Five years ago, TAG Heuer grabbed headlines with the inaugural edition of its Carrera Heuer 02T, a COSC-certified chronograph watch equipped with a flying tourbillon and priced at a relatively accessible 15,000 Swiss francs — tens of thousands less than most other tourbillon watches. The company has built upon that model’s foundation to produce other references in subsequent years — notably 2019’s avant-garde Nanograph model — but until this year had yet to deliver a model that combines two of the current watch world’s most popular and prevalent elements — a predominantly blue colorway and an integrated metal bracelet. Both features make their debut on the latest edition, released in late March and on sale now.
The revolutionary movement inside the Carrera Heuer-02 T is based on TAG Heuer’s CH-80 integrated-chronograph caliber, developed in-house at its workshops in the Swiss Jura. Among its attributes are automatic winding (still a relative rarity in a tourbillon), a frequency of 4 hz (28,800 vph), an integrated, column-wheel-controlled chronograph function, and a power reserve of more than 65 hours stored in a single mainspring barrel. The cage of the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock is exceptionally lightweight, with central sections made of titanium and a top section made of carbon — much like the tourbillon created for TAG Heuer’s Monaco V4, the inspiration for this modern iteration. In a departure from the original Heuer 02T, the new watch’s dial is not skeletonized but solid blue with a sleek sunray finish. The azure tone of the dial is repeated not only on the ceramic tachymeter-scale bezel (a hallmark of the motorsport-inspired Carrera family) but also on the rubber crown protector and push-button surfaces and all the way to visible movement components like the tourbillon cage’s bridges and the PVD-coated rotor. All fitting, assembly, and adjustment work is performed by hand at the TAG Heuer manufacture, where the main parts are also produced. Each finished watch undergoes no less than 21 days of testing to ensure it meets the strict chronometer accuracy standards of the Swiss testing agency COSC.
Like its predecessor from 2016, the new Heuer 02T’s case is made of polished and fine-brushed grade-5 titanium, for maximum lightness and shock resistance and whose modular construction enables a wide range of combinations in the areas of materials, colors, treatments and finishes. It measures 45 mm in diameter and consists of 12 separate components — lugs, case middle, bezel, caseback, crown and its moulding, chrono pushers, gaskets between the case middle and bezel, and sapphire crystals in the front and back. The screwed exhibition caseback bears a special engraved indication of the watch’s limited edition number (out of 250). For the first time in this model’s production, the case is integrated into a lightweight titanium bracelet with H-shaped links, attaching to the wrist with a double-safety push-button clasp, which adds a touch of elegance to the overall sporty ensemble.
The blue-sunray dial hosts “azurage”-finished subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock for chronograph hours and minutes, respectively, which border the large tourbillon aperture below them at 6 o’clock for a balanced “tricompax” look. The hands and baton-shaped indices are rhodium-plated, polished, and coated with white Super-LumiNova. The flying tourbillon cage makes a complete rotation on its axis every minute to serve as a running seconds counter, while a blued central hand tallies the chronograph seconds. Limited to 250 pieces in this iteration, the Carrera Heuer 02T maintains the collection’s accessible pricing, listed at 20,500 Swiss francs or $21,500.
For more of TAG Heuer’s 2021 collection, click here.