TAG Heuer Carrera"
Carrera Calibre 16
Carrera Calibre HEUER 01
Carrera Calibre 1887
Carrera Calibre 5
Carrera Calibre 6
Carrera Calibre 7
Carrera Calibre 8
Carrera Calibre 17
TAG Heuer Carrera: The Racing Chronograph
The Carrera is one of TAG Heuer's most popular collections. Its easy-to-read design is inspired by motorsport. In-house calibers and fine materials complete the overall package.
5 Reasons to Buy a TAG Heuer Carrera
- Numerous coveted vintage models with the potential to appreciate in value
- The Carrera Heuer 02T with an in-house caliber and tourbillon
- Calibre 7 Twin-Time with a GMT function
- Many design and material options
- Chronographs and three-hand watches for men and women
Classic Chronographs Since 1963
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer first released the Carrera in 1963, and it's been an industry icon ever since. Designed by Jack Heuer, this chronograph sets itself apart with its precision and the exceptional readability of its dial. Heuer named this collection after the famous Carrera Panamericana rally, which had cars racing through the streets of Mexico in the early 1950s. After a some 30-year hiatus, the rally returned in 1988 and continues to run annually to this day. Over the years, the Heuer Carrera has been reimagined and is now an expansive collection that contains something for everyone.
Fans of timeless vintage watches are sure to enjoy the models from the 60s and 70s, such as the Carrera 30, Carrera 45 Dato, or Carrera Chronomatic. At the time, the company was still simply known as "Heuer" and was outfitting these chronographs with classic movements from Valjoux, Lemania, or Landeron. Today, these models are coveted collector's items that will add value to any watch collection. TAG Heuer has been reviving designs from classic models – including the Carrera Calibre 1887, Calibre 16, and Calibre 17 – and combining them with ETA or Sellita movements since the late 1990s.
On the other hand, the Calibre Heuer 01 and Calibre Heuer 02 series feature watch cases with a modular construction. This opens a world of near-endless possibilities to TAG Heuer's designers, as reflected in this collection's wide range of timepieces. What's more, the Calibre 02 is an in-house caliber and is available as the 02T with a tourbillon.
How much do TAG Heuer Carreras cost?
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Caliber|
|Carrera Calibre 02T, ref. CAR5A93||17,000 USD||Calibre 02 Tourbillon|
|Carrera 12, ref. 2447||10,000 USD||Valjoux 72|
|Carrera 45 Dato, ref. 3147||7,900 USD||Landeron 189|
|Carrera Chronomatic, ref. 1153||5,400 USD||Caliber 11|
|Carrera Calibre 01, ref. CAR2A1J||5,000 USD||Heuer Calibre 01|
|Carrera Re-Edition, ref. CS3140||4,400 USD||Lemania 1873|
|Carrera Calibre 16, ref. CV2A1AC||3,700 USD||Valjoux 7750|
|Carrera Calibre 1887, ref. CAR2110||3,400 USD||Caliber 1887|
|Carrera Calibre 5, ref. WAR215D||3,300 USD||ETA 2824-2|
|Carrera Calibre 7 Twin-Time, ref. WAR2012||2,200 USD||Sellita SW330|
Vintage Models with Manual Calibers: Carrera 30/45
The Carrera has always had a strong connection to motorsport. In fact, Jack Heuer took cues from the clearly structured dashboard instruments found in Formula 1 race cars from the 1960s when designing the dial of the first Carrera models. Unlike its contemporaries, such as the Rolex Daytona or Omega Speedmaster, the original Carreras lack a wide bezel with a tachymeter scale. Instead, there's an extremely accurate second scale around the outside of the dial. The dial itself is reserved for the subdials and applied hour markers, resulting in a very tidy timepiece.
The first-edition Carrera was available in a number of designs. The Carrera 30 ref. 7753 and Carrera 45 ref. 3647 both have a small seconds dial at 9 and a minute counter at 3 o'clock. The only difference between the two is that the 7753 can time up to 30 minutes, while the 3647 can time up to 45 minutes. Thanks to its third counter at 6 o'clock, the Carrera 12 ref. 2447 can measure periods up to twelve hours. All three models rely on manual Valjoux movements. Depending on the year of production, the watches are powered by the 72, 92, or 7730 movement.
