Tag Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Day Date (war201a.ba0723): Hands on review and unboxing.

Tag Heuer, among the die-hard watch snobs, are often rather unloved. Which is strange, considering they have nearing 160 years in the watch industry, originating as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG in 1860 That’s 8 years longer than IWC, 24 years older than Breitling and 55 years older than Rolex! The company Heuer later being bought out by Tag to become Tag Heuer in 1985. Ever since the company has developed a reputation for producing luxury swiss watches at attainable prices. With a product range accounting for almost every possible need. So… Why all the hate? We don’t get it either. Here at The Watch Source, we’re all big fans of Tag Heuer and today on review we have one of the most recognisable pieces of their range. The Tag Heuer Calibre 5 Day-Date.

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BEZEL & CASE:

The Tag Heuer Carrera has one of the most eye-catching cases I’ve ever seen. The completely high polished case reflects light exceptionally by itself. However, the case of the Carrera is rife with intricate angles meanings the case reflects light unlike any other. With according to my count 17 different angles from which the stainless steel case will reflect light. It is difficult to exemplify the effectiveness of the case design under our lights but in broad daylight not only are the case reflections from the delicate design highly captivating but also lead to a remarkable example of considerate case design! The split, flat lugs give the watch a unique look and the slab-sided bezel further adds to the case, especially where the lugs begin to overlap the base of the bezel likely due to the multi-piece construction of the case.

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DIAL & HANDS:

The dial at first glance doesn’t appear overtly unique. However, when properly lit, the dial reveals its radial turned grooves covering the entirety of the main dial the dial takes up the vast majority of the front of the watch with the bezel work on the case being rather minimal. The dial rehort stands very tall and appears to reach all the way to the crystal increasing the 3D nature of the dial and allowing for a clear minute track without over cluttering the dial. The 3D effect of the dial is further maximised with the raised steel branding and 3D steel hour markers. Similarly, the day-date window is framed by a 3D steel border. Tag Heuer continues to play with light on the dial too. With the face section of the hour markers and the interior section of the steel date border bearing a straight brushed finish, while the hour markers have finely bevelled and polished edges, and the majority of the date window’s steel border is polished. All perfectly paired with the polished steel hands, housing a lumed section for timekeeping in the dark. What’s left on the dial is printed in white matching the print of the dial rehort and the print of the day-date text.

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STRAP:

Tag Heuer’s ingenious use of finishes and angling to make the watch catch as much light as possible continues on the steel bracelet of this watch. the bracelet is mixed with standard straight brushed links, but in the middle of each link is a polished bar, with three distinct straight edges, and the centrelink ends that are usually rounded on the Carrera are straight, and pivot down by two 45° degree angles instead of a rounded curve. When coupled with the polished side links the bracelet adds a whole new dimension to the eye-catching nature of this piece. As the bracelet spans around the wrist, there will likely always be a section of bracelet or the head of the watch that is catching the light in the day time and increasing the presence of the watch on the wrist despite its reasonable proportions. For this reason, we decided that this piece, being pre-owned and well used had lost the captivating effect of the light play on the case and bezel, needed to be re-finished and returned to its former glory. This piece beside a few scratches to the crystal is now in unworn condition and looks absolutely exceptional once again. 

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MOVEMENT:

The Tag Heuer Carrera uses the Tag Heuer Calibre 5 automatic movement. Vibrating at 28,000VPH with 26 jewels to reduce friction and a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. The movement is relatively well finished, with an angled straight grain brushed rotor with geneva striping and Tag Heuer branding to top it off. Beyond that, perlage main plates and polished screws can also be seen through the exhibition case back.

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BOX:

The box of this Tag Heuer is not a particular talking point, it is small and houses the watch and a leather cushion only. But, believe it or not this is a good thing! Instead of paying for a grand polished wood box or an immaculately made leather box. Instead, almost every penny of your money goes towards the watch you are purchasing. You decide what is more important!

VERDICT:

The Tag heuer Carrera has been around now for almot 57 years, and has become a staple of the Tag Heuer range due to its long lived popularity. As we have talked over today even the more basic modern iterations are still a significant talking point and there is a lot more at play with this watch than meets the eye. Even for those that are less interested on ‘how the watch plays with light’ this watch still has a lot to offer. The Calibre 5 movement is a reliable mechanism that has been in service with Tag Heuer for quite some time. And for good reason too. All coupled with the intircate creation of depth beneath the crystal combines for an extreemly well considered and constructed watch! If you would like to purchase this watch in immaculate condition pre-owned the watch can be viewed here. Alternatively, if you would like to see the full range of brand new Tag Heuer Carrera watches avaliable below retail from our main website, you’ll want to click here.

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