Editor's Picks

4 Chronographs That Evoke the Motorsport Heritage


December 5, 2018 Sponsored By

The connection between chronographs and motorsport goes back to the dawn of auto racing. Stopwatches mounted to car dashboards timed early races until the chronograph complication was trimmed down enough to be placed on wrists. Right in the middle of that history is the Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer. Having been committed to marking infinitely small times for over a century-and-a-half, it has built upon and expanded its chronograph category over the years. While there’s no formula for what constitutes a “racing chronograph,” TAG Heuer certainly continues to redefine that by merging the past with the present.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16

The Carrera was introduced in 1963 and quickly became a seminal racer’s watch. This 41mm version sports a ceramic black polished tachymeter fixed bezel and a high-contrast dial loaded with red accents. Details like the three counters, a red lacquered central hand and beige SuperLumiNova all stand out. The black calfskin strap with a hint of red lining finishes off this modern adaptation of the Carrera quite nicely.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11

The world’s first square waterproof automatic chronograph, the Monaco quickly became an icon after Steve McQueen wore it in Le Mans (1971) as the racer Michael Delaney. The classic matte blue dial displays two silver counters and polished horizontal faceted indices with luminescent dots. The 39mm stainless steel case features a lefthand crown and angled chronograph buttons on the right side. Powered by the Calibre 11 automatic movement, it has a 40-hour power reserve and continues to be a distinct timepiece.

1972 Special Re-Edition Autavia

The Autavia was the first watch to have a rotating tachymeter bezel, helping calculate average speed easier and quicker. After a long hiatus, TAG Heuer revived it in 2017 and this 1972 Special Re-Edition 42mm version takes design cues from that classic. It features a black panda dial as well as a polished steel and aluminum bidirectional turn bezel. A sapphire caseback offers a view of the Calibre Heuer 02 automatic movement. Placed on a black calfskin strap, it evokes a vintage-inspired look.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16

This version of the Carrera features an all black dial, including the three counters, for a refined design. The 41mm case is made of a polished steel that complements the black dial. A sapphire caseback offers a view of the Calibre 16 automatic Swiss-made movement. To top off the contemporary sports watch, TAG Heuer has paired this version with a fine-brushed and polished bracelet.