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TAG Heuer Carrera: Watches for the Race Track
The Carrera is one of TAG Heuer's most popular collections. Its easy-to-read design takes inspiration from the dashboards of race cars. In-house calibers and fine materials complete the package.
This page contains information about:
- A Sporty Classic Since 1963
- Prices: TAG Heuer Carrera
- Buying a TAG Heuer Carrera
- A Re-Edition With a Lemania Caliber
- Carrera Calibres 16 and 17
- The Seiko-Based Calibre 1887
- Heuer 01 and 02: GMT & Tourbillon
- Jack Heuer Birthday Gold
- Carrera Porsche Chronograph
- Carrera 160 Years Editions
- Three-Hand Carrera Models
- The Vintage Carrera 30/45
- Carrera Watches With the Calibre 11
A Sporty Classic Since 1963
Swiss luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer first released the Carrera in 1963, and it's been an industry icon ever since. Designed by Jack Heuer, this chronograph sets itself apart with its precision and the exceptional readability of its dial. Heuer named the collection after the Carrera Panamericana rally, a famous race through the streets of Mexico in the early 1950s. Over the years, the Heuer Carrera has continued to evolve and is now a comprehensive collection.
The Calibre Heuer 01 and Calibre Heuer 02 series feature watch cases with a modular construction. This opens a world of near-endless possibilities to TAG Heuer's designers, as reflected in the wide range of timepieces in these lines. What's more, the Calibre 02 is an in-house caliber and also available as the 02T with a tourbillon.
TAG Heuer celebrated two anniversaries in 2020 and took this opportunity to release new Carrera models. First, the company marked their 160th anniversary with the 160 Years Silver and the Carrera 160 Years Anniversary. These models have limited production runs of 1,860 and 1,000 pieces, respectively. That same year, Jack Heuer turned 88. TAG Heuer paid tribute to the industry legend with the Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition. Only 188 copies exist of this 18-karat rose gold timepiece.
Fans of timeless vintage watches are sure to enjoy models from the 1960s and 70s such as the Carrera 30, Carrera 45 Dato, and Carrera Chronomatic. At the time, the company was still simply known as "Heuer" and was outfitting their chronographs with classic movements from Valjoux, Lemania, and Landeron. Today, these models are coveted collector's items that will add value to any watch collection.
Reasons to Buy a TAG Heuer Carrera
- Numerous coveted vintage models with the potential to appreciate in value
- The Carrera Heuer 02T with an in-house caliber and tourbillon
- Calibre 7 Twin-Time with a GMT function
- Many design and material options
- Chronographs and three-hand watches for men and women
Prices at a Glance: TAG Heuer Carrera
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Caliber|
|Carrera Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition, CBN2041||24,000 USD||Heuer 02|
|Carrera Heuer 02T, CAR5A8C||19,000 USD||Heuer 02 Tourbillon|
|Porsche Chronograph, CBN2A1F||6,400 USD||Heuer 02|
|Carrera Calibre 01, CAR2A1J||5,600 USD||Heuer 01|
|Carrera Calibre 02, CBN2A1B.BA0643||5,100 USD||Heuer 02|
|Carrera Calibre 16, CV2A1AC||4,100 USD||Valjoux 7750|
|Carrera Calibre 5, WAR215D||3,600 USD||ETA 2824-2|
|Carrera Calibre 1887, CAR2110||3,200 USD||Caliber 1887|
|Carrera Calibre 7 Twin-Time, WAR2012||2,400 USD||Sellita SW330|
How much does a TAG Heuer Carrera cost?
Prices for the TAG Heuer Carrera largely depend on the watch's age, condition, and caliber. One of the most affordable options is the three-hand ref. WAR2012 with a GMT function. You can purchase a never-worn edition for around 2,400 USD. Chronograph models are more expensive and sell for about 3,600 USD with a Valjoux-based caliber. More exclusive timepieces feature the in-house calibers Heuer 01 or Heuer 02, the latter of which is available with a tourbillon. Prices for these watches begin around 4,800 USD and go all the way up to 19,000 USD for a tourbillon version.
