The Carrera Calibre 1887 is the first watch in the Carrera collection to feature TAG Heuer's in-house Calibre 1887. Models range from sporty to classically elegant and pair well with both casual and business attire.
The Carrera Calibre 1887 first saw the light of day in 2010. Its design bears a strong resemblance to early Carrera models from the 1960s. A classic round case, narrow bezel, cleanly structured dial, and luminous stick indices define the look of these timepieces. This chronograph feels especially elegant on an alligator leather strap, which TAG Heuer offers in a number of varieties. For a sportier touch, there's also the choice of a five-piece link stainless steel bracelet.
The Carrera Calibre 1887 Bullhead is anything but ordinary. At 45 mm, it's easily the largest timepiece in this collection. What's more, the crown sits atop the case at 12 o'clock, flanked by push-pieces at 11 and 1 o'clock. The final result resembles a bull's head.
The series is named after its power source: the Calibre 1887. This movement is a heavily modified version of the Seiko TC78 (6S37). TAG Heuer's engineers have replaced its plates, bridges, and rotor with components from the Swiss company's own workshops. Technically speaking, despite being based on a Seiko design, the Calibre 1887 is an in-house caliber. Each movement sits inside a stainless steel, titanium, or carbon case that is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft).
With a frequency of 28,800 alterations per hour (A/h), this caliber can measure periods of time to within 1/4th of a second. Minute and hour counters, a small seconds dial, and a date display complete this timepiece's functionality.
|CAR2C90 Bullhead||7,600 USD||45 mm/Carbon|
|CAR2C12 Bullhead||5,200 USD||45 mm/Stainless steel, titanium|
|CAR2A80||4,100 USD||43 mm/Titanium|
|CAR2114 Heritage||3,700 USD||41 mm/Stainless steel|
|CAR2111||3,400 USD||41 mm/Stainless steel|
The first two Carrera Calibre 1887 models debuted in 2010 and bear the reference numbers CAR2110 and CAR2111. The only difference between the two models is their dial color. While the CAR2110 has a matte black dial, the CAR2111 shines with a silvery white face. Both feature rhodium-plated hands and hour indices.
These watches also share their subdial layouts. The small seconds at 9 o'clock is especially simple and looks like a crosshair at a distance. The hour counter at 6 and minute counter at 12 o'clock are both more detailed, with a fine concentric circle guilloché pattern inside a silver ring with black indices. A date display sits within the hour counter at 6 o'clock.
TAG Heuer has been outfitting every timepiece with a tachymeter scale on a ring around the dial since 2011. Earlier Calibre 1887 watches had a seconds scale instead of a tachymeter scale. No matter which version you choose, a new watch on a stainless steel bracelet will cost around 3,400 USD. Pre-owned pieces sell for between 2,000 and 2,800 USD, depending on their condition. If you prefer the elegance of a leather strap, be sure to have between 2,000 and 3,100 USD on hand.
TAG Heuer introduced three more Carrera Calibre 1887 timepieces in 2012: the CAR2014, CAR2013, and CAR2012. These models have a black, anthracite, and white dial, respectively. Unlike their predecessors, these watches display the hours using Arabic numerals. Both the numerals and main set of hands are plated with rose gold. The chronograph hands are a grayish blue, making it easier to tell the two apart.
All three editions are available on a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet and demand around 3,600 USD in mint condition. Pre-owned pieces cost an average of 660 to 780 USD less.
The release of the CAR2114 in 2013 marked the first time a Carrera Calibre 1887 appeared in the TAG Heuer Heritage collection. In terms of technology, it's identical to the other Calibre 1887 models; however, a white dial and blue numerals and hands help it stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, the numerals take their inspiration from a 1945 Heuer chronograph.
Prices largely depend on whether you choose a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet and range from 3,300 to 3,700 USD.
Sporty Models with a Tachymeter Bezel
The CAR2A10 and CAR2A11 put a sportier twist on the Calibre 1887. Their stainless steel cases are 43 mm in diameter and feature a tachymeter bezel made of polished black ceramic. The 2A11 has an anthracite dial, while that of the 2A10 is black. Otherwise, these two timepieces are indistinguishable from one another. Thanks to rhodium-plated numerals marking the seconds from 5 to 60, both resemble the dashboard instruments found in race cars. The date display is located at 3 o'clock, and the minute and hour counters lie within contrasting silver rings. The chronograph hands and their red tips add a splash of color to these watches.
Paired with a leather strap, this sporty chronograph sells for about 2,900 USD. The version on a stainless steel bracelet requires an investment of some 3,500 USD. Pre-owned pieces tend to cost a few hundred dollars less.
TAG Heuer uses titanium for the case of the reference CAR2A80. This timepiece sets itself apart from the rest of the series thanks to its black PVD coating. A black alligator leather strap with red stitching keeps this watch securely on the wrist.
In mint condition, this watch changes hands for around 4,100 USD. You can save a solid 1,100 USD by purchasing a pre-owned timepiece.
TAG Heuer presented the Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer anniversary edition with the reference number CAR2C11 in 2013. Like a conventional stopwatch, this 45-mm timepiece has its crown and push-pieces between 11 and 1 o'clock. This is made possible by rotating the movement 90 degrees counterclockwise. Fans and watch enthusiasts often refer to this style as "Bullhead." Rotating the movement also changes the layout of the subdials. Its hour and minute counters sit at 3 and 9 o'clock, respectively, while the small seconds and date share a subdial at 6 o'clock.
The dial has a two-tone design that pairs a silver sunburst pattern with a matte black index ring and subdials. The case is made of stainless steel and features a titanium bezel coated with black titanium carbide. This sporty timepiece costs anywhere from 3,400 to 5,600 USD depending on its condition.
TAG Heuer combines the case of the Bullhead with the dial of the 43-mm Carrera 1887 in the reference CAR2C12. This means it has a stainless steel and titanium case, a black PVD-coated bezel, and a black dial with applied, rhodium-plated numerals. You can purchase this watch for around 5,200 USD new and 3,800 USD pre-owned.
The Bullhead with the reference number CAR2C90 looks especially modern. TAG Heuer crafts its case and dial out of black carbon. Otherwise, the dial is identical to that of the CAR2C12. This carbon watch demands approximately 7,600 USD new. Well-maintained pre-owned models often sell for about 5,600 USD.
The Calibre 1887: A Complicated Origin Story
TAG Heuer introduced the Calibre 1887 to the world in 2010. The movement was initially the cause of much confusion; the Swiss manufacturer claimed it was an in-house caliber, but its similarities to the Seiko 6S37 could not be ignored. However, the explanation is quite simple: TAG Heuer had already acquired the European production rights to the Seiko TC78 base movement in 2006, the same base movement used for the Seiko 6S37. The engineers in La Chaux-de-Fonds took the Seiko design and reworked it from the ground up. For example, they completely replaced its bridges, plates, and the oscillating weight.
At the same time, the company opened new production facilities in the Swiss canton of Jura, where a majority of the movement's components are manufactured. Final assembly still takes place in their workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Taken as a whole, it's clear that the Calibre 1887 meets the requirements of an in-house movement.