The Carrera Turns 60 this Year, and TAG Heuer is Celebrating

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Carrera chronograph, and if you thought TAG Heuer was going to let even a month go by without acknowledging what is perhaps their most famous and admired watch, well, you must be new. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary is exactly what you probably want to see if you’re a fan of classic Heuer racing chronographs, as it’s modeled after one of the most legendary Carrera references, the 2447 SN, and matches it detail for detail. Reinterpreting classic watches in a modern package is something TAG probably doesn’t get enough credit for, but if you really want to feel like you’re wearing a vintage watch made with meticulous care, there are few brands doing it better than TAG right now. 


TAG Heuer is positioning this new release as a watch for the serious collector. It’s limited to 600 units, and the brand is well aware of the high profile of the 2447 SN. Back in early 2020, TAG celebrated the 160th anniversary of the brand with the similarly positioned 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, a recreation of the all silver 2447 S. That was a hugely popular release at the time, but you can imagine collectors grumbling about a preference for the more dynamic panda dial of the 2447 SN. Now it seems likely that TAG was wisely saving the SN for the Carrera’s big 60th birthday party, and we can see the full picture of their strategy take shape. 

It’s hard to find something new to say about a watch like the Carrera. Does anyone actively dislike this format? It’s a bit of a cliché, but it truly does straddle the line between elegant and sporty, tool and luxury object. They were, of course, initially designed for the track, and by all accounts were worn by many serious and not so serious racers throughout the course of the Carrera’s 60 years. But it’s also an undeniably beautiful object, with a perfectly proportioned 39mm case in polished stainless steel, and one of the cleanest chronograph dials ever conceived. This version, with black subdials against a silver sunray base, is hard to find fault with. 

With these reissues, TAG has always been pretty good about getting the details just right. While some purists might gripe about the case size being a bit larger than the 36mm original, I think 39mm is a completely appropriate compromise for the modern consumer, and is compact enough to still “feel” vintage if other design details are executed properly. In this edition, that certainly seems to be the case. This watch features the classic Heuer logo, as you’d expect, along with the Carrera wordmark at 12:00. Color matching to the original reference has been fastidious – my favorite small detail is black stripes seen on the hands and applied hour markers. TAG has also included the “Swiss” designation in the same spot as the original watch, in the somewhat unusual position of within the 6:00 subdial. It’s worth pointing out one key difference between vintage and modern, and that’s the 60 minute and 12 hour registers being swapped, which is a concession made to the caliber at work. 

And the movement is certainly one of the watch’s strongest selling points. The Heuer 02 is TAG’s in-house automatic chronograph movement featuring an 80 hour power reserve along with a column wheel. Spec for spec, it’s a strong competitor to chronograph movements from other brands, including Rolex, found in watches that are far more expensive. 

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary is available now through official TAG Heuer channels at a retail price of $7,400. TAG Heuer

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.