lot of things can be done to make the mass or even the diameter of a watch easier on the wrist or easier to slide into a cuff.

            The best example of the latter lies with the Omega Seamaster. The curved angles make it quite easy to slide the watch underneath tighter shirt cuffs and looks good on all kinds of wrists. But you wouldn’t know that if you simply look at the diameter of 41mm.

            The best example of the latter can be seen with the JeanRichard Terrascope. Because of the wider case and the cascade of the bezel, the 13mm of mass is distributed across a wider berth and can be more-comfortable on the wrist.

            In both cases, there is also the matter of weight. The more-complicated the movement, the greater the weight of the movement. Both are three-handers with relatively thin movements, so there is less weight than there would be if either were a chronograph.

            As with so many things, Raymond, the number doesn’t tell the whole story. As a collector, you should also understand that.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Ooooh, where did the last sentence go ?
            When i talking about dimensions i was talking about these two examples only.

  • Marius

    These are okay-ish watches, but I have three problems with them.

    1. As Mark1884 mentioned, I also perceive Tag Heuer as a watch bought by newbies, or people who don’t know much about watches. Personally, I would never buy a Tag. The only Tag that I find acceptable is the Monaco, but even that one I wouldn’t actually buy with my own money.

    2. The article keeps mentioning the importance of the movement, but fails to explain that the Tag 1887 and 01 calibers are in are in reality Seiko movements. Tag bought the licensing rights for the 6S37 caliber in 2006 from Seiko. The fact that these movements are “…produced in-house by Tag Heuer” doesn’t change the reality that they are not actual in-house calibers.

    3. These watches are quite expensive; I find the $5,100 to be rather exaggerated. The Tag 01 looks like a poor man’s Hublot Big Bang (which, in turn, is the poor man’s AP Royal Oak Offshore), whilst the Tag 1887 doesn’t really offer anything special. For me, the Omega Speedmaster Professional is a much better watch at this price, offering you an iconic watch from a more prestigious brand. And, if you’re not necessarily interested in a chronograph, then I would rather spend the money on a three-hander from Rolex, Omega, or JLC.

    • TechUser2011

      It seems there is nothing wrong with the watch itself. The only problem is your perception of the watch. I recommend you see a medical practitioner.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Am sorry, but without the car you’r going to look a bit of a douche wearing this. (Douche is the worst word i can come up with without getting banned 🙂 ) . Am not denying these are finely made watches but for the first time, two at once,……….

    *Clunk™ ( 1887 )
    *Super boring™ ( 01 )
    Both to pointy ( pet hate of mine )

    • SuperStrapper

      Unrelated to the Porsche of the same name…

  • Pranjal

    Hey if u really like the tag heur carrera.U can always buy the heur carrera which has column wheel mechanical chronograph movement (cal 321,notably used in the omega speed master) and that costs about the same

  • WMWM

    “neither the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 or the Carrera Heuer 01 is a winner or loser.”

    OK, the real loser is a man who buys one of them!

  • A_watches

    For the average sized wallet non snobby watch enthusiast looking for a reasonable well made auto chrono – who doesnt want the ubiquitous 7750 or speedmaster at around 3k or under (given tags are heavily discounted) with decent history and a look of its own (does not really look like a copy of anything else imo), I think it represents decent value and is not a bad choice at the right price. Just my 2 cents looking at it objectively.

  • Pete L

    Not a Tag fan and along with a lot of the others here would go Omega Speedmaster every time for this money. Not really sure how any company can justify having two such similar watches in the range as I sure streamlining the catalogue would allow them to offer a bit more value back the consumer. Particularly as Tags are (rightly or wrongly) considered entry level amongst many enthusiasts.

    • Rob

      “Not really sure how any company can justify having two such similar watches”….

      Are you serious?

      Is that supposed to be a joke?

      How about all of the ridiculous iterations of Omega’s Speedmaster DSOTM?

  • Larry Holmack

    Ariel….is it just me or does the 01 look a little larger than the 1887? When you had them sitting on their sides in the video, the 01 looked larger…closer to a 45 or 46 mm watch than a 43. Is it just the crown and pushers that are larger? Anyway…I rather liked the 01, since it looked as though it wore a little larger on the wrist.
    Thanks for the nice video….I always appreciate the time and effort it takes for you to make them!!

