Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Pinnacle of Engineering: TAG Heuer and Porsche

TAG Heuer unveils the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 as a fitting and enduring tribute to the famed Porsche 963.

Jun 16, 2024 | By Asaph Low

TAG Heuer races ahead with its most recent Porsche partnership chapter by unveiling the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963. The watch is a reminder that the Carrera has many faces because it is in a totally different form to the Glassbox models of late. Indeed, with its industrial semi-openworked dial, it looks the part of a throwback to TAG Heuer’s JCB (Jean-Claude Biver) era. With the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963, the two paragons of engineering excellence in their respective fields of timekeeping and motoring meld for a synergistic take on the historically important Porsche 963 in time for the 92nd 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Of the various motorsports competitions, few share the significance and prestige of the Le Mans race, and Porsche’s dominance in the famed endurance race is unprecedented, with a record 19 wins for the marque maker.

Given the rich history and parallels both TAG Heuer and Porsche have shared over the decades, the partnership continues to blossom, taking checkered flag after checkered flag. Instead of taking obvious design cues from the famed Porsche 963, the collaborative piece celebrates TAG Heuer and Porsche’s excellence, history and prowess.

“In celebration of Porsche’s racing successes, we are extremely proud to have worked on such a timepiece with our partner. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 is an exceptional horological piece that represents all the values we stand for design excellence, endurance, and the surpassing of one’s limits. We particularly look forward to Porsche’s performance this year and wish all the best to the Porsche team on the racetracks” said Julien Tornare, CEO of TAG Heuer.

Aesthetically, the aforementioned TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 dial draws inspiration from the Porche’s chassis with tubular shapes. A skeletonised interpretation with a blackened effect gives a sense of lightness akin to the car’s lightweight yet high-performance components. Just as there are heritage nods for TAG Heuer faithful, there are Easter eggs aplenty for Porche fans to spot, with the Porsche 911’s hollow X-shaped LED light design making an appearance in the sub-dials through four SuperLumiNova blocks. Given TAG Heuer Carrera’s penchant for legibility, SuperLumiNova is applied to the watch hands, hour indices and date windows.

At 44mm, the steel chronograph is built for big wrists, which matches its not inconsiderable 15.1mm height. Unlike the more recent “Glassbox” iterations, the Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 also has more robust lugs, which in this instance might put one more in mind of the Porsche 963. Lug-to-lug, this Carrera clocks in at 49.7, which is quite a bit more prominent than the 46mm of other variants in the Carrera collection. In any case, the ‘ready-to-race’ direction of the design is self-evident.

Performance continues to be one of the main themes of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 with a forged carbon bezel and stainless steel case tapping into the technical savoir faire of both TAG Heuer and Porsche. Exemplifying the pinnacle of industrial craftsmanship, the in-house TH20-00 movement features a personalized red column wheel, showcasing the technical advantages of the vertical clutch chronograph movement. The vertical coupling of the chronograph mechanism, akin to the systems in cars connecting the engine’s flywheel with the transmission, ensures smooth and “jump-free” actuation of the stopwatch function. A pair of rubber straps inspired by the NACA-style low-drag air inlets acts as the final touches to the high-octane 963 piece limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963. TAG Heuer backs the Carrera Chronograph x Porsche 963 with a five-year warranty, which goes a long way when one considers the S$13,000 (CHF9,000) price tag.

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