November 17, 2022
Despite being the go-to “luxury material” for most of the history of watchmaking, yellow gold has become markedly less common in the industry in recent years. There is a multitude of reasons for this, ranging from the rise of alternatives like rose gold, white gold, and platinum, to a general trend away from precious metals in favor of vibrant colors and hi-tech materials like carbon and ceramics. With that said, there’s a certain timeless appeal to a yellow gold watch, particularly a chronograph with a punchy black and gold color palette. TAG Heuer’s latest release fully embraces this classical sporty luxe look, with a Carrera design that takes loose inspiration from both the coveted Heuer Carrera 1158 CHN and the classic John Player Special livery made legendary by Lotus Formula 1 cars in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The new gold TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph offers a striking, luxurious new look that combines retro flash with the modern Carrera silhouette.
Measuring in at 42mm-wide, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in gold shares its overall case design with the standard Carrera Chronograph family. This familiar form takes on a brighter, more dynamic character in images, however, thanks to its new 18K 3N yellow gold case material. The slim sloping bezel, gently brushed case sides, stout pump pushers, and distinctive sharply faceted lugs are all accounted for here. In yellow gold, though, these elements take on a decidedly more vintage character in images that accentuates this design’s connection to the Carreras of the ‘60s. Around back, TAG Heuer takes a more modern tack with a sapphire display caseback to showcase the in-house Heuer 02 movement within. Like its stainless steel counterparts, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in gold offers a respectable 100 meters of water resistance.
The new gold TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph’s dial is undoubtedly the centerpiece of this design. Like the case, the overall dial layout is inherited from the stainless steel model, but the use of color, material, and finishing make this version strikingly different in photos. The dynamically grained black sunburst dial surface provides a clean backdrop for the overall design, with enough visual detail to remain interesting on its own. Of course, it’s the dial hardware that steals the show, with case-matching 18K 3N yellow gold for the striped baton hands, matching indices, and the applied TAG Heuer emblem at 12 o’clock. Even more dramatically, the subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock are also plated in gold, with the raised sloping outer rings and azurage surfaces providing a wealth of highlights and shadows to showcase the luster of yellow gold. The use of a minimal running seconds subdial at 6 o’clock is nothing new for the series, but when contrasted with the eye-catching use of gold throughout the rest of the dial, this element fades further into the background for a cleaner look in images.
TAG Heuer powers the new Carrera Chronograph in gold with its in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement. The Heuer 02 has been firmly established as the backbone of the brand’s higher-end offerings in recent years and offers impressive modern performance including a massive 80-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. The Heuer 02’s finishing here is consistent with its stainless steel cousins, with Côtes de Genève across the bridges, along with a blacked-out skeleton rotor with a racing wheel motif and additional Côtes de Genève. This black rotor ties in well with the overall colorway in photos, and the brand adds an extra unifying touch with an exposed gold column wheel. To complete the old-school refined sporty look, TAG Heuer pairs the watch with a clean black alligator leather strap.
At a time when yellow gold is a rarer sight in luxury brands’ lineups, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in gold proves the material still has a bold, classic appeal. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in gold is available now through TAG Heuer boutiques, selected retail partners, and the brand’s e-commerce platform. MSRP for the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in gold stands at $20,500 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.