Tag Heuer is moving in a very interesting direction up market. I don’t think (at least hope) that this means they are going to abandon their lower price segments (as that would be an awful idea), but with the success of the Monaco V4 (along with their vintage market), they feel as though they are justified in offering very expensive timepieces. As such, the new Mikrograph watch they just released that measures 1/100th of a second with its chronograph is a classic looking timepiece in an 18k gold case and cost a whopping $50,000. This is not that watch. This is something not cheap, but more realistic, and damn cooler (and with a much nicer dial in my opinion).

Welcome to the Tag Heuer Carrera MP4-12C watch made as the next piece in Tag Heuer and McLaren’s long-standing partnership. The limited edition watch is meant to “go with” the new McLaren MP4-12C super car. The timepiece is quite amazing. I mean really well done! The large case is 43mm wide in sand-blasted titanium. Case of course is done in a Carrera style. Like the car, the watch is done in orange, black, and white tones. The case is quite like, and very nice on the wrist.

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Tag Heuer designed the Carrera MP4-12C’s dial to be quite marvelous does in carbon fiber with a smoked sapphire crystal. The finicky dial materials are put to use well in this application – making sense and feeling sensible. I like the orange stripes in the hands for legibility as well as the large hour markers. The “0” at 12 o’clock in orange is a nice stylistic touch.

The dial also has a partially skeletonized section in the middle. This is where you can see the big date indicator and the chronograph subdials. Movement is the Dubois Depraz calibre 4900 automatic flyback chronograph. Tag Heuer added a few racing cues on the watch. Tag Heuer watches focused on racing have been doing this for a long while. Note the “tire” style crown, and the piston style chronograph pushers. As a sport watch the Carrera MP4-12X does an amazing job at being sexy without sacrificing performance. It will be limited to 1000 pieces.

My only problem with it is the price. I believe it will be in the $13,000 range. Which seems like a lot despite the complex looks and limited amount. Also, Tag Heuer uses grade 2 versus grade 5 titanium. Not sure how much difference in quality there is, but it is curious in this range they didn’t use grade 5 titanium. Look for these really good lookers soon – I anticipate them to do well given their limited nature, good looks and light weight, along with connection to McLaren. Price is $10,500. tagheuer.com

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