In 1969, the patented Carrera Chronomatic Calibre 11, the world’s first Tag heuer carrera calibre 16 day date automatic chronograph 43mm replica watch was unveiled, changing the course of watch design. The name – a combination of the words “Chronograph” and “Automatic”, is among the most fabled in Swiss watchmaking history. The first Carrera chronograph was the stunning black and white “Panda” edition with tachymetre.
“I first heard about the Carrera from Pedro Rodriguez at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, where I was the Official Timekeeper. He and his brother Ricardo were two of the fastest, smartest and bravest endurance drivers of all time. To hear them talk of the Carrera, which our brand’s longtime friend Juan Manuel Fangio had won in 1953, but which had been stopped in the 1955 after a number of fatalities, made my imagination soar. Just the sound of the name itself – elegant, dynamic, easily pronounced in all languages and charged with emotion. I knew then that my new chronograph was the perfect tribute to this legend.”
In 1963, Jack Heuer, the man responsible for some of the most groundbreaking advances in sports timekeeping, turned his attention to the specific needs of professional motor-racing drivers. A long-time fan of and participant in the sport, he knew exactly what was needed: a wide-open, easy-to-read dial and a shock-resistant and waterproof case tough enough for even the most intense road wear.
Equipped with a 12-hour and a 30-minute counter, and the famous oscillating pinion invented by Edouard Heuer in 1887, the chronograph was outfitted with a special patented excentric regulator setting and moveable spiral block, which allowed for very precise regulation and the smallest error in the timing, even under the most extreme conditions. He also had in mind the ideal inspiration: the “Carrera Panamericana Mexico Road Race”, the world’s most grueling open-road endurance competition.
He knew what the look and feel of the tag heuer carrera calibre 16 day date automatic chronograph replica should be too. Inspiration came from a range of innovative ideas, including many from early 60s modernism – the geometric purity of Oscar Niemeyer’s new architecture, for example, and the curving, sensual lines of an Eero Saarinen building or chair, and the clean, uncluttered aesthetics of Pop-Art. At the same time, the Carrera’s iconic design values are firmly rooted in the enduring codes of motor sports, such as the black & white of vintage dashboard counters or the perforated leather gloves favored by Juan Manuel Fangio and his contemporaries.
Among the star pilots to wear a Carrera over the next decade were Ferrari drivers Jackie Ickx, Clay Regazzoni, Mario Andretti, Carlos Reutemann and Jody Scheckter. Every member of Ferrari’s 1970s ‘scuderia’, with whom Heuer had signed on as Official Sponsor and Timekeeper, received a solid gold Carrera engraved with his name and blood type.
“I was excited by the new forms, materials and techniques just then coming into play. We were after something that took advantage of these, that was just as new and audacious, but at the same time sober, simple and motorsports-driven, stripped of all ornamentation, classic and timeless.” Jack Heuer.
An instant must-have tag heuer carrera replica of the top racecar drivers in Europe and America, it is now one of the most coveted watches among luxury watch collectors. During the 1970s “Quartz crisis”, the Carrera not only survived, it excelled, with a series of popular quartz editions that demonstrated the brand’s continued preeminence as a pioneer in the Digital Age.
Since, It has been worn by every TAG Heuer replica watch driving great: Alain Prost, David Coulthard, Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.