In the world of horology, only one lives up to the title on creating the very first automatic chronograph wrist watch in the world. Although it may be vexing to know that the title has been greatly debated between the Zenith Movado Group against Heuer et al. But one fact indeed is that the Calibre 11 created by the Heuer group had rocked the foundations of the entire wrist watch industry. Such a feat catapulted Tag Heuer to be one of the leading sports watch makers in the industry.
With iconic pieces such as the Monaco where McQueen himself worn in the movie Le Mans, and the rare Autavia Heuer which is one of the most sought after vintage Tag there is. In 2012 Baselworld, Tag is not celebrating any anniversary of their timepieces, instead they offer the latest piece to the 80th birthday of Jack Heuer; former CEO of Tag Heuer and one of the pioneers who introduce the Carrera timepiece to the world back in 1964. By now you would've guess it that the latest timepiece to carry the torch of the iconic Calibre 11 is a new Carrera, the Carrera 80 (Ref. CV2119).
First look and you'll easily notice that the piece has a more traditional 2 sub-dial layout design that is incredibly a treat for the vintage collectors. Moving away from the 3-dial Valjoux 7750 design that you see in most Swiss chronograph timepieces. Secondly, the entire design of the Carrera 80 was based on the original Carrera with a metallic silver dial with applied hour markers and simple silver hands with a bright red Heuer logo below the 12 o'clock position, notice that the word "Tag" is nowhere to be found. The contrast between the metallic silver dial with the red chronograph hand and the red tipped sub dials is absolutely stunning! Also the number 80 in the tachymeter scale is bright red as well, which by now you already know why, some fine attention to details here by the folks at Tag.
The back of the piece is a solid steel case back with a signature from Jack Heuer along with a family crest. The Carrera 80 will use the same 41mm case as with the Carrera 1887/300 SLR and a Calibre 17 movement which is a modified ETA 2894-2 that has been in all of the re-editions of Tag Heuer watches in the 90s and the 2000s. The piece comes in either a black calfskin leather or a traditional Carrera steel strap which you can view from the gallery below. The entire piece is superbly done and well made, one of the better pieces coming off from this year's Basel. A fine tribute to a man who made his mark in the world of horology. Hear what Jack himself has to say after the jump, along with a side-by-side comparison from the original Carrera.