Former TAG Heuer CEO and current TAG Heuer Honorary Chairman Jack Heuer is no stranger to the horological limelight. With an illustrious career guiding the Swiss brand through its heady golden age in the 1960s, he helped to establish many of the brand’s most iconic lines, including the Carrera in 1963. Because of his tenure and influence, Jack Heuer has also become a fixture for limited-edition TAG Heuer models, lending his name to a wide array of exclusive models over the years. November 19, 2020, marks Jack Heuer’s 88th birthday, and to celebrate this milestone, the brand has dedicated another limited edition in his name. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition combines the design of Jack Heuer’s personal favorite original Carrera model, the ‘70s Heuer Carrera 1158CHN, with the newly revamped Heuer 02 powered Carrera Chronograph, bringing a more luxurious vintage flair to the modern chronograph series.
The 42mm case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition follows the slim, elegant form of the Carrera Chronograph unveiled in September 2020, but renders the shape in 18K 5N rose gold. This is both a tribute to Jack Heuer’s beloved gold Heuer Carrera 1158CHN, which he used to gift as good luck charms to favored racing drivers like Niki Lauda, and is also his favorite metal. In initial images, the effect is striking, emphasizing the ‘60s design connotations of the narrow polished bezel, sharp-angled lugs, and piston pushers. Like its stainless steel counterparts, this case manages a respectable 100 meters of water resistance.
While the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition draws inspiration from the classic Carrera 1158CHN, it’s an extremely loose interpretation and, as such, the dial design deviates markedly from its ‘70s forebear. The black panda subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock remain, but most of the rest of the dial follows the current Carrera Chronograph template. The 6 o’clock running seconds subdial is cleanly minimalized to give a two-register look at a glance, while the raised gold trim around the 6 o’clock date window nicely echoes the look of the ‘70s original. While the opaline dial surface and slim rose-gold hardware create a timeless look, one of the most attention-grabbing elements of this dial is the applied twin infinity symbol just below the main handset. Symbolizing Jack Heuer’s endless contribution to the brand that bears his name, when viewed sideways it also reads as a number 88 to commemorate his birthday.
TAG Heuer powers the Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition with the in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement. The performance of this vertical clutch and the column-wheel-equipped powerplant is identical to previous iterations, with a massive 80-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. The Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition adds a special custom black rotor, incorporating both Jack Heuer’s signature and his motto, “Time never stops, why should we?”
The final custom touch for the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition comes with its black alligator leather strap. In addition to giving a more formal, upscale look than much of the rest of the Carrera line, this strap also features Jack Heuer’s signature in gold in the inner lining.
Although the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition deviates quite dramatically from the original model that inspired it, this new limited-edition design stands as one of the most compelling of the brand’s Jack Heuer-dedicated limited editions. Only 188 examples of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition will be made and will be available through authorized dealers in February 2021 at an MSRP of $18,450. For more details, please visit TAG Heuer’s website.