A Re-Edition With a Lemania Caliber
and domed plexiglass are all identical to those of the Carrera 12 from the 1960s.
You can call this stainless steel watch with a black (ref. CS3111) or white (ref. CS3110) dial your own for roughly 4,100 USD. On the other hand, the ref. CS3113 with a black dial and subdials with white borders demands some 3,800 USD. Prices for the CS3140 with an 18-karat yellow gold case come in around 5,400 USD.
Carrera Calibres 16 and 17
Following the success of the Re-Edition, TAG Heuer released a new Calibre 16 and the Calibre 17. Both models feature a 41-mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides, and an automatic movement. The Calibre 17 uses the ETA 2894-2 base movement and has a small seconds dial at 3, a date display at 6, and a 30-minute counter at 9 o'clock. This Carrera is available with a silver or dark gray dial and costs about 3,300 USD.
The Valjoux 7750 serves as the base for the Calibre 16. Accordingly, its dial has a day-date display at 3 o'clock, an hour counter at 6, a stop-seconds dial at 9, and a minute counter at 12. In terms of design, the Calibre 16 offers plenty of options. For example, you can choose from a black, blue, brown, gray, or white dial; applied numerals or indices; and a band made of stainless steel, leather, or rubber. You'll also find watches with a classic narrow bezel or a sportier bezel with a tachymeter scale. Regardless of which model you choose, be prepared to spend between 2,500 and 3,900 USD for a new timepiece.
The Seiko-Based Calibre 1887
The Calibre 1887 is based on the design plans for a Japanese Seiko caliber. However, TAG Heuer's engineers have changed and modified Seiko's movement so heavily that the 1887 can be considered an in-house caliber. It comes with a dual minute counter and date display at 6, a small seconds dial at 9, and an hour counter at 12 o'clock. Each movement sits inside a 41, 43, or 45-mm stainless steel case. The largest edition has a particularly special feature: Its movement has been rotated by 90 degrees, meaning its chronograph counters sit at 3 and 9 o'clock, while its small seconds dial and date display are at 6. What's more, the crown sits atop the case at 12 o'clock, flanked by two chronograph push-pieces at 11 and 1 o'clock.
The 41-mm Calibre 1887 with a polished bezel and applied indices on a black or white dial costs around 3,800 USD in mint condition. Both the 43-mm model with a narrow bezel and applied numerals and the 43-mm version with the tachymeter bezel sit in a similar price range. Those with a 45-mm case are much more expensive. The stainless steel edition demands around 5,700 USD, while the carbon variant requires an investment of some 8,500 USD.
Heuer 01 and 02: GMT & Tourbillon
The Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T is easily this collection's most impressive model. Its design is decidedly modern and heavily influenced by the Carrera's relationship with motorsport. Every case consists of 12 individual components, and TAG Heuer's watchmakers readily mix and match different materials. The entirely reimagined Heuer 02T caliber with a minute tourbillon powers the timepiece. This chronograph movement has an hour counter at 3 and a minute counter at 9 o'clock. The tourbillon is visible at 6 o'clock and also serves as a small seconds display. The Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Nanograph boasts a tourbillon with TAG Heuer's own composite hairspring. Furthermore, its balance wheel glows in the dark thanks to a coating of SuperLuminova.
Prices for the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T are as varied as its potential material combinations. They range from 15,000 USD for a ceramic model to around 48,000 USD for a diamond-studded titanium edition.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 is an affordable alternative. It uses the in-house caliber Heuer 02 without a tourbillon and features a date display at 4:30. Some models even have a GMT function for showing the time in a second time zone. Depending on its functionality and materials, expect to pay between 4,700 and 5,300 USD for one of these timepieces.
The design of the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 is as sporty as that of its larger sister model. It has the same complicated case construction and is available in combinations of stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, carbon, and gold. Many models even offer a view of the in-house caliber Heuer 01 – the successor to the Calibre 1887 – through a sapphire crystal case back and skeletonized dial.
Mint-condition steel or titanium timepieces cost an average of 4,300 USD. You'll have to dig a bit deeper in your pockets for watches with ceramic or gold components. Be sure to set aside around 5,100 USD for a ceramic model and 9,900 USD for a gold edition.
Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition
In 2020, TAG Heuer celebrated the 88th birthday of Jack Heuer, great-grandson of the company's founder and current honorary chairman, with the release of a limited-edition Carrera in gold. Listed under the reference number CBN2041, this timepiece bears a strong resemblance to the ref. 1158 CHN from the 1970s. The original watch gets its power from the caliber 11 or 12. The manufacturer has limited the Carrera Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition to a run of 188 pieces. Each watch pairs a 42-mm 18-karat rose gold case with a gray dial and rose gold applied indices.
with black counters at 3 and 9 o'clock and a gray dual small seconds and date display at 6. Other interesting details include the number "88" on the dial, which has been turned on its side to represent two infinity symbols. Jack Heuer's signature also appears twice on the watch: once on the winding rotor beneath Heuer's motto ("Time never stops, why should we?") and again on the back of the black alligator leather strap.
This exclusive Carrera model has a list price of 18,450 USD. As of the time of publication, this watch was demanding just above its official price on Chrono24.
Carrera Porsche Chronograph
TAG Heuer launched two new Carreras, including the Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition, in early 2021. The Porsche model combines a 44-mm stainless steel case with a dark gray dial. Prominent Arabic numerals from 05 to 50 mark the minutes, and various red accents on the subdials at 3 and 9, crown tube, and minute track underscore this timepiece's sporty nature. You'll also find a red "Porsche" inscription on the ceramic tachymeter bezel between "60" and "400."
with the 30-minute counter at 3, small seconds and date at 6, and 12-hour counter at 9 o'clock. The central hands display the hours, minutes, and chronograph seconds. A black calf leather strap holds the watch securely on the wrist. You can purchase this sporty Carrera in mint condition for about 6,400 USD. The version on a stainless steel bracelet is slightly more affordable at roughly 6,000 USD.
Carrera 160 Years Montreal & Silver Editions
TAG Heuer turned 160 in 2020. The company used this opportunity to produce a limited 1,000-piece reinterpretation of the Heuer Montreal from 1972. While the original has an oval case, the new model (ref. CBK221C.FC6488) features a classic round stainless steel case. This 39-mm timepiece comes with a white dial featuring many colorful elements. These include three blue subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock, a blue ring around the dial edge, yellow hour and minute hands, and a red chronograph seconds hand.
The time-tested in-house caliber Heuer 02 ticks away inside the case. Its black rotor is engraved with both the TAG Heuer logo and the words "160 Years of Avant-Garde." Like all current Carrera models, you can view the rotor and the rest of the movement through the sapphire crystal case back. Finally, a blue alligator leather strap completes the watch. A never-worn version will set you back around 7,000 USD – about 250 USD more than its official list price of 6,750 USD.
The 160 Years Silver Limited Edition (ref. CBK221B) is yet another Carrera anniversary edition. Limited to a run of 1,860 pieces, this classic timepiece shares the same 39-mm stainless steel case as the 160 Years Montreal Edition and bears a powerful resemblance to a Carrera watch from the 1960s. Its dial and subdials at 3, 6, and 9 are all the same shade of silver. Its power also comes from the caliber Heuer 02, which has a rotor decorated with the TAG Heuer logo and an inscription reading "160 Years of Avant-Garde." The manufacturer pairs this watch with a black leather strap. You can call this model your own for approximately 6,000 USD new.
Three-Hand Carrera Models
TAG Heuer also offers several three-hand Carrera models. The Carrera Calibre 5 expertly combines the sporty and clean looks of the classic Carrera with the elegance of a dress watch. This timepiece's stainless steel or two-tone case is available in three sizes: 36, 39, or 41 mm. Its name comes from the Calibre 5, which is based on the ETA 2824-2. This movement provides the two smaller versions with a date display at 3 o'clock. The 41-mm edition features a combined day-date display at this position. Regardless of the size, a new Calibre 5 in stainless steel changes hands for between 1,900 and 2,200 USD. Two-tone watches tend to sell for around 3,500 USD.
