The world of horology and the automobile industry have always shared a unique relationship. This unshakeable bond is based on precision, performance, and timing. The world of motorsport provided the perfect platform for both domains to flourish. It is interesting to note here that the TAG Heuer Carrera collection as well as the Porsche 911 (originally called 901) were both born in 1963. Honouring this, TAG Heuer has released two Chronosprints timepieces: a rose gold version with a beige dial (Ref. CBS2040.FC8318) and a steel variant with a silver shimmery dial (Ref. CBS2011.FC6529).
One can perhaps say 911 is the Don Corleone of the automotive world! The original 901, later 911, reached 0-100 km/h in a mere 9.1 seconds. Launched at the famous Frankfurt Motor Show, automobile enthusiasts saw a new direction the automobile giant was heading to. The sports car, if compared to the 356, had a longer wheelbase and a more compact suspension setup, and enjoyed greater power from the flat-6 engine. The car produced a staggering 130 horsepower and was mated to a Type 901 5-Speed Manual transmission.
Each of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint models gets a double ‘glassbox’. It is called ‘glassbox’ because of its domed, curved, crystal glass, paying homage to similarly domed hesalite crystal designs of the 1970s. It has been reengineered to have a curve that flows over the tachymeter scale; it runs along the edge of the dial, blending into the case.
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche
The first watch in this collection is a stainless steel variant that gets stainless steel lugs, a silver shimmery dial, a silver shimmery flange with 60 second/minute scale, stainless steel chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the chronograph function, and a crown at 3 o’clock. There are three silver counters — a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a seconds indicator at 6 o’clock, and a 12-hour counter at 12 o’clock. This model is fully bezel-less.
Turning this watch over reveals a sapphire stainless steel caseback with a stainless steel oscillating weight, replicating the three-spoke steering wheel of the 911 sports car. This model is finished on a black calfskin leather strap with the “911” logo embossed. It has a fine brushed polished steel folding clasp with double safety push-buttons.
The next watch is the 18 ct rose gold model with stainless steel lugs, a beige shimmery dial, a beige shimmery flange with a 60 second/minute scale, rose gold chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the chronograph function, and a crown at 3 o’clock. There are three beige counters — a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a seconds indicator at 6 o’clock, and a 12-hour counter at 12 o’clock. This model gets a fixed bezel in steel. Turning the watch over reveals a sapphire 18 ct rose gold caseback with an oscillating weight, designed to replicate the iconic three-spoke steering wheel of Porsche. This model is finished on a brown calfskin leather strap with the “911” logo embossed, featuring a fine brushed polished 18 ct rose gold-plated pin buckle.Powering both the 42 mm watches is the calibre TH20-08 automatic movement with 80 hours of power reserve. Also common to both watches is the date window integrated into the subdial at 6 o’clock.
Other references to the Porsche 911 can be found on the red lines on the subdial of each watch at 9 o’clock that start from 6.8 hours and extend to the 12th hour; this is dedicated to the engine that beyond 6800 rpm, damage may occur. Next are the red details on the 6 o’clock counter between 50 and 55 numerals, referring to the dashboards of the Porsche cars of the 1970s — 50-55 km/hr was the recommended speed in urban areas. The red marking from the 12 o’clock index to the 4 o’clock one is dedicated to the first 911 that could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/hr in 9.1 seconds; it extends to the 9.1 on the outer scale, a visual tribute to the milestone.
The Chronosprint is a sprint, never seen in a chronograph. Here the chronograph hand mimics the speedometer of a 911 sports car: it accelerates for 9.1 seconds across the dial, then gradually decelerates, completing the full revolution in 60 seconds. This will be appreciated by all car aficionados. This mechanism is possible because of the wheels that are crafted with a state-of-the-art technology, called the LiGA process, widely used in the MEMS industry.