A short history of luxury: Tag Heuer’s Carrera watch has been in the race for 60 years

Like the legendary Autavia and Monaco models, the Carrera watch has become a watchmaking icon for TAG Heuer. Since its creation 60 years ago, it has measured many seconds, minutes, and hours. Flashback on an admirable journey…

 

In 1950, Mexico created the Carrera Panamericana Rally Mexico to celebrate the highway’s opening linking several South American states. The drivers, launched at 150 km/h, cover 3500 km. That is the distance between the starting point in Guatemala, and the American border, at the finish. This complex and dangerous journey will soon become famous.

 

© Presse

 

In 1962, Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of Edouard Heuer, the eponymous founder of the famous watchmaking company, had a decisive encounter. As a timekeeper at the 12 Hours of Sebring (Florida), he met two young and talented racers who told him about the Carrera Panamericana. Jack Heuer fell in love with the name Carrera.  “Dynamic, elegant, easy to pronounce in all languages, and rich in emotions,” it ticks all the boxes…

 

The idea quickly caught on, and in 1963, Jack Heuer created the Tag Heuer Carrera, a chronograph watch that pays tribute to this extraordinary race.

 

© Tag Heuer

Formula 1

 

In the 1970s, the Tag Heuer Carrera was worn by the most significant racing drivers, from Niki Lauda to Ronnie Peterson and Arturo Merzario.  Jack Heuer offers a gold Carrera to Formula 1 drivers who defend its colors.

 

In 1997, TAG Heuer resurrected the Tag Heuer Carrera with a 39 mm case.

 

© Tag Heuer

Multiple awards

 

In 2006, the new Carrera Calibre 360 won the Sports Watch Prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. Offered in a limited series, it is a more elegant pink-gold version than the previous models.

 

© Tag Heuer

 

For TAG Heuer’s 150th anniversary, celebrated in 2010, the Grand Carrera reinvents the famous chronograph with the in-house calibre 1887. Once again, this model splashed by winning the Small Hand and Best Watch of the Year Awards at the Grand Prix de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.

 

In 2013, TAG Heuer marked the 50th anniversary of the Carrera by introducing several new models. Its fans discover the Calibre 1887 Chronograph with ceramic bezel, the Calibre 1887 Racing Chronograph in 41 or 43 mm, or the Calibre 1887 Heritage Chronograph.

 

© Tag Heuer

Time never stops

 

In 2020, on Jack Heuer’s 88th birthday, another collector’s timepiece was making its mark. It is the Carrera Chronograph Limited Edition Jack Heuer Gold 88 Years, limited to 188 pieces. Its rose gold case with a diameter of 42 mm houses the Calibre Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement with a power reserve of 80 hours. Other details that make it all the more unique and desirable: its strap bears its signature in gold letters while its motto – “Time never stops, why should we?” – is engraved on the case’s oscillating weight, visible through a transparent case back.

 

In 2023, the Tag Heuer Carrera, a sexagenarian star that has not aged a bit, crowns its six decades of success with a mini-movie. “The Chase For Carrera,” starring Canadian Ryan Gosling, has fun hiding key clues to the watch’s story. The hotel is named after the wife of the founder Jack Heuer, and it is located at No. 63, a nod to 1963, the year of the launch of the Carrera. Getting older doesn’t mean you can’t keep the spirit of playfulness…

 

 

Read also > A BRIEF HISTORY OF LUXURY: BVLGARI’S SERPENTI COLLECTION TURNS 75

Featured photo : © Tag Heuer

Sophie Michentef a évolué plus de 30 ans dans la presse professionnelle. Pendant une quinzaine d’années, elle a encadré la rédaction France et international du Journal du Textile. Elle met désormais son expertise presse, textile, mode et luxe au service de journaux, organisations professionnelles et entreprises.

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