Amid the hubbub and glitz of Baselworld 2012, TAG Heuer debut a special limited edition Carrera to celebrate the 80th birthday of the great Jack Heuer.
First appearing in 1963, the Heuer Carrera, now of course the TAG Heuer Carrera, has endured constantly morphing styles and trends over the passing decades yet still is immediately recognisable as the watch which had such a profound impact, being the catalyst from which today's 'sports chronograph' sector emerged, just under 50 years ago. Incredibly, it is still as desirable as ever and is found in number among motor racing enthusiasts and indeed, many participants.
The new 2012 Jack Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 is, fittingly, a beautifully commissioned piece, with several cues which trace right back to the watch's origin, such as the flat-top chrono pushers, a clean uncluttered dial, the minimal bezel and the period perforated leather strap with a glimpse of red adding a further little dash of luxury (a stainless steel link bracelet is an option). Jack Heuer's signature in red and the Heuer family coat of arms decorates the caseback.
With the narrow bezel pushed right back so as to allow the crystal to cover almost all of the face, the Carrera has always given the appearance of a wide, expansive, perfectly legible face, and on this special piece the dial is finished in a grained bare metal, contrasting with the black circular grooving of the two slightly recessed subdials at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions for the 30-minutes and 12-hour chrono counters.
The only other colour present is the red of chrono seconds hand and the tips of the small chrono counters as well as for the 80mph mark on the tachymetre scale, but most importantly for this edition - the TAG Heuer motif is replaced with the original's Heuer logo which sits just above centre dial.
I knew what a TAG Heuer Carrera was many years before I knew who Jack Heuer was and so it is nice to revisit this classic in words and for us too to wish Jack a great year and a happy 80th birthday.