Singapore watch retailer Cortina continues with its roll-out of special watches to mark its golden jubilee. Following limited editions from Blancpain, Patek Philippe, and H. Moser & Cie. comes the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Cortina Watch. While it might sound like yet another vintage-inspired chronograph, the latest Carrera is unlike anything TAG Heuer has done before.
Instead of the usual steel, the case is 18k yellow gold, while the dial is made of maw sit sit, a little-known green gemstone found only in the northern parts of Myanmar. And the hour markers and hands are of course 18k yellow gold to match.
The base-model Carrera powered by the in-house Heuer 02 calibre is an appealing watch to begin with, especially in steel where it’s an affordable proposition with a historical design. But it is primarily a practical, everyday watch, which is arguably what it should be given its history as a motorsports chronograph. The Cortina edition, however, is the opposite. It is pricey, very much so in fact, but it is special.
Green is the fashionable colour in watchmaking now, so you might be forgiven for feeling weary when faced with yet another dial in the colour. But green dials certainly capture the zeitgeist of today, and perhaps personify the “hype” watch culture exemplified by the famous olive-dial sports watch. The new Carrera, in contrast, runs counter to that. It is definitely green, but the natural stone dial means it is a intrinsically valuable shade of green with a tangible quality.
The execution combining yellow gold and the green gemstone is spot on, instantly setting it apart from the typical TAG Heuer chronograph and most other sports chronographs in fact. Granted, all that comes at a price of several multiples of the steel version, which will limit its appeal to a tiny number of enthusiasts.
But the cost is arguably justified by the gold case and more importantly, the dial material. The rarity of the material, as well as the watch itself – only 10 will be made – will speak to a niche of TAG Heuer collectors who want something different.
Maw sit sit
The dial is made of maw sit sit, a stone made up of several minerals, including jadeite with high chromium content, which gives it the characteristic dark green colour. And its black veining gives the material a richly textured appearance.
Often confused with jade, maw sit sit is in fact an entirely different species. Though more muted in colour than the greenest of jade, maw sit sit is actually more rare. It’s a found only in northern Myanmar and gets its name from the village where it was first discovered, Maw Sit Sit near the base of the Himalayas.
While the highlight of the Carrera is the gemstone dial, the rest of the dial is equally fancy. All the hands as well as the hour markers are in 18k yellow gold, while all of the markings on the dial are in gold-powder print. And the two registers for the chronograph are in black, making this a “panda” dial of sorts.
Key Facts and Price
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Cortina Watch Limited Edition
Diameter: 42 mm
Material: 18k yellow gold
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: Calibre Heuer 02
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours
Strap: Black alligator with pin buckle, additional strap in brown alligator
Limited edition: 10 pieces
Availability: Only at Cortina Watch
Price: 59,200 Singapore dollars including GST (equivalent to US$41,500)
For more, visit 50thanniversary.cortinawatch.com.
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