TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic   watch releases

Learning that TAG Heuer will produce this new Carrera Calibre CH 80 watch for 2014 feels a bit vindicating. When you do what I do for as long as I've done so, it should be the case that you are able to correctly predict what timepiece a brand will produce, at least once in a while. So this modern version of the Carrera, which in a big way is an homage to the original from the early 1960s with their new in-house movement is just that– a timepiece I wanted them to make and predicted would come very soon. So here it is, and I think there is a lot to enjoy here.

Honestly, there is a long list of previous TAG Heuer Carrera collection timepieces that came before this one that allowed for this model to become possible. It wouldn't be practical to list them all but let's just say that it includes TAG Heuer's advanced new in-house made automatic movement, and the black and white "panda" color tones are based on the original models which still look great today. While I don't dislike the red, the colors are going to be controversial as they really separate this timepiece from the cleaner looking historic Carrera models. I have a feeling TAG Heuer will–at some point–produce a version of the TAG Heuer Calibre CH 80 without the red trim.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic   watch releases

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic   watch releases

A few months ago I published an article called "Six Watches I Want Them To Make Again." One of those watches was a modern version of the original TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph with the Panda dial. I more or less got my wish less than a year later. Again, what really separates these 2014 models from the classics is all the red. The hue does make the watch look sporty, modern, and grounded in TAG Heuer's contemporary DNA, but it does take away something from the simple good looks and strong high-contrast legibility of the original.

The dial otherwise is rather clean with some lovely detailing and depth. What I like the most is the LACK of tachymeter scale around the periphery of the dial. No one uses these scales and the dial looks better without it. Nevertheless, TAG Heuer was able to retain the "instrumental look" of the dial with the tightly packed fraction of a second markers. The case size is one that people will be familiar with, being 41mm wide, that is a great size for a case this style–here offered in steel. How do you feel about the red ring around the stem of the crown?

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic   watch releases

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre CH 80 Watch: Return To The 1960s Classic   watch releases

When I first saw this Carrera watch I immediately understood what it was but got confused by the "Calibre CH 80" part of the name. "CH 80?" What is that I asked myself. I'd never heard of that movement before. I then learned that the Calibre CH 80 is actually TAG Heuer's new in-house made Calibre 1969. Without much notice they changed its name to CH 80. No idea why, but that is what is going on here. aBlogtoWatch visited TAG Heuer's new manufacture location in Switzerland in 2013 to see them produce the Calibre CH 80 (1969) movement, which is set as a higher-end chronograph just above the also in-house made Calibre 1887.

The three register CH 80 Chronograph has 80 hours of power reserve and a nice tri-compax subdial layout, it also has the date. TAG Heuer will offer the Carrera Calibre CH 80 on a steel bracelet or perforated leather strap (with red lining). The red color might be a bit much, but we will find that out when we check out the watch hands-on soon. The models will be the references: CBA2110.BA0723: Black dial with steel bracelet, CBA2110.FC6347: Black dial with black alligator strap, CBA2111.BA0723: White dial with steel bracelet, and the CBA2111.FC6347: White dial with black alligator strap. tagheuer.com

20 comments
etmcenulty
etmcenulty

I'm really loving everything about this watch.  I've heard around 5,800 USD and available later this year.  Is there any validity in that price?...and can somebody narrow the availability date down a little for me?

Caesar_Sr
Caesar_Sr

Nice concept but the details leave a lot to be desired. This watch looks like a $450 Seiko. Yet again TAG just can't deliver a resolved design.

Oh and I'm not a hater of TAG Heuer, I love vintage Carreras!

marbstiu
marbstiu

BEHOLD the stupid date window!!

mandime
mandime

Finally, the down sizing of cases has reached the new Carrera. Bravo to that.  I share the opinion that there is too much red, (I would have left it off the sub dials and the CH and perhaps do just the tip of the chrono seconds in red for legibility) though I understand that Jack's original designs were intended to be as legible as possible.  I do like the red band on the crown as it brings modern touches along with the case size.  Love the pushers, in my opinion, Tag makes some of the best looking pushers which incorporate flanges or collars, and interesting finishes and shapes as well.  Thumbs up on the darkened indices on the white dial model!  The Tag logo doesn't bother me, since it clearly links the brand to F1.  Being affiliated with a turbo manufacture for the most advanced engines on the planet is a plus- but yes, that logo also appears on product that is. . . junk.  Also not a fan of the date, at least offer a no date version.  Any more on the CH80?  I fear they may have missed an opportunity with materials technology compared to Omega's, (and Rolex's) new calibers.

Spaceguitar
Spaceguitar

Best looking TH in ages. Love the white dial/black subs/perf leather strap option. And I'm not even a white dial kinda guy.

CDanielDillard
CDanielDillard

Is it too much to ask to get an applied logo in what's likely to be a $4,000+ watch?

pinkdela
pinkdela

NIce offerings here, but please, please, who needs a date function in a chronograph unless you are called Lange,  It´s a total deal braker for me. If you want a calendar, you buy either a atriple date or  annual or a perpetual

Give me this  without date, and you have me in. Tachymeter as a dessert would be a nice touch also, as stefanv, suggests. 



stefanv
stefanv

I like it, and the size is reasonable (I'd prefer 39mm, but 41mm isn't over the top like some chronos). But I would like to see a tachymetre scale.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Nothing offensive, but nothing really noteworthy either. I don't get the 'panda' vibe here, I think that mark was missed. Best part is the power reserve, I think most new watches should come with 80ish hours or better. 

witchwatch
witchwatch

Love this. A near proper return to a proper Carrera. Not a fan of the CH80 and I'd prefer the ''Tag' be dropped for just Heuer but overall good work. People hating on this are just anti TH.

Jonah76
Jonah76

Ho-hum watch. Don't like the script on the dial much & the red is not good.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

A bit too cold and clinical in appearance for my liking.

CDanielDillard
CDanielDillard

@Caesar_Sr I quite like the design, I just feel it's lacking a few 'high end' touches. The other new Carreras are bang on in terms of styling. The new ceramic bezel Day/Date (just day) with the silver dial is amazing. I just think this one had an opportunity to be great and missed out.

witchwatch
witchwatch

@mandime


CH80 is a nod to the calibre's manufacture in CHevenez , the 80 being it's power reserve, No new materials that I know of, only thing of note is the vertical clutch.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

@witchwatch  The only logical reason for not liking this watch are decided anti Heuer people? Lol. 

witchwatch
witchwatch

@SuperStrapper @witchwatch


In my case as of now, yes. As a lot of people hate TAG as much as they hate on Rolex. The Carrera is as much as a classic timepiece as any you care to mention in my humble, this one gets close to the vintage of yester year and moves away from the terrible "Grand" varients. Dislike  or not feeling it is a fair comment , hating is more aimed at the brand.

Trackbacks

  1. […] aBlogtoWatch debuted the Carrera CH 80 watch not long ago and we discussed how the in-house movement was the breakthrough element of this beautiful new design. Well "new design" is really relative. What is old is new in this case. While TAG Heuer imbues the Carrera CH 80 with modern design cues, the idea of the CH 80 model is to recall some of the original Carrera models from the mid 1960s. Specifically, the two-tone high-contrast dials and tri-compax layout for the chronograph subdials. […]