Well-maintained watches from these early series are extremely rare and, therefore, highly coveted among collectors. Expect to pay anywhere from 6,100 to 13,000 USD for a stainless steel model in good condition.
A manual caliber also powers the Carrera Dato 45 ref. 3147 – namely, the Landeron 189. In contrast to its sister models, this watch only has a 45-minute counter at 3 o'clock and a date display in place of the small seconds dial at 9. Plan on spending around 7,900 USD for this timepiece.
Left-Handed Crown: Chronomatic Watches with the Caliber 11
The Carrera Chronomatic ref. 1153 was one of the very first wristwatch chronographs with an automatic movement. Developed by Heuer, Breitling, Büren, and Dubois Dépraz, the Calibre 11 ticks away inside this timepiece. Heuer also equipped the Autavia and Monaco with this movement. The most notable feature of these watches is the position of their crown on the left-hand side. What's more, the case is cushion-shaped, and the dial has a minute counter at 3, an hour counter at 9, and a date display at 6 o'clock. You can purchase a pre-owned stainless steel watch for about 5,400 USD. The gold editions are extremely rare. Ferrari's Formula 1 drivers used to wear such timepieces, which can easily reach prices up to 53,000 USD today.
The Carrera Calibre 15 ref. 1553 represents an affordable alternative. Its caliber, the 15, is a trimmed-down version of the Calibre 11. While it may lack an hour counter, it does have a small seconds dial at 10 o'clock. You can call one of these watches your own for roughly 4,300 USD.
A Central Minute Counter and a 24-Hour Display
Shorty before Heuer was acquired by Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG) in the 1980s, the Swiss watch manufacturer introduced a new Carrera model powered by the Lemania 5100. This version is easy to recognize thanks to its central minute counter with an airplane-shaped hand and the 24-hour display at 12 o'clock. Furthermore, this watch has a date display at 3, an hour-counter at 6, and a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock.
Prices for Carreras from this era sit between 2,400 USD for the ref. 510.500 and 4,900 USD for the ref. 510.523. The ref. 510.511 with a black PVD coating is rare and requires an investment of some 6,800 USD.
New Beginnings with the Re-Edition and the Calibre 16
TAG Heuer presented the Carrera 1964 Re-Edition in 1996. Its 36-mm case, tricompax subdial layout, and domed plexiglass are all identical to those of the Carrera 12 from the 60s. However, unlike its predecessor, this timepiece uses the manual Lemania caliber 1873.
You can call this stainless steel watch with a black (ref. CS3111) or white (ref. CS3110) dial your own for between 3,000 and 3,300 USD. On the other hand, the ref. CS3113 with a black dial and subdials with white borders demands some 2,900 USD. Prices for the CS3140 with an 18-karat yellow gold case come it at around 4,500 USD.
After the success of the Re-Edition, TAG Heuer quickly followed it up with the Carrera Calibre 16 and Calibre 17. Both models have a 41-mm stainless steel case, sapphire glass with an anti-reflective coating on both sides, and an automatic movement. The Calibre 17 is based on the ETA 2894-2 and has a small seconds dial at 3, a date display at 6, and a 30-minute counter at 9 o'clock. This Carrera is available with a silver or dark gray dial and costs anywhere from 3,300 to 4,100 USD.
The Valjoux 7750 serves as the basis for the Calibre 16. Accordingly, its dial has an hour counter at 6, a minute counter at 12, a stop seconds dial at 9, and a day-date display at 3 o'clock. In terms of design, the Calibre 16 offers plenty of options. For example, you can choose from a black, blue, brown, gray, or white dial; applied numerals or indices; and a band made of stainless steel, leather, or rubber. You'll also find watches with a classic narrow bezel or a sportier bezel with a tachymeter scale. Regardless of which model you choose, be prepared to spend between 3,300 and 3,700 USD for a new timepiece and 2,600 USD for a used watch.
The Seiko-Based Calibre 1887
The Carrera Calibre 1887 first saw the light of day in 2010. Its name comes from the Calibre 1887, which is based on the design plans for a Japanese Seiko caliber. However, TAG Heuer's engineers have changed and modified Seiko's movement so heavily that the 1887 can be considered an in-house caliber. It comes with a small seconds dial at 9, an hour counter at 12, and a dual minute counter and date display at 6 o'clock. Each movement sits inside a 41, 43, or 45-mm stainless steel case. The largest edition has a particularly special feature: Its movement has been rotated by 90 degrees, meaning its chronograph counters sit at 3 and 9 o'clock, while its small seconds dial and date display are at 6. What's more, the crown sits atop the case at 12 o'clock, flanked by the two chronograph push-pieces at 11 and 1 o'clock.
