Tag Heuer's Carrera: the pioneer of cutting-edge sports watches

TAG Heuer began with "Heuer"

TAG Heuer, which has become synonymous with sports watches today, originally started out with the name Heuer. In 1860, Edouard Heuer, aged 20, decided to make accurate and reliable wristwatches and opened his first workshop in Saint-Imier in the Swiss Jura region. He subsequently obtained patents for a succession of inventions, including the crown winding in 1869, the oscillating gear used in chronographs in 1886, the waterproof case in 1895, and the barometer in 1908, and won silver medals at the 1883 Amsterdam International Exposition and the 1889 Paris International Exposition.

In 1888, his son Jules-Edouard, Charles-Auguste who had worked with him in the UK in 1891, and his daughter Louise-Honorine took over the business, and the company expanded into London in 1876 and the US in 1910. Two years later, in 1912, the "Heuer" logo was first used on watches.

In addition to producing women's watches, Heuer also distinguished itself from other companies in the field of accurate time measurement. In 1914, it unveiled its first chronograph wristwatch, which was a pocket watch with a leather strap hanging from it. In 1916, it succeeded in developing the "Semikrograph," which could measure to 1/50th of a second, and served as the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games held in Antwerp in 1920, Paris in 1924, and Amsterdam in 1928.

In 1933, Heuer developed the Autavia, a dashboard tool that could be installed in automobiles, and established strong ties with the automotive industry. In 1939, Heuer released a waterproof chronograph watch, in 1950 the Mareograph with a regatta dial, in 1957 the Ring Master with a stopwatch function that could be clipped by changing the inner bezel with various scales, and in the following year, in 1958, the Rally Master, which combined the Monte Carlo chronograph and Master Time chronographs, among other vintage TAG Heuer watches that are still highly regarded today.
In addition, the "Sebring", which added a split-second in 1960, and the "Film-Master", which made its way to Hollywood in the United States, were widely used as measurement tools in the film scene by famous film directors in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1940s, Heuer chronographs were used by US Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, as well as Prince William of Sweden, and in 1962, astronaut John Glenn (1921-) wore a Heuer stopwatch, making TAG Heuer the first Swiss watch brand to fly into space. Leonardo DiCaprio has now been selected as TAG Heuer's brand ambassador, following in the footsteps of Brad Pitt.

Carerra Mikrograph 1/100th Second Chronograph
It is the first watch in the world to feature a technology capable of measuring 1/100th of a second at a frequency of 360,000 vibrations, and the central blue hand indicates this function. The time and chronograph are each equipped with a balance wheel, escapement, and transmission system to perform efficient functions without affecting each other.

A pioneering sports watch that ushered in cutting-edge technology

In 1964, they launched the legendary Carrera chronograph with a 1/5 second scale, and in 1969, they unveiled the first automatic chronograph, the Calibre 11, produced jointly by BUREN and BREITLING, which was equipped with a rectangular case, the Monaco, which gained fame when worn by Steve McQueen in the film "Le Mans".
TAG Heuer was the pioneer in adopting cutting-edge technology, and achieved many accomplishments, including the development of the Microtimer in 1966, capable of measuring time to 1/1000th of a second, and the Microsplit in 1973, a small, palm-sized watch that could measure time to 1/100th of a second.
In addition, based on an idea from Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the sports car manufacturer Ferrari, in 1975, Ferrari developed the world's first quartz chronograph watch with an LED and LCD display, the Chronospilt.

On the left is TAG Heuer's Honorary Chairman, Jack Heuer, and on the right is Jean-Christophe Babin, former CEO of TAG Heuer and current CEO of Bulgari.

In 1985, the TAG Group, the owner of McLaren F1, acquired Heuer, and the company changed its name from "Heuer" to "Tag Heuer". After that, the company also acted as the official timekeeper for the F1 Grand Prix and the Alpine Skiing World Cup. Jack Heuer, the son of Charles Heuer who joined the company in 1958, has been serving as honorary chairman since 2001, even after the company acquired the LVMH Group in 1999.
In 2004, they developed the V4, which applied the structural method used in automobile engines, in which gears are connected by micro-belts thinner than a hair; in 2005, they developed the Caliber 360, the first mechanical chronograph with an accuracy of 1/1000 of a second; in 2008, they developed the Caliber 36RS, which was based on the caliper concept; and in 2009, they developed the automatic chronograph Caliber 1887, all of which are watches equipped with their own unique technologies.

TAG Heuer continues to strive to introduce cutting-edge watch technology, such as the release of the V4 in 2004 , which applied the structural method of an automobile engine, in which gears are connected by micro-belts thinner than a hair.
 TAG Heuer "Carrera"

TAG Heuer has created some incredible watches in the brand's 153-year history, but the classic, motor-racing-inspired Carrera, released in 1963, epitomizes the brand's spirit.
The name "Carrera" means "Race" in Spanish, and it first started with motorsports. The Carrera Panamericana was a race held on Mexico's New Panamericana highway between 1950-1954, and the six-day event was born in the same spirit as Italy's Targa Florio and Mille Miglia races.

Before the first Carrera model was released in 1963, Heuer had already produced the 404 series of watches to commemorate the Carrera Panamericana of 1953, an example of which is shown below,
The Heuer 404 was made 10 years before the birth of the Carrera, but the Heuer-404 shows that early Heuer was inspired by the romance, speed and danger of racing.
The design of the original 1963 Carrera was inspired by the panels of racing cars, as the watch needed to be easy to read and clear. Because it was designed for motor racing, the watch had to be a chronograph (including a stopwatch function) and also included a tachymeter scale to calculate speed.

The second generation Carrera was released in 1969 and introduced the world's first automatic chronograph movement, the Chronomatic. This second generation Carrera continued into the 1970s, but by the end of the decade, the popularity of the Carrera had waned.
As the world shifted its focus to quartz watches, the Carrera lost its relevance, and by the time Heuer became TAG Heuer, the Carrera was gone for good.

However, it wasn't until a decade later that the Carrera was relaunched by TAG Heuer as a limited edition to promote the brand's heritage. The overwhelming response to the relaunch of the Carrera led TAG Heuer to launch a new, contemporary Carrera in 2004 (the first new design in nearly 20 years). In 2013, the first Carrera celebrated its 50th anniversary The Carrera is not only a piece that represents the brand's heritage, but also one of the most important pieces that hold the future of TAG Heuer.