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Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Elon Musk’s SpaceX made big headlines recently as their Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station (ISS). They also recently announced a new deal with the US military to transport payloads into space – which was only possible after they flew three successful missions in a row. While sending people to space started as a government-supported goal, it is now up to private companies to further our galactic presence. SpaceX is among a select group of global companies that will continue our mission to space. Tag Heuer has released what is probably the first watch in celebration of SpaceX’s achievements.

Tag Heuer and SpaceX’s relationship likely started with Elon Musk – whom the brand worked with on his other company Tesla. I don’t know if you recall, but Tag Heuer had a neat branded electric Tesla Roadster S car that they took around the world on a large tour. I actually don’t know if there was ever a Tag Heuer Tesla watch – I don’t think there was. With SpaceX there is, and Tag’s relationship with Musk’s ventures continues.

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This limited edition watch is called the Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph, and will be part of a limited edition of 2,012 pieces. While it is branded SpaceX, the watch also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Tag Heuer’s status as “The First Swiss Watch In Space.” That same phrase is printed on the dial and caseback of the watch. In 1962, John Glenn wore a Tag Heuer stopwatch on his wrist over his flight suit when being launched into orbit around the earth. It was supposed to be a back-up clock or timer. This of course predated the Apollo XI mission to the moon later that decade.

I am not totally sure how SpaceX fits into that, but the little picture of a rocket on the front and rear of the watch is of a SpaceX rocket and capsule. The white dial with blued steel hands is very reminiscent of stopwatch-style dials, while also being quite instrumental in design. The Carrera SpaceX watch offers a clean, legible look that I think many watch lovers will appreciate. The SpaceX logo and rocket image on the rear of the watch is placed on the sapphire exhibition caseback window which is tinted.

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The watch itself is 43mm wide and in steel. It looks good being polished and mixed with the more traditional looking dial. That gives it a nice tool/formal watch mix of aesthetic values. No doubt it has a bit of a retro flair. Inside the watch is the Calibre 1887 movement that the newer Carrera watches contain. The 1887 is an in-house made movement using a base design that Tag Heuer modified from a high-end Seiko automatic chronograph caliber. It is a pretty good movement and feels a bit more interesting than the standard Swiss ETA 7750s contained in most Carrera timepieces.

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Attached to the case is a brown suede-style leather strap with racing style perforations. The rugged looking strap helps give the instrument-style dial a bit more personality. The watch is also available on a metal Carrera bracelet – which will turn it into a watch that fits very well at SpaceX headquarters (I can imagine). With a release of around November, 2012, the limited edition of the 2,012 piece Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph watch will retail for $5,800.



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  • aBlogtoRead

    @josephagonzales thanks!

  • Kris C

    While I really enjoy the dial and case design, I’m just tired of this chonograph layout – I’d like to hear more on how this Seiko movement feels better than a 7750 – what does that mean?
    Also, there is nothing ‘spacey’ about a suede strap – the bracelet sounds better, and a rubber option would have been good as well.
    But, who cares – the next time I spend this kind of money on a watch, this will be nowhere near my list of options.

    • USVIwatchguy

      @Kris C- what a bad attitude you seem to have, and bitter. For anyone who reads Ariel’s blog even remotely often, or has read the countless articles about the 1887 mov’t, especially on this website, you would know the 3 key aspects of the mov’t. One being this is a column wheel chronograph which is regarded as the best chrono you can buy. It feels smooth and It’s the blue toothed wheel you can see in the movement. Second is the oscillating pinion which starts the chrono in 2/1000th of a second, and was developed eduoard Heuer in, ready for this, 1887! And third is the HER system, which is high efficiency rewind system. Like most rotors which are unidirectional, this winds both ways and saves about 30% more energy than traditional systems.
      So for people who get bored with the same old models, and enjoy limited edition pieces, we like watches like this, especially from a company that is constantly coming out with new and excited watches. So keep saving up for your dream watch, which is more than likely a rolex submariner, and move out the way for the big boys. We are the true aficionados who like and repect models like this who aren’t geared towards the masses like yourself! Boo-yeah!

