Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Chronograph -- Full Review

Of all the imagery being used to market watches, perhaps none is more overused than motorsports.  Watch brands create special models that will be offered with high performance cars, they plaster their logos on racing venues, cars and drivers, and new watches pay tribute to champions, even long after they have passed away.  The fact that a brand has history in racing is hardly an obstacle at all, as images of legendary races and racers are readily available for licensing.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback with Stopwatches

Against this cluttered landscape of brands claiming a pedigree in motorsports, TAG Heuer stands alone as the brand with the strongest connection to the golden age of motorsports.  Back in the 1960s, racers wore Heuer chronographs, racing teams used Heuer equipment, and races and rallies were timed by Heuers.  Andretti, Rindt, Villeneuve, Siffert, Bell and other racing heroes all wore Heuers, well before the era of paid ambassadors.  Talk to the old-time racers, and they will confirm that the Heuers were the watches that everyone wore. Read more »

Everything Old is New Again -- Inspirations for the New Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback

In a posting just prior to Baselworld 2013, we pondered the question of what the new Carrera Caliber 36 chronographs would look like.  We had some excellent clues, from the “Teaser” image posted by TAG Heuer in the run-up to Basel, and were able to make some good guesses about the appearance and features of these new chronographs.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Racing -- Detail

Now that TAG Heuer has introduced the the Carrera Calibre 36 at Basel, and released photographs and specifications, we can provide an introduction to these chronographs.  We will begin with a description of the watches, and then explore some Heuer history, to understand the origins of these watches and place them in the context of Heuer’s heritage.

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Introducing the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback Chronographs

In yesterday’s posting, we pondered the question of what the new Carrera Caliber 36 chronographs would look like.  We had some excellent clues, from the “Teaser” image posted by TAG Heuer in the run-up to Basel, and were able to make some good guesses about the appearance and features of these new chronographs.

Now that TAG Heuer has released photographs and descriptions of the new Carrera Calibre 36 chronographs, we can provide a quick introduction to these chronographs.  Initially, we will post only a few photos of the new chronographs with brief descriptions, and we will soon add some background and more detailed descriptions to this posting.

Three Versions of the Carrera Calibre 36 “Flyback” Chronograph

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback -- Three Versions

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Arriving in 36 Hours: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Chronograph

The BaselWorld fair, the biggest annual event in the watch world, opens on Thursday, April 25.  BaselWorld 2013 promises to be especially important for TAG Heuer, as the brand continues its year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Carrera and introduces new watches that will push the frontiers of “haute horologerie”.

This year’s fair will also mark the last Basel fair for TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, as he will soon depart to become CEO of Bulgari.  Since his arrival at TAG Heuer 13 years ago, Babin has focused on Heuer’s unique heritage in motorsports and its accomplishments in precision timing.  We can expect to see more of both these themes in the watches TAG Heuer will introduce at Basel.

TAG Heuer Calibre 36 Carrera

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Four More Photos of Felix (and His Zenith Chronograph)

With Felix Baumgartner’s amazing “Mission to the Edge of Space” having been completed this past Sunday, October 14th, the last few days have been very exciting for those interested in space exploration, daredevils, or chronographs.  There has been an amazing flow of website updates, videos, articles, blog postings, press releases, press conferences, Tweets and all other manner of communication.  Of course, the watch freaks are proud of the fact that Zenith was one of the sponsors of the mission and Baumgartner and his team have been wearing Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronographs.  [You can read all about the Zenith Stratos Flyback, in this Hodinkee posting.]

Today, I received some images in a press kit from Zenith, which I want to share with our readers.  As you might imagine, these images do a great job of showing the connection between Felix and his Zenith El Primero chronograph, especially immediately after the landing.  I hope that you will enjoy these photos!  Click on any of them for a high resolution version (1,550 pixels wide).

Felix Baumgartner Landing

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Zenith El Primero Cheat Sheet, by LouS

The following cheat sheet / quick guide covers some of the early Zenith El Primero chronographs.  This posting is derived from a posting by LouS on the Chronocentric vintage Heuer discussion forum. Note that some gold models and the late so-called “TV” and “Pilot” models are not included.

Photo courtesy of Gigi, from OnTheDash discussion forum, March 6, 2015

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