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TAG Heuer builds on the Carrera at Watches and Wonders Geneva

The TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph in DLC-coated titanium.

And it also introduces the Split-Seconds Chronograph with the Monaco, originally meant for the Only Watch 2023.

It has been over a decade since TAG Heuer presented a new split-seconds chronograph. Back when Jean-Christophe Babin was still leading the brand, the watchmaker sought to make a statement with haute horlogerie. The watches made quite a splash, but no one really knew whether they were successful commercially.

The new TH81-00 movement by TAG Heuer has a titanium baseplate and bridges.
The new TH81-00 movement by TAG Heuer has a titanium baseplate and bridges.

With Carole Forestier-Kasapi leading the technical team, we already knew the Split-Seconds Chronograph was on its way, and sure enough, the brand announced this new Calibre TH81-00 that’s produced in partnership with Vaucher. It’s unique from its previous creations, including the split-seconds chronographs produced back in the 1910s, since it has a titanium plate and bridges. That makes it an ultra-light split-seconds chronograph with a skeletonised winding rotor, black DLC-coated or gradient blue-treated titanium arches, and matching accents on the minute track and counters.

The TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph in black DLC-coated titanium has matching arches on the dial.
The TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph in black DLC-coated titanium has matching arches on the dial.

The split-seconds function is controlled by an additional pusher on the left of the case, which leads the two synced chronograph seconds hands to separate. The watch has an autonomy of 55 hours if the chronograph is running and is a high-frequency movement with a 5Hz performance, making it easy to read elapsed times of 0.1 seconds. It’s also housed in the Monaco and not the Carrera, as the former celebrates 55 years this year.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph has a silver and black
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph has a silver and black ‘panda dial’ that dates back to the 1960s.

Carreras Galore

There are also two Carrera Chronographs that are ‘revivals’ of past models, but now in the Glassbox design that the brand introduced for the Carrera’s anniversary last year. The first is the 7753 SN Heritage, which was a Valjoux-powered chronograph with a silver or black dial; this eventually settled into a silver dial with black counters or the reverse. The effect was later coined as the panda and reverse panda, respectively. The ‘SN’ moniker refers to ‘silver noir’, which was the delineation for this dial.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph is a modern take on the panda dial.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph is a modern take on the panda dial.

The dial gets updated today for the Glassbox design with a black tachymeter on the inner bezel and the tricompax display with invisible small seconds at 6 o’clock, paired with a date window. Red sundial hands and a tipped chronograph central seconds give the monochromatic watch a dash of colour, and the TH20-00 chronograph movement that powers the watch can be seen through the casebook. Sized at 39mm, this watch will be just a touch over S$10,000, an excellent value for collectors who love TAG Heuer’s early designs.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skipper get a new gold version.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skipper gets a new gold version.

A second model is the Skipper Chronograph, the brand’s nautically inspired watch, which dates back to 1968. It was released last year in steel. The new edition now comes in rose gold, with the same tricolour sub-dial with a 15-minute counter. The hands are also tipped in red for added accuracy for the indication, with a red chronograph seconds hand and accents on the small seconds counter and indexes.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Date now comes in bi-colour versions, with a mother-of-pearl dial or rose gold dial.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Date now comes in bicolour versions with a mother-of-pearl dial or rose gold dial.

Finally, the Carrera Date, which was also re-introduced last year in a steel case, now adds bicolour models with gold-plated elements such as the bezel, dial, and alternating middle links of the bracelet. There are three models available: a bicolour with a mother-of-pearl dial and a row of diamonds on the inner bezel, diamond indexes, and a gold-plated date window. This is the highest-priced model, and it is just a smidge over S$11,000.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Date with mother-of-pearl dial and a row of diamonds on the inner bezel.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Date with mother-of-pearl dial and a row of diamonds on the inner bezel.

A non-gem-set model is also available in a rose gold dial, but what might interest some is the Carrera Date in steel with diamonds on the inner bezel that surround a mother-of-pearl dial with rose gold markers. This would be classified as a steel watch since the bracelet isn’t a bicolour one, but it highlights the details on the dial and adds a discreet hint of diamonds on the display. The two are priced similarly, making them highly attractive to consumers.

More pieces will be unveiled around Q3 when the Formula 1 event returns to Singapore; the Split-Seconds Chronograph is certainly a major milestone that the brand is delighted to showcase.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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