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TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

When Jack Heuer took over Heuer in 1962, the first watch that he launched was the Carrera. The Carrera was created partly to revitalize Heuer’s range of chronograph watches but also because Jack became enamored with motor racing after attending the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race and learning about the notorious La Carrera Panamericana race. That’s where the Carrera name came from – not the Porsche 911 Carrera as some might think. More importantly, the Carrera soon became a cornerstone for Heuer and in celebration of its 55th anniversary, TAG Heuer has introduced a new Carrera model called the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT. Let’s take a closer look at it now.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

All images by Ariel Adams

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

With its 45mm wide stainless steel case, there’s no getting around that the Carrera Chronograph GMT is a big watch. TAG Heuer does not disclose its thickness, but I reckon it is at least 15mm thick. Along with the muscular lugs, chunky chronograph pushers, and the fairly large and conspicuous black and blue bezel, the Carrera Chronograph GMT wears large and exudes a ton of wrist presence. Water resistance is a very adequate 100m, which is very fitting for a sports watch such as this.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

The bezel is ceramic and comes in black and blue – blue for the daytime hours and black for the nighttime hours – not unlike the Rolex GMT-Master II Reference 116710BLNR. I can see why some people, especially Heuer purists, are upset with this color choice, but if I were to be practical, I would say that it is rather attractive. That said, I do admit that a red and blue ‘Pepsi’ style bezel would make more sense since vintage Heuer Autavia GMT watches did sport red and blue GMT bezels.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

The dial is skeletonized and shows off a good deal of the Heuer 02 movement. The counters are arranged at 3-6-9, which pays homage to the original Carrera chronograph watches from the ’60s. To ensure legibility, the hour markers are rhodium-plated as are the hour, minute, and second hands. The GMT hand is in bright red. The 12-hour and 30-minute chronograph registers are positioned at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively and feature rhodium-plated hands and rhodium-plated snailed rings. The running seconds counter is at 6 o’clock and it is distinguished by its blue snailed ring. All in all, I find the dial quite easy to read and interesting to look at.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

Look closely, and you will find that within the dial is a fixed 24-hour scale, along with the 24-hour bezel, this makes it easy for the owners to track up to three time zones. There’s also a pretty inconspicuous date window at 4:30, executed in the same style as the Hublot Big Bang Unico. In fact, the way the dial is executed reminds me of the Big Bang Unico – not that it is a bad thing, is it?


TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

The movement within is the in-house Heuer 02, which combines a self-winding chronograph with a GMT complication. The chronograph features a vertical clutch and column wheel. The movement is visible through the sapphire display caseback and it is adequately decorated for its price. You won’t find hand-beveled bridges here, but the Heuer 02 movement does have a skeletonized rotor and large bridges finished with Côtes de Genève. The Heuer 02 beats at 4Hz and has a generous power reserve of over three days – 75 hours to be exact.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Hands-On Hands-On

All things considered, the new Carrera Chronograph GMT is a pretty sweet sports chronograph from TAG Heuer. Obviously, not everyone is going to be a fan of its chunky dimensions or of its somewhat messy dial, but if you like your sports watch big and complicated, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT could be right up your alley. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT is priced at $6,150 with a stainless steel bracelet and $5,950 with a rubber strap.



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  • Luke Deerstalker

    I could be wrong but I don’t think the bezel turns. So how would you track 3 time zones? Also weird that the numbers on the bottom half of the bezel are upside down, if in fact this bezel doesn’t turn.

  • Philip Beresford

    I kind of like it. If this were a bit smaller at say 40-42mm I’d actually consider it. Also, is this the first non-Rolex bi-color ceramic bezel??


    Ok I am going to say it, I always liked the look of this one and now in gmt I like it even more but I am sucker for a gmt and a chrono.
    Price wise for what you get it is not bad and will even be cheaper in a year from now especially if going grey. The bezel looks nice and legibility it is decent for a skeletonized dial. If I were getting starting this puppy would be on my top list but alas it is just too damned big. make this in a more reasonable size, let’s say max 42 and slim it down. Then and only then will you convince me

  • SuperStrapper

    I dont mind it at all. My biggest gripe would be the size, but not in deal breaking fashion. Inspecting these images closely this looks like a well made and engineered piece.

  • Pete L

    Pretty cool, good movement and looks well made. I don’t mind 45mm but the lugs look long which might make it wear even bigger so not sure.

  • JosephWelke

    Nice. It’s easy to tell the time, has my two favorite complications, an in-house movement and an okay price tag above all that.

    But… 45mm?! Unless it wears smaller on the wrist than it should, this is just too damned big. 42mm at the outside I think. Then Heuer and I can talk.

  • Mikita

    45 mm of total mess.

  • ProJ

    Nice watch but too bulky.

  • BobHoover Tiangco

    Where are the Tags from before LVMH took over? They were so much easier on the eyes.

  • Chronograph with 3-6-9 layout – check
    Vertical clutch and column wheel – check
    GMT with 3 timezones displayed via the bezel – check (assuming the bezel with no grips does indeed turn).
    Ceramic bezel – check
    Price – maybe high for a TAG but not bad considering the overall package – check
    Bulk – thumbs down (43 mm would have been better)
    Hublot skeleton look – thumbs down

    Overall there is much to like but too much of a baby Hublot for my taste. A solid dial version would be classier looking I think. I expect there will be grumbling over the price (since it’s a TAG) but if you did not know the brand and just looked the tech specs, the price seems in line.

  • commentator bob

    “I do admit that a red and blue ‘Pepsi’ style bezel would make more sense since vintage Heuer Autavia GMT watches did sport red and blue GMT bezels.”

    Wait six months and I am sure that the new Autavia, already powered by the Heuer 02, will have a version with a GMT hand and a Pepsi bezel. And that will be a damn tempting watch given that Rolex is twice as much, and as nice as the new Tudor is, Tudor screams “I really wanted a Rolex but could not afford it.”

    I know it is a lot to ask for watch reviews to actually explain how the watch works, but do you know if the 12-hour hand is independently adjustable or the 24-hour hand? If the 12-hour hand is independently adjustable I am really looking forward to the Autavia version.

  • Larry Holmack

    Normally I would like this Tag just because of its size…but…the dial just doesn’t work! Nice try….

  • Bozzor

    The dial doesn’t work for me, but that said, you are tempted to buy it just because it’s a GMT chronograph with a ceramic bezel and 75 hour power reserve courtesy of an in house movement from TAG: you’re getting a lot of watch for not that insane amount of money…

  • Ulysses31

    The dial kills it for me, as it usually does with Tag nowadays.

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