A dial with counters at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions is called “tricompax” and is quite popular with chronograph fans, which is no surprise — the dial’s symmetry pleases the eye, which tends to seek order, and it’s also reminiscent of classic chronograph designs from the mid-20th century.
TAG Heuer’s current Carrera collection has included chronographs with tricompax dials since 2018 — powered by the recently introduced Calibre Heuer 02. But those Carrera manufacture models have a highly technical look, with open-worked dials and metal components between the strap lugs, so they’re more likely to appeal to the tastes of the avant-garde than to lovers of classically styled chronographs. TAG Heuer followed the modern manufacture Carreras with the launch of two retro timepieces with closed dials, but still there were no contemporary serially manufactured models.
Now the Swiss watch brand has launched two collections: the Carrera Sport Chronograph and the Carrera Elegant Chronograph. Each line consists of four models. The Sport series differs from its elegant sister collection mainly because the cases are 2 mm larger in diameter, the bezels are wider and bear tachymeter scales, and the crown and push-pieces are more strikingly styled. In addition to three Carrera Sport Chronographs with metal bracelets, there is only one version with a leather strap. Our test takes a closer look at this model, which is an attractive combination of sporty and elegant design elements.
Even the critical eyes of our editors could discover no shortcomings in the craftsmanship of this watch. The multilevel dial with complex indexes and hands, the ceramic bezel, and the partly polished, partly satin-finished case are entirely free of flaws and fully worthy of a manufacture chronograph. In addition to the excellent workmanship, the crown and clasp are very easy to use. The crown provides a good grip thanks to its deep fluting. And the clasp impressed us because it opens at the push of a button, snaps shut authoritatively and also includes a clamping mechanism that enables stepless adjustment of the length of the strap.
But with a retail price of $6,550, the version of the Carrera Sport Chronograph with the leather strap is considerably more expensive than the models with steel bracelets, which cost $5,750. The reason: the hands and indexes, as well as the crown and push-pieces, are plated with 18k rose gold. The gold creates a unique, sporty and elegant look and rounds out the new collection, but it probably won’t appeal to everyone who loves chronographs and sports watches.
Founded in 1860, this Swiss brand is famous for its sports watches, most of which are equipped with a stopwatch function. Carrera is the name of the most important and most extensive model line. Other lines that are particularly popular with TAG Heuer fans are the Monaco, Aquaracer and Formula 1.
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