May 11, 2021
Green is, beyond a doubt, the color of the moment in luxury watchmaking. The past few years have seen the color become a wildly popular alternative to the traditional array of black, white, and blue dials that usually dominate the enthusiast landscape, and while brands have clamored to join in on this colorful trend, the field of recent green designs has shown an impressive amount of variety. Where most blue dials tend to offer some shade of navy, the green dial boom has seen everything from military-inspired olive drabs to electric lime-green hues and deep, luxuriant forest-green tones. TAG Heuer is one of the most prolific contributors to this trend, and its own recent takes on the color clearly illustrate this diversity. The brand’s latest green dial design brings a deep, sophisticated tone to the vintage-oriented Carrera chronograph line, offering an intriguing and sartorial bridge between vintage and modern aesthetic cues. The new TAG Heuer Carrera Green Special Edition takes a refined and clean approach to the current green dial phenomenon, combining this new style with elements from some of the marque’s most celebrated recent vintage reissues.
The 39mm stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Green Special Edition is shared with other vintage-inspired limited edition Carrera models like the Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition and the Carrera 160 Years Montreal Limited Edition. Like those prior models, the case here is clean and compact, staying true to the spirit of the ‘60s original while upsizing slightly from the first Carrera’s 36mm dimensions. The overall case finish is a fine mirror polish, which nicely highlights the sharp edges of the narrow bezel and the line’s signature beveled lugs. Although the case should wear small with its 39mm diameter, the case profile looks to be robust in initial images, thanks in large part to a tall vintage-inspired, domed sapphire crystal. TAG Heuer veers away from its ‘60s inspiration somewhat for the caseback of the Carrera Green Special Edition, adding a sapphire display window and a simple “Special Edition” engraving. Water resistance for the TAG Heuer Carrera Green Special Edition is a reasonable 100 meters.
Although the current boom in green dial designs has spawned a wide variety of different shades of green in watchmaking, the majority of these trend towards hues with either more yellow undertones or a neutral base. Blue-green dials are comparatively rarer in the current climate, but the TAG Heuer Carrera Green Special Edition uses a dynamic and distinctive shade to show the potential of this side of the spectrum. TAG Heuer itself describes the color as both a deep teal and as a green inspired by its motor racing heritage in its marketing materials, and both are certainly true. The dial color calls to mind both the green tones of shallow seas and the shade of British Racing Green used at some points in Aston Martin’s GT racing program. (Although the British automaker is currently affiliated with Girard-Perregaux, TAG Heuer and Aston have had numerous motorsports partnerships in the past). Beyond this complex and compelling sunburst dial color, the rest of the dial design stays true to past vintage-inspired Carreras with classic touches like the original Heuer shield emblem at 12 o’clock, recessed subdials with azurage, simple beveled applied indices, and slim polished baton hands. The lume here is a light khaki fauxtina hue, enough to inject a hint of warm contrast to the cool green in initial images but not enough to be distracting. TAG Heuer wisely opts for a no-date treatment for the Carrera Green Special Edition, preserving the symmetry of the dial and offering a cleaner, more authentically vintage look.
TAG Heuer powers the Carrera Green Special Edition with the in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement. The Heuer 02 has quickly become the flagship movement for the brand’s more upscale chronograph offerings, and this position is reinforced by both its finishing and performance. The look of the Heuer 02 is clean overall, with Côtes de Genève across the bridges and blacked-out skeleton rotor. In keeping with the more vintage style of the Carrera Green Special Edition, the bridge is engraved with the classic Heuer shield emblem, but the brand adds pops of teal to the rotor and the column wheel for a more striking and contemporary touch. Performance for this column wheel and vertical clutch-equipped movement is robust, with an 80-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. TAG Heuer completes the package with a classic black alligator-leather strap.
In a sea of green dial releases, the TAG Heuer Carrera Green Special Edition stands out from the pack with a uniquely nuanced hue and a refined execution. Only 500 examples of the TAG Heuer Carrera Green Special Edition will be made, available now through TAG Heuer boutiques and the brand’s e-commerce platform for an MSRP of $6,650. For more information, please visit TAG Heuer’s website.