As with many brilliant creations, the TAG Heuer Carrera was born out of necessity. As legend has it, in 1958 watch designer Jack Heuer was competing in a Swiss road rally when – unable to read his dashboard timer correctly – he dropped from first place to third. As passionate about motorsports as he was about watchmaking, Heuer knew that he could do better. Five years later, in 1963, he did just that with the launch of the original TAG Heuer Carrera.
“You can see in the Carrera a focus on the typography and the desire to explore the purest form possible,” says Nicholas Biebuyck, Heritage Director at TAG Heuer. “Its design language is so clear and minimal that there are only three lines of text on the watch dial: Carrera – Heuer – Swiss Made – removing any risk of getting confused or distracted by superfluous decorations.”
This fall, more than 50 years after that legendary design was introduced, the Carrera is reborn for a new generation of motorsports enthusiasts. While it retains its classic midcentury lines and infamously legible dial, it has been thoughtfully redesigned inside and out to uphold the Carrera’s legacy both on and off the track.
Consisting of 13 pieces across four versions, the new collection provides a compelling alternative to the recently-relaunched Carrera Chronograph models. The classic three-hand model comes in a 39mm case size with four elegant dial options (including an eye-catching black “sunray-snailed” version) and a date window at six. The larger 41mm version features a day-date window at three, a choice of sunray-brushed or snailed dials and an optional brown alligator leather strap. The Twin-Time version takes things to the next level, adding a dual-time GMT function to the 41mm model. Each of the three-hand versions is powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre 5 movement – including an oscillating mass with Côtes de Genève engraving – which is visible through the sapphire crystal display case back. A new case with refined lugs and an ergonomically redesigned bracelet, meanwhile, make for extra comfort on the wrist.
To launch the collection, TAG Heuer needed someone who could speak to the watch’s contemporary style and deep heritage, and they found the perfect ambassador in Oscar-nominated actor – and the star of 2011 breakout hit Drive – Ryan Gosling. A skilled wheelman on screen and a watch collector in real life, pairing up with TAG Heuer for Gosling’s first-ever official brand partnership was a natural fit.
“TAG Heuer has quietly and consistently been a classic and iconic pillar of excellence in its field for over 160 years,” says the 41-year old Canadian. “Partnering with them was an easy decision and time, in general, is just something I think a lot about now. My kids are growing up fast so I keep an eye on the clock in a way I never used to.” Whether you want to pair your Carrera with a scorpion jacket, driving gloves, and a toothpick is up to you.