      • Kris C

         @USVIwatchguy  hmmm – how can I put this delicately… You’re a fucking idiot.
        My question was in regard to ‘feel’, not function – perhaps you need to brush up on your literacy. While not in this particular watch, I’ve handled pieces with this movement in them; the action is smooth and responsive, just like many other well-made lever-actuated (Landeron 48, etc)  and cam-actuated (7750, etc) chronographs. If you’re trying to say you can ‘feel’ the HER system working, then all I can do is continue to laugh at you.
        Further, I find this piece historically unsettling, as there was no ‘TAG’ in 1962, they acquired Heuer in 1985 (and have not been associated since the joining of LVMH in 1999), so this piece would have come off much better with a Heuer-only logo, like they have done in the past for historic throwbacks.  
        Also, if you have spent anytime reading around here, as you point out, you would know quite quickly that A) I have no love for Rolex (like it matters), and B) I have more optimism regarding advances in the watchmaking industry from a technological standpoint than most. But, you probably made these coments on purpose because you like the taste of foot, considering the huge piece of yours you bit off.
        If you consider TAG to be a ‘big boy’, more power to you. I personally don’t find thier technological achievments to be much of a contribution to the industry overall as much as I do thier aesthetic ones, which in my world does not rank you among the giants.
        To each their own.

        • nateb123

           @Kris C  @USVIwatchguy 
          Kris, calm down.  Waving your dick around online is only guaranteed to show you care way too much about what someone thousands of miles away thinks of you.

    • KennieElerby

       @Kris C  I agree with you on the layout. It reminds me of my IWC Portuguese Chronograph. I really do enjoy the dial and case design but I suppose that isn’t saying much because as I stated, I have a watch that looks and feels similar.I’m also not sold on the suede band. If this is a “space” watch, why not go with some kind of cool and funky space age rubber or metal, if such a thing exists.I can’t help but feel that this is a marketing gimmick to get some space geeks to pay  $6000 for a Tag Carrera that should cost $3200. It’s probably my ignorance, but I just don’t get it?

  • GoGoJackson

    Cool watch!!!

  • Ulysses31

    The watch is a little on the bland side to be commemorating such a historic event as this.  As for the the movement, we all know it’s a Seiko base although why they would favour an oscillating pinion as opposed to a vertical clutch escapes me considering the many disadvantages.  OK, so Tag favoured it because the oscillating pinion was one of their innovations but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not a good system, which is why the vast majority of Seiko chronographs don’t have it.  The bi-directional winding system is just the Seiko “Magic Lever” at work which debuted in the Fifties I believe.  I think certain people are giving Tag a little too much credit, and getting a bit too excited over this movement.  But hey, the crown wheel is definitely a pretty shade of blue, i’ll give it that.

  • Calibre11

    @therealtony8911 I have- quite like it. What do you think?

    • therealtony8911

      @Calibre11 Yeah, like it too. Strap really goes well with the white dial.
      Surprised you haven’t featured on cal11?

      • Calibre11

        @therealtony8911 it’s a long story…

  • Spaghetti9

    I went to see their museum 3 months ago. In 1962 they produced a chronograph that John Glen used during the first expedition in Space with the Friendship 7 mission. This watch reproduces that dial. And I can only tell you that already in 1914 they we using this dial architecture with 2 beautiful counters at 12 and 6. I was an IWC fun but I can tell you that they were 80 years in advance vs. IWC.

  • Oliver777

    How many time do the Tag Heuer factory spend to build a Carrera cal 1887, 43mm autoamtic cronograph ????
    Help please !!!

  • notech47

    It’s a very nice watch but has three annoying flaws. 1. A leather strap would never go into space; it should only be offered with a unique stainless steel bracelet; 2. It doesn’t seem to offer any kind of high level water depth rating, shock resistance or antimagnetic properties; 3. It’s way too pricey for any watch with a Japanese design based automatic movement.