TAG Heuer has just released the first watch to contain its new in-house made Calibre 1969 automatic chronograph movement (debuted hands-on here). It is the limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera 1969 ref. CAR2A60 and is a very modern watch for their most modern movement. While with TAG Heuer at the debut of the 1969 movement in late 2013 it seemed rather clear that the Carrera collection would be the first to enjoy the fruits of their newest manufacture movements. What was not clear was the direction TAG Heuer was going to take in either modern or retro styling.
It was a fair question because the name of the Calibre 1969 movement goes back to the year when TAG Heuer (along with three other brands) debuted the automatic chronograph mechanical movement to the world. It thus made sense that TAG Heuer may have wanted to debut the movement in a retro-inspired watch. We have a good feeling that pieces of that nature will show up in TAG Heuer’s collection before long, but for now the Calibre 1969 is taking the form of other high-end, new TAG Heuer timepieces. The case design is one that we have seen in a few recent TAG Heuer watches, most recently the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer Edition.
Unlike those other models, the Carrera Calibre 1969 will have the crown and pushers placed in a more traditional space on the right-side of the case (versus the bull-head style layout of most others). The case represents a modern interpretation of the classic Carrera case from the early 1960s. We believe that the case should be about 44-45mm wide. The limited edition model will be in black PVD titanium carbide coated titanium and 18k rose gold. It is an interesting and thoroughly modern take on the Carrera and while it does not immediately come across as familiar, I think it is a handsome design that certainly grows on you.
When was the last time you saw a black and gold TAG Heuer by the way? There are some interesting design elements worth mentioning. The Calibre 1969 is a tri-compax chronograph with the date. But where is the date? TAG Heuer cleverly integrated the date indicator into the sub dial for the chronograph hours. How do you feel about it? It does help maintain dial symmetry nicely. With a mixture of both classic and modern design elements from TAG Heuer, the Carrera Calibre 1969 is a bold step in a new higher-end bracket for TAG Heuer that is firmly positioned over the Carrera models with the also in-house made Calibre 1887 movement. Having said that, we will see lower-priced Carrera Calibre 1969 movements debuting soon in 2014. This limited edition of the 500 piece Carrera Calibre 1969 Black Titanium & Rose Gold model is currently available in select TAG Heuer retailers and is priced at about 10,500 Euros (about $14,200). tagheuer.com