1963 was a big year for both car enthusiasts and watch enthusiasts. 1963 was the year the Porsche released the first 911, and Heuer launched the Carrera.
The Carrera might be one of the biggest and most influential models of the Tag Heuer line-up. The Monaco is of course the most recognizable, but the square shape of the case might put off non-watch enthusiast, while the Carrera has a much more approachable design.
History Of The Carrera
The Carrera was introduced in 1963 and was designed by Jack Heuer. Jack was the great-grandson of Edouard Heuer, the legendary watchmaker who founded the Heuer watch company in 1860.
Jack wanted to make the Carrera as clean and straightforward as possible. The 1963 Carrera had a very simple design with only two subdials, applied markers and registers on the dial. There was no room for decoration, colors or even a bezel. A new model with three subdials was introduced around 1968. Most of the first generation Carrera’s were powered by a Valjoux movement.
The Modern Carrera
Even though the initial thought behind the Carrera was simplicity, modern Carrera’s have a bit more color, literally and figuratively. The Carrera has had countless variations with different colors, sizes and complications over the years. Some modern variations even let go of the chronograph and instead feature a day-date function.
Tag Heuer really turned some heads when they began experimenting with tourbillons. The tourbillon is one of the most challenging complications in horology, and Tag Heuer managed to develop and implement one in their Carrera line at a relatively affordable price point.
While tourbillons from other Swiss watchmakers like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet usually carried price tags starting around €100.000 and going well into the millions, Tag Heuer had a different approach. They priced the Carrera Tourbillon at a reasonable €15.000. Don’t get me wrong, 15k isn’t pocket money, but it’s certainly more approachable than the €2 million you have to cough up if you wish to acquire Richard Mille RM27-04 tourbillon. You can pick up a Carrera tourbillon for just €12.850 on Timepiecebank.com. Regular, modern Carrera’s are of course much more reasonably priced.