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Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Luxury Watches Review

Updated on January 5, 2015

GT Racing Inspired

An elite extension of the Carrera, a collection of watches on its own right, Tag Heuer's Grand Carrera exhibits a more indulgent (especially when compared with its robust counterpart ) and luxurious look.

The "Grand" can stand for size -- the majority of the timepieces span 43mm in diameter -- or the horological ambition the brand bestows on this line -- the Caliper and the concept Pendulum mechanisms aim for precision that goes beyond your standard chronometer.

Most Grand Carrera watches are officially certified chronometers, which means two weeks of intense testing at the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. From there the watches emerge as proven for extra precision (some of the tests include submerging in water and checking at different temperatures).

The collection deploys titanium, stainless steel, and gold for the cases. The latter are the dressier versions; the more business and formal wear oriented ones come in titanium or stainless steel. The contrast of gold with white dials can result in a particularly beautiful color scheme.

Design approach adopts racing stylization as its governing feature: the two tiered windows, displaying either chronograph functionality or a second time zone, resemble racing car dashboards, red indicators and all.

Tag Heuer Grand Carrera
Tag Heuer Grand Carrera


Grand Carrera stands out as a true luxury collection. The apertures for the rotating disks that indicate the data issued by the chrono function substitute the regular subdials; they carry a metal flanking, polished for aesthetic effect with Geneva stripes.

Several properties remain similar to the basic design: the same simple baton hands and corresponding hour markers, the same fundamental combination of a black dial and a hard stainless steel case and bracelet.

Depending on the metal and the complimenting color (usually black for titanium, brown or white for pink gold, and white or black for stainless steel), each watch projects a different character. The lighter may suit younger individuals, the darker reflect more "seasoned elegance," or "refined maturity."

Admittedly these are subjective judgments -- but it is a general rule that darker watches will communicate more gravitas.

Calibers and Functionality

Grand Carrera is notable for its use of an advanced chronograph utility that displays results from within the watch rather than on a pair of outward subdials -- the rotating disks. The data appears via two openings, shaped as symmetrically truncated semicircles.

Additional complications include date, grand date (an oversized window with a dedicated metal trim, somewhat reminiscent of JLC Reverso classics), and a GMT indicator (essentially a second time zone). Tag Heuer experiment with the positioning of the apertures, placing them at either three, six, nine, or twelve o'clock.

Calibers comprise 6, 9, and 17, all based on ETA movements and outfitted in-house with the supplementary features. The Caliper, of special interest to the audience that particularly values its horology, relies on the Zenith El Primero.


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