December 4, 2021
NBA star Jimmy Butler currently stands as one of the brightest stars in professional basketball, leading the Miami Heat to the 2020 NBA Finals in his first year with the team. Off the court, however, Butler is a dyed-in-the-wool watch enthusiast, and has been an official ambassador for TAG Heuer since May 2021. For their first official collaboration, TAG Heuer and Butler turn their attention to the Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon, reinventing this complex model with a striking monochrome colorway inspired by Butler’s two-year-old daughter. The limited-run TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition brings a more aggressive, sporting look to the brand’s top-of-the-line model, while remaining a surprisingly robust value relative to its most direct competitors.
The 45mm case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition takes a darker, more futuristic bent than previous iterations. The forged carbon bezel and a matching set of the Carrera’s signature sharp inwardly beveled lugs form the background of this ultramodern sporting look, supported with brushed black PVD titanium for the simple vertical mid-case and caseback. TAG Heuer opts for an ergonomic mix of PVD titanium and rubber for the 3 o’clock crown, and continues the PVD titanium trend through the inverted pushers. The sapphire display window on the caseback is adorned with Jimmy Butler’s personal stylized “JB” logo, printed in a delicate baby pink in honor of Butler’s young daughter. The Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition’s aggressive sporting looks aren’t just for show, as the brand rates the watch for a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
Although the starkly architectural skeleton dial layout of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition is unchanged from previous models, this model breathes new life into the formula with a dramatic new low-contrast colorway. Unlike many monochrome designs, however, this black-on-black look is impressively legible in images thanks to clever design work. Every visual layer or element, from the black-coated applied gold indices to the matte framework of the skeleton dial itself, the Côtes de Genève across the underlying movement plates, the cutout pattern of the 12 o’clock mainspring barrel, the brightly polished skeleton subdials, and the simple pointed baton handset takes on a different texture or shade of black. This allows for a solid sense of contrast between elements, particularly in harsher lighting conditions, but still allows non-black components to visually pop against the backdrop in images. The central chronograph seconds hand and the tips of the main timekeeping hands carry on the same pale pink as the caseback emblem, giving the overall design a sense of visual continuity and immediately drawing the wearer’s attention to the most important elements at a glance. Naturally, the other centerpiece of the design is the 6 o’clock tourbillon escapement, and TAG Heuer highlights this ornate complication with brightly polished inner components inside a simple brushed black skeleton cage.
The caseback view of the in-house Calibre Heuer 02T COSC automatic tourbillon chronograph movement inside the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition is clean and ultramodern, with a black-on-black colorway to match the rest of the design. Rather than the selective colored highlights of the dial side, the finishing around back is more solidly monochrome, broken up by small bright highlights on the screws, column wheel, gear train, and the traditional ruby bearings. In terms of performance, the Calibre Heuer 02T COSC is far from minimal however, with COSC certified chronometer accuracy alongside a hefty 65 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. TAG Heuer completes the look with a matte black rubber-lined alligator leather strap. This strap’s notched ends and tapering sculpted profile allow it to flow cleanly into the case in initial images, further amplifying the sleekly modernist bent of the overall design.
With a new carbon and titanium case, a futuristic minimal colorway, and a highly capable tourbillon chronograph movement, the limited TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition is both a boldly refreshed showcase of the brand’s high-end horological prowess and a striking first collaboration with NBA star Jimmy Butler. Only five examples of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon COSC Special Edition will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $25,000. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.