2020 has undoubtedly been a big year for releases from TAG Heuer, with the brand releasing a slew of novelties to celebrate its 160th anniversary. Most of these commemorative releases have centered around the Carrera lineup, which itself has seen a substantial refresh this year to incorporate the recent in house Heuer 02 movement. As 2020 heads into its final months, TAG Heuer is far from finished with its celebrations, and its latest anniversary model builds on the Carrera Sport Chronograph series introduced in July 2020. This new limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition series combines the brand’s modern sporting look with cues from the classic 1965 Heuer Carrera Dato 12, creating a handsome balance of old and new for a uniquely timeless sports watch look.
The stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition is carried over more or less verbatim from the standard production Carrera Sport Chronograph series. While the 44mm case size sounds hefty on paper, the short lugs and clever case side geometry help this case to wear far smaller than the numbers suggest. The Carrera line’s signature inward angled lugs are present here, as are the modernist piston pushers with black accents for greater visual contrast. The ceramic tachymeter bezel, rendered in black or navy blue depending on the dial variant, is also carried over. The sapphire display caseback gains a special limited edition serial number engraving, but keeps the standard Carrera Sport Chronograph’s 100 meters of water resistance.
The real point of departure from previous models for the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition is the dial, which is designed to evoke the 1965 Heuer Carrera Dato 12. The Dato 12 was the first production wrist chronograph to feature a turning date disc, and to emphasize this first Heuer’s designers placed the date window at the unorthodox 12 o’clock position and rendered the date numerals in eye-catching bright red. The Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition mirrors this signature touch with a 12 o’clock date window of its own, and looks to further emulate vintage Carreras with its panda dial layout and host of subtle vintage inspired touches. It’s here where the two colorways of the Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition diverge. The first is a white dial variant with a subtle circular grained finish and a matching raised rehaut for the seconds track. The most eye-catching elements here are the black chronograph subdials, featuring raised sloping outer lips and azurage for greater light play along with contrasting red segments on the 3 o’clock chronograph minutes subdial. This red accent is echoed in the central chronograph seconds hand, tying the elements together well and creating a dramatic visual highlight, while the running seconds subdial at 6 o’clock fades into the background somewhat thanks to its light markings and white subdial surface. The second variant of the Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition is a touch more colorful, with a cobalt blue circularly brushed main dial and white subdials. The red accents and de-emphasized funning seconds subdial of the white dial version are echoed here, but this blue dial model changes the overall balance of the dial thanks to its sharply contrasting white rehaut. This band of white between the main dial and the bezel helps to visually break up the profile of the design, and while it’s difficult to tell through initial images this will likely aid this version to wear a bit smaller on the wrist than its white dial counterpart.
Both variants of the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition are powered by the in house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement. With a vertical clutch, a column wheel, and a hefty 80-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate, this is a thoroughly modern automatic chronograph movement. For the Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition, this movement also receives a special engraved rotor commemorating 160 years of the brand.
TAG Heuer finishes both variants of the Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition with its angular H-link bracelet in stainless steel. While this is a solid and versatile option, the more vintage influenced style of these specialty models might be better paired with leather, especially a rally strap.
As the first limited edition riff on the Carrera Sport Chronograph formula since the line’s introduction in July 2020, the TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition series both honors the brand’s extensive heritage and shows the way forward for the expansion of the modern Carrera lineup. The TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 160 Years Special Edition is limited to 1,860 examples of each colorway, and both variants will be available through authorized dealers in November 2020 at an MSRP of $5,950. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.