The Carrera watch from Tag Heuer was first introduced in 1963 and borrowed its name from the Spanish word for race having been linked to Motorsports from its inception and born from an auto racing tradition. The watch is named after the Carrera Panamericana, which was a race held between 1950 and 1954 in Mexico. The Carrera watch drew its inspiration from the romance, speed, and danger of the race. The original design of the Carrera based off the instrument panel of a racing car with the key being legibility and clarity. The watch also included a Chronograph function to measure time and a tachymeter scale, allowing speed to be calculated. As quartz watches became more popular in later decades Tag Heuer eventually began to phase out the watch and by the end of the 1970's, the Carrera Watch had been discontinued altogether. A few years later Tag Heuer released a limited edition vintage version of the Carrera as a homage to highlight the heritage of the brand. The success of the re-released watch led to the launch of a new contemporary Carrera watch by Tag Heuer.
The first generation of the Carrera watch from Tag Heuer was introduced with a 36mm stainless steel case that featured a clean dial allowing the Chronograph function to be easily read.
The second generation Carrera was launched by Tag Heuer in 1969 and heralded the arrival of the world’s first automatic Chronograph movement in a watch that became known as the Chronomatic. It was a clear break from the tradition established by the original Carrera watches featuring a larger 39mm case with shorter lugs and splashes of color added for dramatic effect and clarity of view.
The third generation of the Carrera watch from Tag Heuer became known as the barrel cased Carrera because of the short case design and was offered with either a Calibre 12 or Calibre 15 movement. The Blue, Gold and “Fume” versions of the Carrera watch from Tag Heuer had a distinctive Cotes de Geneve dial.
The fourth generation of the Carrera watch from Tag Heuer borrowed greatly from the design of the second generation with a larger dial and shortened lugs. This generation of the Carrera watch was the first to be offered by Tag Heuer with a quartz powered movement.
Subsequent generations such as the fifth-generation model of the of the Carrera watch held significant differences from the rest of the Carrera watch family by Tag Heuer. The watch featured a stainless steel case with a flat black dial with green lume strips and bright Orange detailing. The watch also featured the famous Lemania 5100 movement, which was only used by Heuer during the period when Nouvelle Lemania was a part owner of Heuer, making the watch even more rare today.
The sixth generation of the Carrera watch, launched in 1986, was a faithful reproduction of the original 1964 Carrera featuring a manual wound Lemania 1873 movement. The re-launch of the Carrera saw the introduction of three models two of which were stainless steel with a silver or black dial and one solid 18K Gold.
The seventh generation of the Carrera watch was introduced in 2000 into the Classics Collection but was not based on any historical model featuring a new movement and three stainless steel of 18K gold hands.
The eighth generation of the Carrera launched in 2002 was used to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Carrera watch.
The ninth generation was Tag Heuer’s interpretation of how a modern Carrera could work- not a retro design, but a contemporary design informed by the past. Launched in 2004, it featured a 41mm case holding the classic Carrera lugs and Chronograph with the addition of a fixed external bezel, which was a first for the Carrera watch by Tag Heuer.
The latest model and the 10th generation of the Carrera watch from Tag Heuer featured a design that echoes the 1963 original, with its internal tachy scale, “3D” registers, monochrome design and elegant lugs
Today the Carrera is both TAG Heuer’s past and its future.
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