2023 has already confirmed to be a banner 12 months for TAG Heuer’s flagship Carrera household. As this 12 months marks the Sixtieth anniversary of the road, the Swiss model has a full 12 months of distinctive commemorative novelties lined as much as rejoice the event, however the centerpiece of this 12 months of celebrations was not too long ago introduced as a part of the model’s Watches and Wonders 2023 novelties. The brand new “Glassbox” case idea goals to reinterpret the heat and charisma of a classic domed acrylic crystal via a totally fashionable lens, fairly than merely mirroring the look of the unique Carreras of the ‘60s. With this in thoughts, the brand new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” achieves one thing virtually wholly distinctive within the broad, numerous Carrera catalog: It bridges the visible hole between the really vintage-styled, Heuer-branded aspect of the sequence and the sharp, fashionable TAG Heuer-marked executions, all whereas introducing a newly revised era of in-house actions within the course of. The brand new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” is a balanced, fashionable, and easily futuristic bellwether for the way forward for TAG Heuer’s longest-running chronograph line, with a glance that straddles a troublesome line between classically refined and eye-catchingly totally different.
The second you strap on the 39mm-wide chrome steel case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox,” you’re handled to a carrying expertise that feels directly each intimately acquainted and strikingly contemporary. The underlying case design — the sharply angled lugs, the stout pump pushers, and the modern brushed case sides — is acquainted visible territory for the trendy Carrera, with a footprint on the wrist that almost matches the model’s present 39mm-wide Heuer-stamped “reissue” Carreras. In fact, that’s not the impression this watch offers at first look, because of its bombastic, deeply domed, wall-to-wall sapphire crystal. There’s zero bezel in any respect right here, and the arc of the crystal extends down almost all the way in which to the vertical aircraft of the case sides. It offers the acquainted Carrera define an ethereal, retrofuturistic really feel — if George Jetson had been a TAG Heuer man, this could have been on his wrist. On the identical time, it’s not outlandish or overbearing, and barring a couple of issues round bumping the sting of the crystal into issues, this nonetheless delivers a well-recognized Carrera really feel on the wrist. In a technique, the “Glassbox” truly provides a contact of utility to the platform, because the tachymeter scale can now be learn at an almost 90-degree angle. This would possibly show helpful whereas gripping the wheel of your dashing Porsche, however in real-world phrases, it serves so as to add a layer of visible drama and intrigue.
As with the case, the dial of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” blends traditional sequence staples with mild, avant-garde new components. Every iteration of this design takes its dial in a markedly totally different route, and the “Panda” colorway seen right here is by far essentially the most vintage-inspired. The radially brushed black dial floor, striped baton fingers, and khaki fauxtina lume fill definitely set the stage for a vintage-style design, however TAG Heuer tempers this old-school look with extra fashionable inclusions. The silver azurage subdials, for instance, use raised outer rings for higher visible depth. The split-baton utilized indices have a gently curved profile, echoing the curvature of the crystal above and introducing a really placing set of reflections at numerous angles. Naturally, the biggest change involves the outer chapter ring. Calling this broad, complicated aspect “curved” is an oversimplification — like a wave or a sand dune, this outer ring is concave on its interior aspect and bulges outward to fulfill the crystal on the opposite. It’s an natural, impressively sculptural visible shift that instantly strikes the “Glassbox” away from the usual Carrera system on the wrist. Across the interior aspect of the ring, TAG Heuer prints the chronograph seconds scale, whereas the outer aspect receives the Carrera’s traditional tachymeter scale.
The opposite main visible shift for this new mannequin comes at 12 o’clock, the place TAG Heuer features a vivid, contrasting white date window. This 12 o’clock date show is exclusive to the “Panda” dial choice, and isn’t completely with out precedent within the Carrera line, as a number of early references together with the ‘60s-era Heuer Carrera Date 12 ref. 3147 used this unorthodox date placement. With that stated, it’s kind of unparalleled within the fashionable watchmaking panorama, and whereas it does present a visually balanced format it does require greater than a bit of psychological adjustment. Greater than as soon as throughout my brief time with the pattern, I discovered myself subconsciously glancing at 6 o’clock and three o’clock earlier than remembering the 12 o’clock date show placement.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” is greater than only a visible overhaul of the sequence, nevertheless. This mannequin additionally serves because the debut for the second era of the in-house Heuer 02 computerized chronograph motion, now known as the TH20-00. Admittedly, from the specs, there’s little to separate the TH20-00 from the already-excellent Heuer 02, with a hefty 80-hour energy reserve, a 28,800 bph beat charge, and a column wheel. Nonetheless, the TH20-00 does introduce bidirectional winding into the platform, which ought to enhance energy reserve effectivity considerably. On the visible aspect, the adjustments are extra instantly obvious. The Heuer 02 is a reasonably skeletonized design, with a slender net of bridges exposing a big portion of the general gear prepare. In contrast, the TH20-00 used right here seems way more robustly constructed, with fewer cutouts and a broad plate coated in Côtes de Genève. The general ending is clear and sporty, consisting largely of striping throughout plates and bridges, together with the brand new shield-motif cutout rotor. This new rotor presents a less complicated, extra graphic look than the model’s earlier wheel-spoke design, with a raised brushed phase outlined by a decrease matte blasted layer. Though a lot of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” reinterprets the Carrera system, the rally-style perforated black leather-based deployant strap is only conventional Carrera fare. Nonetheless, this extra conventional aspect meshes effectively with the remainder of the design, and helps to forestall it from feeling too radical on the wrist.
Though it varieties solely part of a full 12 months of Sixtieth-anniversary celebrations for the sequence, the brand new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” is the primary to supply what appears like an sincere glimpse into the way forward for the sequence, combining acquainted traditional components with a strikingly easy, futuristic new sheen to create one thing that presents itself as a pure evolution of the core design. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 39mm “Glassbox” is obtainable now via approved sellers, and MSRP for this mannequin stands at $6,450 USD as of press time. For extra particulars, please go to the model’s web site.
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