TAG Heuer Brings Vintage Charm with the Carrera “Glassbox” in Yellow Gold

Inspired by the ref. 1158 CHN.

The Carrera line takes a luxurious turn with a new chronograph sporting a yellow gold case and matching yellow gold-plated dial, complemented by contrasting matte black sub-dials. The Carrera Chronograph “Glassbox” pays homage to a similar creation from the 1960s, the Carrera ref. 1158 CHN, which is known among collectors for its bold, all-gold design.

Initial thoughts

A precious metal sports watch often sparks debate about the relevance of the case material, particularly for brands not typically associated with pure luxury. However, TAG Heuer’s decision to execute its new Glassbox in the memorable “John Player Special” colour scheme of gold and black inspired by the ref. 1158 CHN is commendable. Moreover, it is a logical next step for TAG Heuer following the recent unveiling of the Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche, which is also available in rose gold. 

This fusion of heritage and refinement brings a unique and distinguished touch to the ordinarily functional Carrera. The result is an appealing chronograph with a hint of vintage luxury that effectively showcases the distinctive Glassbox case. 

The price tag for the gold Carrera is comparable to that of the rose gold Chronosprint x Porsche, which means the price is expected and appropriate though not quite a bargain. However, the Chronosprint boasts a more complex movement, making it a better value proposition – though the new Carrera is certainly more appealing in terms of design.

The legendary gold Carrera 1158 CHN

The ref. 1158 CHN with its 18k gold case and historic cal. 11 stands as one of Heuer’s most iconic creations. It enjoys the distinction of being Jack Heuer’s favourite among all Carrera models and even today retains a cherished place in the hearts of enthusiasts. The model is perhaps most famous for being gifted to various champion drivers, including Niki Lauda, Clay Regazzoni, and Ronnie Peterson.

Fewer than 200 of the original ref. 1158 CHN are estimated to have been produced, with 15 having been presented to Ferrari drivers and other close associates of Jack Heuer.

The ref. 1158 CHN “first execution”

The ref. 1158 CHN was offered in two variations, both featuring a champagne dial with striking black sub-dials. The distinguishing factor between the two lies in the date wheel – one version has a black date wheel with white text (known as the first execution) and the other with black text on a white wheel (the second execution). The newly released Carrera reproduces the looks of the second execution.

The Glassbox – elegance and vintage inspiration

The main difference here is clearly the change in case metal, which is going to add some heft compared to the original in stainless steel, and of course the dial. The “JPS” livery of gold and black will be popular with enthusiasts familiar with Heuer’s history, and shows the team at TAG Heuer is conscious of collectors’ desires. 

The Glassbox’s defining feature lies in its distinct case profile that’s highlighted by a raised tachymeter scale beneath a prominently domed crystal. This scale ascends towards the dial’s centre, mimicking the curvature of the domed crystal, a nod to vintage Heuer chronographs with domed hesalite crystals. Another unique touch is the bowl-shaped seconds track around the dial, providing a visual contrast to the elevated tachymeter scale.

Perched on a 39 mm yellow gold case without a conventional bezel, the domed crystal amplifies the dial’s spacious and unobstructed view. The intricately cut lugs pay a distinct tribute to vintage Carrera designs, distinguishing it from its larger 42 mm counterparts. This compact size not only boosts its visual allure but also provides added comfort compared to the 42 mm models.

The movement stays the same as the standard Glassbox. It’s the TH20-00, which is essentially an upgraded version of the Heuer 02. Combining a column wheel with a vertical clutch, it also incorporates bi-directional winding for the generous 80 hours of power reserve. 

Key facts and price

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph
Ref. CBS2240.FC8319

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 13.9 mm
Material: 18K 3N yellow gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. TH20-00
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Perforated black Calfskin with pin buckle

Limited edition: No
Availability: From November 2023 at TAG Heuer retailers and boutiques
Price: US$21,500; or 30,650 Singapore dollars

For more information, visit tagheuer.com.

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