March 23, 2015
by Ariel Adams
Later in 2015, TAG Heuer will release a new tourbillon version of the TAG Heuer Carrera (ref. CAR2A8Y.FT6044) that will be priced at 14,900 Swiss Francs. I saw a picture of the upcoming TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon while with TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver who was excited to show it to me. With the “lower-end price” of a Swiss tourbillon costing $40,000 or so, and tourbillons being included in watches that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Jean-Claude Biver is certainly trying to make a splash this year at Baselworld 2015 with a series of big announcements for the brand. This is also the first Baselworld watch trade show that Jean-Claude Biver has been in this particular leadership position at TAG Heuer.
Early during the Baselworld 2015 show TAG Heuer announced a partnership with Intel and Google on an upcoming smartwatch that will come toward the end of 2015. Now, towards the end of the show, TAG Heuer has allowed us to share news about their very competitively priced Swiss tourbillon timepiece based on the new Carrera 01 collection with its aggressive sport styling that will have a 45mm wide case produced from steel and titanium. In my opinion, Jean-Claude Biver intends for the Carrera 01 to be a sort of “baby Hublot” for those keen on the modern “open work” styling of many Hublot Big Bang watches, but without the budget for one. The TAG Heuer Carrera 01 will be priced at 4,900 Swiss Francs and the tourbillon version will be priced at 10,000 Swiss Francs more.
We will update this post in a few days with better images of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon for 2015 but I can say that it will have a black-and-blue color theme (as opposed to the black and red color theme of the Carrera 01). There might also be a more monochromatic version. Apparently, the movement for this tourbillon will be adapted from the “on hold” TAG Heuer in-house made caliber CH 80 chronograph movement that the brand decided to not seriously put into production at this time in order to focus more on its caliber 1887 movement (which is the base for the TAG Heuer caliber 01). TAG Heuer will call the Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon movement the calibre Heuer 02, and it means the Carrera Chronograph tourbillon will have a power reserve of about 60 hours and operate at 4Hz.
Jean-Claude Biver made it very clear to me a few months ago that the future of TAG Heuer was in more traditional pricing and ceasing focus on its very high-end watches that includes some exotic chronographs and tourbillons. In practice that has certainly been the case and Biver’s tactic seems to be implementing very aggressive pricing for models with in-house made movements, but there are still some higher-end models such as 45,000 Swiss Francs V4 Phantom Carbon and the upcoming 14,900 Swiss Franc TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon CAR2A8Y.FT6044 that we’ll learn more about later in 2015. tagheuer.com
Keep up with our pre-, post-, and live Baselworld 2015 coverage here.