On the eve of its 55th anniversary, the Carrera has donned a midnight blue ceramic coat and includes on the mechanism the prestigious “Tête de Vipère“ (Viper’s Head) seal issued by the Besançon Observatory, a guarantee of precision and high quality.

The Carrera chronograph is the work of one man, Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of the founder of TAG Heuer (the brand was set up in 1860) and a big fan of motor racing. In 1963, five years after joining the firm, Heuer designed a watch adapted to motor racing, and which was worn by a large number of drivers: the Carrera. In 2018, to celebrate the 55th anniversary of a legendary watch that is now a star of the brand’s collectors’ catalogue, TAG Heuer has introduced a contemporary version with a sophisticated mechanism called the Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer “Tête de Vipère” in a limited edition of 500 pieces.

tag heuer carrera chronometer tourbillon chronograph tete de vipère closeup

If the “Viper’s Head” reference seems surprising, even for watch lovers, then it is not so for specialists. The engraved snake’s skull symbolises the seal awarded by the Besançon Observatory. This public and independent body, founded in 1883, has been issuing its “bulletins” since 1887, but only began using the Viper’s Head seal in 1897. The certification highlights the precision and reliability of a timepiece, after a rigorous testing procedure, and has only been given to 500 watches since 2006. So the new Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer “Tête de Vipère” can boast high levels of quality.

tag heuer carrera chronometer tourbillon chronograph tete de vipère piece

Housed in a midnight blue case measuring 45mm wide, the automatic calibre Heuer-02T features other blue elements, such as the tourbillon and rotor. The mechanism runs at 28,800 vibrations an hour (4Hz) and provides a power reserve of up to 65 hours.

The open-work dial has a black chapter ring with a precise minute track. Two silvered, luminescent, stick-shaped hands display the hours and minutes in the centre, while the seconds are driven by a tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Also in the centre is the chronograph second hand; the minutes and hours are shown in two rhodium totalisers at 3 and 9 o’clock, respectively.

Price: 19,900 CHF tagheuer.com

By Sharmila Bertin

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