July 8, 2010
by Ariel Adams
The version of the new Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph calibre 1887 that I was checking out personally will be changed a bit. The image at the bottom of this article of the black dialed version watch represents what the final version that will be available late this year. Until then, the version you see images of is available. At least that is how I understand it. I think that in the future the “half year 1887” will be a collector’s item. Changes are relatively minor, but important. Notable are the lack of the tachymeter scale on the bezel (a wise decision as no one uses that), and some cosmetic changes in the chronograph subdials (wise as well). There may be a few other little things that are different. Which the Carrera 1887 is available now, this updated version of the new watch won’t be out for another 6 months or so. This cool new Tag was the subject of some controversy. If you recall, the “in-house made and developed” Calibre 1887 movement wasn’t so in-house developed. You can read more about that here. Tag Heuer licensed the movement base from Seiko, and then make a few little changes to it. Though it is true that the movement is being made by Tag Heuer even if they didn’t really totally develop it
Overall I really like that watch. Handsome, not busy looking, and a real classic. The Caliber 1887 movement is nice looking and visible through the sapphire caseback. It uses a neat looking blued-steel column wheel piece. The dial has enough designer elements to it, but is really simple (though well designed). Contrast between the dial, hands, and hour markers is pretty cool. Hour makers and hands are polished steel, and applied. The watch is very easy to read. I quite like the ultra-minimalist subsidiary seconds dial. Tag Heuer helps the dial feel purposeful by having a seconds counter around the flange ring. Only two issues I have with the dial are that the hands should have been made a little bit longer (so close Tag, you almost had them the right length, but you blew it), and the lume. There is SuperLumiNova on the dial, but it is in very thin strips on the hands and small bits near the hour markers. The white dialed version is clearly my fav, as it just looks so good, so retro, and so Tag Heuer stylish. Note the slightly recessed chronograph subdials.
The polished and brushed steel case is 41mm wide, but wears large – which is cool. Case style is very much Carrera is shape, with those great looking lugs. The case has a great mix of rounded and angular elements to it. The crown has an embossed Tag Heuer shield logo, as well as classic looking chronograph pushers. Of course the watch is available the well-known 5-link metal bracelet, or an alligator strap.
Pictured here is also the limited edition Tag Heuer Carrera 300 SLR. Also including the Calibre 1887 movement. Limited to 1887 pieces, this more retro version of the watch is meant to honor the classic Mercedes Benz 300 SLR car. The watch is in brown(ish) with a gradient dial, and orange highlights. It has a very cool brown leather perforated strap (done in unique manner). The dial design is clearly different, but the watch is of course very similar to the standard 1887 watch. It does have a tachymeter, but on the chapter ring, not on the bezel. Price for it is pretty high compared to the non-limited models at close to $6,000.
The Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Calibre 1887 watch retails for about $3,400. Maybe a bit pricey, but they will sell fast. The watch is really quite nice, and more than enough timepiece for most people. The movement works quite well, even if it isn’t totally Tag Heuer in origin. You can get the watches now, but remember that in several months it will be face-lifted a bit.