The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 pays homage to the original Heuer chronographs from the 1960s. The Swiss manufacturer also dedicated the watches to former CEO Jack Heuer. A hallmark of these watches is their bicolor dials.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 is the successor to the Carrera Jack Heuer 80, a particularly special watch from this Swiss company. TAG Heuer originally presented this chronograph to celebrate the 80th birthday of their former CEO Jack Heuer in 2012.
TAG Heuer honors the great-grandson of the company's founder, Edouard Heuer, with this watch. The older Heuer founded the business in 1860, and the younger served as CEO from 1962 to 1982. Under his leadership, the company produced the legendary Carrera and Monaco chronographs. The Carrera has a particularly close relationship with the former CEO. In 1962, Heuer met the Rodriguez brothers, two race car drivers from Mexico, at the 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida. The two Ferrari drivers praised the Carrera Panamericana race, one of the most dangerous races in the Americas. Their stories inspired Jack Heuer to name a watch after this race: the Carrera. In the spring of 1963, TAG Heuer presented the chronograph for professional race car drivers at the Basel watch show.
The current Carrera Calibre 17 models follow in the footsteps of the first Carreras. The watches' vintage look stands out immediately. Unlike many other chronographs, the Calibre 17 watches have two dials, one at three o'clock for the small seconds and one at nine o'clock for the 30-minute counter. Watch experts call these types of watches "bicompax." A v-form design featuring three subdials is called "tricompax;" the Omega Speedmaster Professional features such a layout.
The Carrera Calibre 17 has a diameter of 41 mm. TAG Heuer offers bicolor dials with this series, either in silver and anthracite or silver and blue. The perforated leather strap offers the most authentic look, but there is also a three-link stainless steel option.
Lovers of vintage chronographs get their money's worth with the Carrera Calibre 17. The 41-mm stainless steel watch is characterized by its elegance, precision, and clean design. The models with reference numbers CV5111.FC6335 and CV5110.FC6310 both have certificates from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), confirming that the watches are incredibly precise, deviating no more than -4 to +6 seconds per day. The dials of these two models are either silver with blue subdials and a blue rehaut (CV5111) or anthracite with silver subdials and a silver rehaut (CV5110). These chronometers are available new for around 3,000 euros. The model in celebration of Jack Heuer's 80th birthday (CV2119.FC6310) was limited to a run of 3,000 watches and is available pre-owned for around 3,500 euros. New, it costs around 5,000 euros. The 2015 version (CV211A.FC6335) is limited to a run of 500 and is even rarer; it costs around 3,800 euros new. A vintage model from the 1960s often costs more than 6,000 euros.
TAG Heuer utilizes 1960s design elements for the Carrera Calibre 17's design. The round case is reminiscent of the first generation of chronographs. The case size is more modern, following the trend of larger watches. The watch used to have a diameter of 35.5 mm, but is now bigger at 41 mm.
The current models' bicolor dials immediately catch the eye. The Carrera Jack Heuer 80 from 2012 has a predominantly silver dial; only the rehaut with a tachymetric scale and the two subdials at three and nine are anthracite. A nice detail is the red Heuer inscription without "TAG." This small change keeps the watch closer to its historical predecessors. The central chronograph seconds is also red, as are the tips of the small decentralized second hand. The date display is located at six o'clock. The Heuer family coat of arms decorates the stainless steel case back, together with a red "Jack Heuer" signature inscription.
In 2013, TAG Heuer introduced two new variants of the Carrera Calibre 17. One model simply switched the dial colors of the 2012 models: The subdials and rehaut were now silver and the rest of the dial was anthracite. The designers opted for silver as the main color of the second model's dial and paired it with blue subdials and a blue rehaut. Both watches have a chronometer-certified caliber. The chronometer inscription rests over the date display at six o'clock.
The 2015 model has a blue dial, silver subdials, and a silver rehaut, resembling the TAG Heuer Monaco from 1969. This chronograph rose to fame after it appeared in the 1970 film Le Mans, where it was worn by Steve McQueen. There are other vintage models in the Carrera collection with blue and white dials, such as reference number 73353N from the second Carrera generation. All versions have domed sapphire glass which is anti-reflective on both sides, giving you a clear look at the hands and dial.
The perforated calf leather strap is the best pairing for these vintages watches. The 2012 model has a bright red inner side, while the visible side is black. A fold-over clasp with two push-pieces keeps the strap on your wrist.
TAG Heuer's tried-and-true caliber technology powers the Carrera Calibre 17. Calibre 17 is based on ETA's chronograph movement ETA 2894-2. The company, ETA SA Swiss Watch Manufacturer, is a member of the Swatch Group and the world's largest ébauche manufacturer.
The Calibre 17 has 37 rubies, a stop-seconds mechanism, and rapid date correction, as well as a 42-hour power reserve. TAG Heuer decorated the oscillating mass with Geneva stripes and an inscription reading "TAG Heuer - Calibre 17 - Swiss Made." The balance wheel has a frequency of 28,800 A/h, which is equal to 4 Hz. This makes it possible for you to time 1/8ths of seconds with this watch. If you want to time 1/10ths of seconds, then take a look at the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36. Its frequency is even higher at 36,000 A/h, making it one of the so-called "high-beat" movements, similar to the El Primero chronograph from Zenith.