In 2021, TAG Heuer released a new version of the Carrera Calibre 5 under the reference number WAR201P. This 41-mm timepiece features a dark blue sunburst dial and silver bar indices. The red second hand and red stitching on the blue alligator leather strap immediately catch the eye. You can view the Calibre 5 at work through the sapphire crystal case back. While still rare on Chrono24, you can purchase this model directly from the manufacturer for 3,050 USD.
TAG Heuer's designers paired the classic Carrera design with a GMT function in the Carrera Calibre 7 Twin-Time. Its extra function consists of an additional central hand that points to a 24-hour scale around the dial edge. This 41-mm stainless steel timepiece comes with your choice of a black, white, or gray sunburst dial and costs around 2,400 USD new.
The GMT function of the Carrera Calibre 8 takes a different approach and uses a subdial at 6 o'clock to display the hours and minutes. Its in-house movement is a modified ETA 2892-A2 and provides this timepiece with an oversized date at 12 o'clock. Plan to spend roughly 3,200 USD for a mint-condition Calibre 8.
The Vintage Carrera 30/45
The Carrera has always had strong links to motorsport. In fact, Jack Heuer took cues from the easy-to-read dashboard instruments found in Formula 1 race cars from the 1960s when designing the dial of the first Carrera model. Unlike its contemporaries, such as the Rolex Daytona or Omega Speedmaster, the original Carrera lacks a wide bezel with a tachymeter scale. Instead, there's an extremely accurate second scale around the dial's outer edge. The dial itself is reserved for the subdials and applied hour markers, resulting in a very tidy timepiece.
The first-edition Carrera was available in several designs. The Carrera 30 ref. 7753 and Carrera 45 ref. 3647 both have a minute counter at 3 and a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock. The only difference between the two is that the 7753 can time up to 30 minutes, while the 3647 can time up to 45 minutes. Thanks to its third counter at 6 o'clock, the Carrera 12 ref. 2447 can measure periods up to 12 hours. All three models rely on manual Valjoux calibers. Depending on the year of production, you may find the 72, 92, or 7730 movement.
Well-maintained watches from these early series are extremely rare and, therefore, highly coveted among collectors. Expect to pay anywhere from 6,500 to 14,000 USD for a stainless steel model in good condition.
A manual caliber also powers the Carrera Dato 45 ref. 3147 – namely, the Landeron 189. In contrast to its sister models, this watch only has a 45-minute counter at 3 o'clock and a date display in place of the small seconds dial at 9. Plan on spending around 8,400 USD for this timepiece.
Left-Handed Crown: Carrera Watches With the Calibre 11
The Carrera Chronomatic 1153 was one of the very first wristwatch chronographs with an automatic movement. Developed by Heuer, Breitling, Büren, and Dubois Dépraz, the Calibre 11 ticks away inside this timepiece. Heuer also equipped the Autavia and Monaco with this movement. The most notable feature of these watches is the position of their crown on the left-hand side. What's more, the case is cushion-shaped, and the dial has a minute counter at 3, a date display at 6, and an hour counter at 9 o'clock. You can purchase a pre-owned stainless steel watch for about 5,700 USD. The gold editions are exceptionally rare. Ferrari's Formula 1 drivers used to wear such timepieces, which can easily cost upwards of 53,000 USD today.
The Carrera Calibre 15 ref. 1553 is an affordable alternative. The Calibre 15 is a trimmed-down version of the Calibre 11. While it may lack an hour counter, it does have a small seconds dial at 10 o'clock. You can call one of these watches your own for roughly 4,700 USD.
A Central Minute Counter and a 24-Hour Display
Shorty before Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG) acquired Heuer in the 1980s, the Swiss watch manufacturer introduced a new Carrera model powered by the Lemania 5100. This version is easy to recognize thanks to its central minute counter with an airplane-shaped hand and the 24-hour display at 12 o'clock. Furthermore, this watch has a date display at 3, an hour-counter at 6, and a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock.
Prices for Carreras from this era range from 2,600 USD for the ref. 510.500 to 5,100 USD for the ref. 510.523. The ref. 510.511 with a black PVD coating is rare and requires an investment of some 7,200 USD.