The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Full Black Matt Ceramic is new for 2017 and the latest addition to the tirelessly expanding range of Carrera Heuer-01 watches. Not only the watch and its pricing, but also the timing and method of the announcement are interesting, so let's look under the "matt" black skin of this new piece.
This new model, available either on a rubber strap or, for quite a bit more, on a full ceramic bracelet, will make its official debut at the "Geneva Watch Fair 2017" – which is not to be confused with the Geneva watch show called SIHH, but rather a separate event that happens roughly at the same time in January, but on a boat, docked just outside the Beau-Rivage Palace in Geneva. While non-SIHH brands have for years been showing on their own mostly in hotel suites in downtown Geneva at the same time when retailers and members of press from around the world traveled to attend SIHH, this year they clearly are speeding things up to get as much attention as possible.
As such, we are presented with a rather impressive-looking new piece with the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Full Black Matt Ceramic – I do wish the name rolled off the tongue that tiny bit more easily, but oh well. While ceramic watches have been around for a long time now largely due to Rado and a few others here and there, we have been seeing this highly scratch-resistant (but hardly at all shock-proof) material live its renaissance thanks to recent new releases like the Omega DSotM, Zenith for Land Rover, or the new ceramic Apple Watch, even.
TAG Heuer calls the Carrera Heuer-01 "the brand's current best-seller," so it is no wonder they keep releasing yet newer iterations, and it must be said that a full ceramic model is not something we see often – or at all, come to think of it. The case, bezel, lugs, and case band are all made from black ceramic with a micro-blasted finish, with all these being wrapped around a stainless steel core. The steel core is present because ceramic would not allow for such precision fitting of screws, gaskets, and threaded components as does steel. The case-back, just to spice things up a bit, is in satin-finished black titanium carbide with, but of course, a transparent sapphire crystal in the center.
Add to all this "full black" craze the, you guessed it, also "full black" ceramic bracelet with its H-shaped links and matt finishes, and you see the latest chapter in Jean-Claude Biver's "all black" concept unfold right in front of you. It appears to be a successful recipe and, to give credit where it's due, crafting the whole thing from ceramic is a more technically impressive solution than just PVD or DLC coating a steel case and bracelet.
The case is the 45mm-wide variant of the Heuer-01 – more recently some 43mm versions have been released. Inside the massive case is the Heuer-01 movement that features a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, automatic winding and 50 hours of power reserve. For a full run-down on all technical specs, wearability, and features, check out my review of the original TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 here.
Despite the new material and overall design, TAG Heuer has kept this new piece relatively competitive. Available in two variants, the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Full Black Matt Ceramic reference CAR2A91.BH0742 with the full ceramic bracelet will be priced at CHF7,000, while reference CAR2A91.FT6071 on the rubber strap will retail for CHF5,000. tagheuer.com