    • Ariel Adams

      There is a larger version of the Heuer 01 available. TAG Heuer makes the Carrera Heuer 01 in a 43mm wide and 45mm wide case. This is the 43mm wide version. It is a tad bit thicker than the 1887, but the cases are both 43mm wide. It just goes to show how much design can have an impact on the visual perception of size.

  • elkoyottt

    Heuer 01 is such a beautiful, beautiful watch. It is a cure to the virus of old-fartedness that has cursed the luxury watch world for the last half a century. Look at the car industry, look at modern Bentleys and Rolls Royces. The Dome looks avantgarde, andis beautiful. But the design of the most famous watch product lines remain almost the same as 50 years ago. Go RMs, go APROO 44s, go Tags! F…ck the speedmasters and submariners (do it to them until they realize it’s the 21st century outside). People who think speedmasters are still nice should be isolated from the society as a threat to the civilization

    • Mark1884

      As an owner of multiple old fart Sub’s & Speedmasters, I cannot agree with your assesment. They are popular after all these years for a reason.
      This is the first time someone thought I was a threat, due to my watch preference.
      You continue to enjoy your TAGS.
      Like we had previously stated…….. it’s a good Newbie watch for a reason.
      NEXT………….>

      • phamdeleon

        Really Mark1884??? I too own a Submariner, a Seamaster & Speedmaster and I quite like them too but what I’m wearing RIGHT NOW is a TAG Heuer Monza. I must admit, it looks better than the Rolex or the OMEGAS! So, to each their own my friend so please do not knock people who wear what they wear.
        NEXT………….

        • Mark1884

          Well, I was replying to the asinine post made by someone who was talking out of their ass.
          Hey, if you think a TAG looks better than a Sub or Speedy……..good for you – wear it in good health. (RIGHT NOW)
          Don’t get an attitude, if your choice in watches is looked upon as a newbies first watch purchase. If the shoe fits…..
          I find it interesting that you are offended by my post, but the first ridiculous post is just fine with you??
          The original poster thinks you also, as an alleged Rolex/Omega owner should also “be isolated from society as a threat to civilization”
          If you don’t think that statement is totally absurd….. you too are talking out of your ass, or are the original poster also.
          N E X T . . . . . . . .>

          • phamdeleon

            Dude, I think the only person that is getting offended here is YOU….and I’m going so far to say that it’s YOU that is the alleged Rolex/Omega owner….BTW here is WHAT I am wearing right now.
            N E X T…… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fad494d0ecc7b32b79df107321ccb29d93f22072a9e56cac216eaf0b43da092c.jpg

          • Mark1884

            You seem very agitated. It is obvious that you want to start some argument here.
            I will not bandy words with you. You are not worthy of my time.
            Enjoy your TAG(giggle)
            PS: great pic……. not.

          • phamdeleon
          • Paul

            If you hate Tag so much why even read an article about a Tag?

          • Rob

            He has nothing else better to do, obviously. A sad, pathetic little man. I personally don’t own any TAG’s, but I do believe they make a fine looking, quality timepiece.

          • Ariel Adams

            Both of you guys, relax and speak civilly to one another. There is no need for insults or name calling.

    • Your argument is invalid and I will reduce it to the absurd:

      G-Shock. 21st century.

  • Der0

    I find the Heuer 01’s skeletonisation of dial making it too busy to read. Add on the big wide and thick bezel, it comes across to me as a big heavy watch. The 1887’s design is still portraying a big heavy watch. The bezels are thick and heavy, weighing down the look of the watch. I much prefer the first generations of 1887 designs – CAR2110 style.

    So glad also that the Heuer 01/1887 calibre functions off a basic design of a Seiko movement. If the base design of the movement is good enough to go into a Credor, then the movement has to be pretty good within Seiko standards.

  • Yanko

    Flat terrible. Period.

  • Ulysses31

    Tag does occasionally make some beautiful watches. These are not the Tags you are looking for.

  • TechUser2011

    Really exciting sport watches. I can see why so many people prefer them over the boring Rolex watches.

  • RicknTC

    I actually own the CAR2A11 noted above and I am quite pleased with it overall, the attention to detail and movement on this watch is fantastic. I bought it second hand 3 years ago and it has a nice place in my collection along with my Rolex Daytona, Speedy MOTM, CAW211P Monaco etc. JC Biver’s influence is very noticeable on the CAR201Z. I believe he is after a younger demographic with this design. One thing done well on the CAR201Z is the bezel IMO, however I believe the dial is a tad too busy for my liking…