In the realm of sport and luxury, few things epitomize success like a fine gold watch. For TAG Heuer, this connection between gold and achievement has deep roots, dating back to a brilliant promotional strategy conceived by the maverick former CEO, Jack Heuer, in 1970. That year marked the birth of the first yellow gold automatic Carrera, the Heuer ref. 1158 CHN, and Jack’s ingenious idea was to gift these exquisite timepieces to Formula 1 victors. Niki Lauda, Jacky Ickx, and Ronnie Peterson were among the esteemed Formula 1 drivers proudly sporting their gold Heuers.
This gesture not only elevated gold Heuer Carreras to the status of a coveted status symbol among drivers but also kindled a fiery passion in motorsports enthusiasts. Even today, there’s an irresistible allure in donning a gold Carrera.
Fast forward to 2023, and TAG Heuer has reignited this golden glamour with the all-new Carrera Chronograph Glassbox in yellow gold. This piece is a delightful blend of retro charm and opulence, exuding a sense of glory that’s impossible to ignore.
The Carrera Glassbox’s design is a marvel particularly the way its unique bowl-like flange gracefully curves up to meet its vintage boxed crystal. This design imparts a remarkable three-dimensional effect to the dial, creating the illusion of a bezel-less watch and optimizing the dial’s functionality. In the case of the Carrera Glassbox Gold, this effect is particularly well-suited. It maximizes the display of gold, making the timepiece appear as if it was sculpted from a single piece of solid gold.
The dial of the Carrera Glassbox Gold pays homage to its predecessor, the Heuer ref. 1158 CHN, featuring a date window at 6 o’clock, black subdials, and a black lacquered seconds hand. However, the subdials on the Carrera Glassbox Gold are elegantly snailed, adding a touch of refinement. The dial also features a running seconds indicator at 6 o’clock and, notably, displays the TAG Heuer logo instead of the Heuer emblem at 12 o’clock. Moreover, this timepiece boasts enhanced luminosity, with Super-LumiNova adorning its hands and indices.
The 39mm case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Gold is crafted from 18k 3N solid yellow gold, a breathtaking combination of polished and brushed surfaces. The top and bottom of the watch, along with its hands and indices, receive a polished treatment, while the sides of the case and the dial sport finely brushed finishes. The gold-plated flange adds an exquisite stippled effect, reminiscent of an unpolished gold nugget.
Underneath this golden exterior lies the latest iteration of TAG Heuer’s in-house Heuer 02 chronograph movement, the TH20-00. This automatic column wheel calibre is a masterpiece, offering bi-directional winding and an impressive 80-hour power reserve, all while maintaining a steady 4Hz beat. It’s a slight disappointment that TAG Heuer didn’t go the extra mile by gold-plating the rotor or adding some flair to the TH20-00, especially considering the overall elevated aesthetics of the watch.
The Carrera Glassbox Gold comes fitted with a rally-style perforated black calfskin leather strap, complemented by a gold pin buckle. This not only balances the weight of the watch but also ensures surprising comfort despite its precious metal construction. It’s worth noting that, unlike the stainless steel Carrera Glassbox models, the gold version opts for a pin buckle over a clasp. While this might be seen as a missed opportunity or a cost-saving measure, it’s important to remember that a full gold clasp would significantly increase the watch’s weight, potentially affecting its balance.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox Gold is set to hit the market in November 2023, and it comes with a price tag of A$31,150, US$21,500, or CHF 21,000.