TAG Heuer Carrera Watches
Designed to cater for adrenaline-fueled speed demons and those who prefer to take things a little easier, TAG Heuer Carrera watches are a celebration of people who never stop moving. They are the flagship of the manufacturer’s unrivalled watchmaking pedigree and motor racing heriTAGe and have become some of the most sought-after driver’s watches in the world. Its easy-to-read decision and unparalleled functionality make them ideal for drivers, while its stylish aesthetic never fails to impress.
The History of TAG Heuer Carrera Watches
The story of TAG Heuer Carrera watches started long before the first timepieces hit the market. In 1950, the first Carrera Panamericana car race was held. Held for five consecutive years, it was an open road border-to-border race in Mexico that covered more than 3,500km. By 1954, the race was attracting the attention of professional motorsports drivers — a factor that perhaps contributed to the fact that the final 356km of that year’s race was won at an average speed of 222kmph. With speeds that high, the race was deemed to be unsafe and was never held again.
In 1962, word of this legendary race reached Jack Heuer, who had recently taken over as head of the Heuer brand. He instantly fell in love with the concept and was gripped by the daring nature of the competition. Without wasting much time, Heuer registered exclusive rights for use of the name under “Heuer Carrera”. His aim was to create a timepiece that would meet the high-octane demands of motorsports.
Released in 1963, the Carrera’s design was true to the brand’s overarching style — modern and avant-garde. It featured a 36mm steel case with distinctive sharply faceted lugs, applied markers and slightly-stepped subdials. The clean and uncluttered dial was the main focus, allowing for excellent legibility and functionality.
Such was the success of the original manual model, that Heuer released an automatic version that was based on similar design codes. Launched in 1970, the iconic 18ct gold Carrera Automatic was one of the first-ever automatic Swiss chronograph movements and marked the beginning of a golden era for Carrera timepieces. A year later, the brand started a unique tradition of presenting this chronograph to every new driver that Ferrari brought on board. Each piece was personalised with the driver’s name, making them instant collectors’ items. The line saw dozens of different expressions throughout the 1970s, before it was discontinued in 1984.
The Heuer brand was taken over in 1985 by Techniques d’Avant Garde, giving us the TAG Heuer moniker we have today. Some 11 years later, the Carrera was relaunched and featured the same clean design of the original. Following the success of this Re-Edition, the brand launched the Calibre 16 and Calibre 17. Both models featured a 41mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and an automatic movement.
Other important timepieces in the collection include the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T and the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01. The former was decidedly modern and was heavily inspired by the brand’s close relationship to motorsport. Each case was made of 12 different components and housed a minute tourbillon. Meanwhile, the Heuer 01 featured a sapphire crystal case back and skeletonised dial.
In 2020, TAG Heuer celebrated the 88th birthday of Jack Heuer by launching a limited edition Carrera in gold. Dubbed the Carrera Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition, it consisted of just 188 pieces, each one featuring Heuer’s signature in two places, alongside Heuer’s motto: “Time never stops, why should we?” That same year, the brand also celebrated its own 160th birthday with a 1,000-piece reinterpretation of the Heuer Montreal from 1972. This 39mm timepiece had a white dial and three blue subdials. It also featured a red chronograph seconds hand and yellow minute and hour hands.
A year later, the Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition was released. It combined a 44m steel case with a grey dial and prominent Arabic numerals. There was also a red “Porsche” inscription on the ceramic tachymeter bezel.
A Lifetime in the Spotlight
Like most timepieces from TAG Heuer, the Carrera collection has a plethora of famous supporters. As you would expect from a timepiece that is catered primarily for motorsports, it is especially highly-regarded amongst drivers. Racers Kurt Busch, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton all own one, while former Formula 1 star Jo Siffert is regularly seen with a Carrera adorning his wrist. In addition, multiple world champion Ayrton Senna da Silva was a longtime ambassador for the brand.
The Carrera’s reach is not just contained within motorsports, however, and has also wowed stars from other arenas as well. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis player Maria Sharapova and golfing ace Tiger Woods are all fans of the timepiece. Hollywood’s greatest have also fallen under its spell, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Uma Thurman all being advocates of the brand.
Whether they are vintage models or part of the more modern collection, TAG Heuer Carrera watches are never short of admirers. Thanks to their innovative design choices and robust construction, they remain a highly popular model for race enthusiasts and collectors alike.
From Racetrack to Wrist
In an atmosphere where every second is crucial, TAG Heuer Carrera watches always deliver. Its celebrated design consists of a large easy-to-read dial which is a must for drivers, while it is also waterproof and shock-resistant — making it ideal to cope with the various bumps and shakes associated with race car driving.
The enduring popularity of the collection is largely down to the excellent level of precision it offers, along with its important responsibilities at high-profile sporting events. With the Carrera range of wristwatches, TAG Heuer has affirmed its legendary connection to the world of motorsports, while still giving luxury watch enthusiasts and collectors something to smile about. If you are a fan of sportiness and elegance combined, this is definitely the collection for you.