TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

Angus Davies reviews the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT.

This detailed review of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT includes live images, specification details and pricing.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

The world of horology is not immune to trends. Ceramic components, DLC-coatings, sapphire cases, smart technology, blue dials have all become prevalent. Whether they retain lasting appeal or fade with the onset of years is something watch journalists frequently moot. A few years ago, I questioned the popularity of blue dials and pondered whether they would have longevity. In reality, they have transcended fashion and are now a staple of the watch industry.

Attending Baselworld 2018, I was struck by the release of several watches equipped with a GMT function. Rolex unveiled its GMT-Master II and, by virtue of the company’s following, received much press attention. Tudor, the younger sibling of Rolex, released its Black Bay GMT, a model which I prefer to the aforementioned GMT-Master II.

However, I felt one of the most interesting GMT models to be released at Baselworld 2018 came from TAG Heuer. This timepiece combines a GMT function with a highly useful column wheel chronograph. Furthermore, as I will go on to explain, it has a plethora of additional attributes that make it an interesting ownership proposition.

The dial

Blue, black and red are three colours often used on GMT timepieces. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT proves to be no exception. It would seem that this triumvirate of hues is essential in the world of dual-time watches.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

However, while the colour-scheme on this timepiece may be familiar, the black skeleton dial design is quite distinctive. Each snailed subdial is open-worked, providing views of the surfaces below. Part of the hour wheel is visible adjacent the fulcrum of the dial. A potential downside of skeleton dials is that they can appear busy and difficult to read; there is no such problem with the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

The rhodium-plated baton-style hour and minute hands clearly communicate with the wearer. The centre of each hand benefits from a liberal application of SuperLuminova. The GMT hand, used for indicating the ‘home’ time, is presented in red, with the tip, once again, embellished with white SuperLuminova.

While most of the values on the date disc are visible, the current date, positioned at 4:30, stands out, courtesy of its crisp white background. Indeed, this small application of colour ensures ease of read-off.

The rhodium-plated indexes are lined with luminescent treatment and sit prominently above the dial epidermis. This is merely one example of where TAG Heuer has masterfully played with depths to imbue the dial with much visual appeal.

A black flange, marked with a 60-second scale, encircles the dial area. It proves highly useful when determining elapsed seconds.

The case

In recent years, many sports watches have set aside aluminium bezels in favour of ceramic items. The key benefit of the latter type of bezel is that it is more resistant to scratching. However, ceramic bezels often feature on costlier watches, therefore, it is surprising to see this material used on such a keenly priced timepiece.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

The bezel features a 24-hour scale, proving ideal when determining the time at ‘home’. It is two-tone, with the nocturnal hours depicted in black and the daytime hours shown in blue.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT is a substantial watch, constructed in steel and measuring 45mm in diameter. I accept that the aforementioned Rolex and Tudor watches are smaller, a characteristic some may prefer, but, I reiterate, neither of these watches feature a chronograph movement. Personally, I did not find the proportions of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT to be a problem and the case delivered a sublime ergonomic interface with my wrist.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

The rubber-clad crown and the pushpieces do not project unduly from the case-band and, as such, they do not impinge on the wrist or mar wearer comfort.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

My press watch was fitted with a 3-rows stainless steel bracelet which proved highly flexible and proffered a cosseting embrace with my arm.

The movement

The Heuer 02 automatic chronograph calibre has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and contains 33 jewels. The movement’s single barrel delivers an impressive power reserve of 75 hours.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT

This movement features a column wheel with a vertical clutch, characteristics often found on costlier chronographs. The combination of the column wheel and vertical clutch became apparent when pressing the push-pieces which bestowed a pleasingly positive action. Moreover, when the chronograph was actuated there was no stuttering. Indeed, the stationary central chronograph seconds hand smoothly transitioned from standstill to motion.

The oscillating weight is openworked, featuring black-toned spokes and the bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.

Closing remarks

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT is a mightily impressive watch. Its skeleton dial provides sight of mechanical components which are often hidden from view. However, despite its disclosure of parts, readability remains very good.

A fundamental requirement of a GMT watch is the capacity to easily determine the time at home. The bold, red GMT hand and the bi-colour bezel collaborate wonderfully to fulfil the requirements of any roving individual.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT is not a ‘one trick pony’. As its name implies, it is equipped with a chronograph. Furthermore, this is an impressively specified chronograph, featuring a column-wheel and vertical coupling.

Despite being endowed with details such as a skeleton dial, ceramic bezel, GMT and column-wheel chronograph, the price of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT is a mere £4900.00 (RRP as at 9.7.2018). I concede this remains a substantial sum of money, but considering its impressive specification, this watch represents great value.

Further reading

Technical specifications

  • Model: TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 45mm, sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres).
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph
  • Movement: Heuer 02; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 33 jewels; power reserve 75 hours.
  • Strap: Steel bracelet with dual safety push-pieces
  • Price: £4900 (RRP as at 9.7.2018) 

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