The Calibre 5 is an understated addition to the Carrera collection. It's characterized by a simple, streamlined design with three hands and a date display. TAG Heuer offers this automatic watch in three sizes and a multitude of different designs.
The Carrera is by and large a sporty collection, as its name suggests. It's dedicated to the sport of race car driving to a large extent; the Carrera Calibre 36 with a flyback chronograph function is a good example of this. There are also many models featuring tachymetric scales, which allow you to measure average speed.
The Calibre 5 moves in a slightly different direction. It has around 30 different versions, many of which are kept simple with a touch of timeless elegance. In this respect, they're similar to the significantly more expensive Rolex Oyster Perpetual; however, the Calibre 5 has versions with a date or day/date display. This three-hand watch gives off a refined, timeless feel thanks to its stainless steel case and bracelet, and dial in either dark blue, black, gray, or white. Thin lines serve as hour markers, which emphasize the minimalistic look. A Carrera Calibre 5 goes well with any look; you can wear it as a dress watch with a suit as well as a sport watch with chinos and a polo shirt.
Calibre 5 models in gold offer even more classic elegance. Some models feature a bezel and crown made of solid gold. Bicolor models made of stainless steel and gold are also available. TAG Heuer uses either 18-karat yellow or rose gold for the Calibre 5 models. Even the hands, indices, and borders to the day/date displays are coated in gold, which is applied by hand.
The Calibre 5 suits both smaller and larger wrists. TAG Heuer offers this timepiece in three different sizes: 39, 41, and 43 mm. The main material used is polished stainless steel, although there are some exceptions. The Drive Timer, for example, has a lightweight and robust titanium case, which improves its wearing comfort.
If you'd prefer a simpler design and don't require a chronograph function, then the Calibre 5 is a good choice. No other watch in the Carrera collection has such a wide range of versions to offer. The selection ranges from classic three-hand stainless steel watches to the striking, black coated Drive Timer. The 39-mm Calibre 5 remains relatively discreet, while the 41-mm and 43-mm versions reflect the trend of larger watches. The watch is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar), making it a good companion while you're swimming, snorkeling, or water skiing.
An unworn automatic Calibre 5 costs around 1,500 euros. Some models from Raymond Weil's Freelancer collection are an alternative in this price range. TAG Heuer's Drive Timer is a bit more expensive; for this special version of the Calibre 5, you should be prepared to spend around 2,500 euros.
The Drive Timer is the sportiest watch in the Carrera collection. Its unusual function raises a few questions: What's that thing coming out of the case at 10 o'clock? A push-piece? What's it for? The watch isn't a chronograph, so there's nothing to stop, start, or reset, right?
This mysterious thing is actually a second crown. Turning it moves the internal bezel underneath the sapphire glass. The 60-minute bezel is located on the rehaut, the edge of the dial. A 60-minute graduated bezel is required on diving watches so divers can keep track of their time underwater. However, these bezels are located in the traditional spot above the dial, where you can turn them with your hand. Putting such a 60-minute graduated bezel on the rehaut is unusual, as is controlling it via a crown. This feature makes the Calibre 5 Drive Timer not only a unique TAG Heuer watch, but also a unique watch with few comparisons worldwide. Only a handful of other timepieces, such as the Seamaster Bullhead from Omega, have a comparable feature.
You can use the rehaut bezel in a way similar to how a diver uses the bezel on his diving watch: to measure a certain period of time. To do so, you turn the red zero marker on the rehaut with the extra crown and match it up with the minute hand. You can time periods of up to 60 minutes. The graduations are displayed in five-minute intervals; Arabic numerals from 05 to 55 are on the rehaut, with thin lines representing the minutes in between.
The Carrera Calibre 5 Drive Timer is, without a doubt, a sport watch by design. It's the sportiest model amongst the Carrera Calibre 5s, and is also one of the biggest, with a case diameter of 43 mm. It's available in polished stainless steel (reference number WAR2A10) or with a black coating covering a titanium case (reference number WAR2A80). TAG Heuer uses titanium carbide for the coating, which has a matte black finish. It's also especially robust and scratch resistant. Both crowns are also coated with titanium carbide.
Easy-to-Read Hour Markers
The black dial features white Arabic numerals as hour markers. The three centrally located hands are also white, creating a contrast with the dial; furthermore, they're luminescent. The hour and minute hands are in a sword shape, while the white, thin, straight second hand has a red tip. The design of the Drive Timer lends to wonderful readability, both during the day and at night.
The Carrera Calibre 5 Drive Timer's strap is made of black leather and has a red lining underneath. This lining is noticeable through the holes in the perforated leather strap. The holes prevent sweat from building up under the strap on your wrist. Such holes are characteristic of racing watches.
The Calibre 5 watches are powered by an automatic caliber of the same name. It's based on the 2824-2, a movement produced by ETA, the largest ébauche manufacturer worldwide. Another company, Sellita, has developed a similar movement, the SW200, which is also used in some Calibre 5 models. It has a diameter of 26 mm and vibrates at 28,800 A/h (4 Hz). It has a 38-hour power reserve and depending on the model, either 25 or 26 jewel bearings. The words "TAG Heuer - Calibre 5 - Swiss Made" are engraved on the rotor. TAG Heuer utilizes a sapphire glass case back in order to showcase all this finery.