The 41-mm Calibre 1887 with a polished bezel and applied indices on a black or white dial costs around 3,300 USD in mint condition. Pre-owned pieces sell for about 1,000 USD less. Both the 43-mm model with a narrow bezel and applied numerals and the 43-mm version with the tachymeter bezel sit in a similar price range. Those with a 45-mm case are much more expensive. The stainless steel edition demands around 5,300 USD, while the carbon variant requires an investment of some 7,600 USD.
In-House Calibers Heuer 01 and 02 with a GMT and Tourbillon
The Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T is easily this collection's most impressive model. Its design is decidedly modern and heavily influenced by the Carrera's relationship with motorsport. Every case consists of 12 individual building blocks, and TAG-Heuer's watchmakers are more than happy to mix and match different materials. The entirely reimagined Heuer 02T caliber with a minute tourbillon powers this timepiece. The chronograph movement has an hour counter at 3 and a minute counter at 9 o'clock. The tourbillon is visible at 6 o'clock and also serves as a small seconds mechanism. The Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Nanograph boasts a tourbillon with TAG Heuer's own composite hairspring. Furthermore, its balance wheel glows in the dark thanks to a coating of SuperLuminova.
Prices for the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T are as varied as its potential material combinations. They range from 13,000 USD for a purely ceramic model to 41,500 USD for the diamond-studded stainless steel edition.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 is an affordable alternative. It uses the in-house caliber Heuer 02 without a tourbillon and features a date display at 4:30. Some models even have a GMT function for displaying the time in a second time zone. Depending on its functionality and materials, expect to pay between 4,400 and 5,000 USD for one of these timepieces.
The design of the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 is as sporty as that of its larger sister model. It has the same complicated case construction and is available in combinations of stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, carbon, and gold. Many models even offer a view of the in-house caliber Heuer 01 – the successor to the Calibre 1887 – through a sapphire glass case back and skeletonized dial.
Mint-condition steel or titanium timepieces cost an average of 3,900 to 4,400 USD. You can purchase pre-owned watches for less than 3,400 USD. You'll have to dig a bit deeper in your pockets for watches with ceramic or gold components. Be sure to set aside around 4,800 USD for a ceramic model and 9,300 USD for a gold edition.
Three-Hand Carrera Models
TAG Heuer also offers a number of three-hand Carrera models. The Carrera Calibre 5 expertly combines the sporty and clean looks of the classic Carrera with the elegance of a dress watch. This timepiece's stainless steel or two-tone case is available in three sizes: 36, 39, or 41 mm. Its name comes from the Calibre 5, which is based on the ETA 2824-2. This movement provides the two smaller versions with a date display at 3 o'clock. The 41-mm edition also features a combined day-date display at this position. Regardless of the size, a new Calibre 5 in stainless steel changes hands for between 1,700 and 2,100 USD. Two-tone watches tend to sell for around 3,200 USD.
TAG Heuer's designers have paired the classic Carrera design with a GMT function in the Carrera Calibre 7 Twin-Time. Its extra function consists of an additional central hand that points to a 24-hour scale around the dial edge. This 41-mm stainless steel timepiece comes with your choice of a black, white, or gray sunburst dial and costs around 2,200 USD new. You can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing a used watch.
The Carrera Calibre 8's GMT function takes a different approach and uses a subdial at 6 o'clock to display the hours and minutes. Its in-house movement is a modified ETA 2892-A2 and provides this timepiece with an outsize date at 12 o'clock. Plan to spend around 3,000 USD for a new Calibre 8 and 2,200 USD for a pre-owned watch.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 9 is mainly geared toward women. This three-hand watch is 28 mm in diameter and gets its power from an automatic caliber based on the ETA 2895. You can choose between a solid stainless steel timepiece or a two-tone model with diamonds. Prices for the Calibre 9 range from 1,700 USD for a stainless steel watch to around 4,700 USD for the two-tone edition with a diamond-studded bezel.