The controversial “in-house” chronograph from TAG Heuer.

 

De Fifth Wrist.

Esta entrada se publicó originalmente en Fifth Wrist el .

https://fifthwrist.com/tag-heuer-carrera-1887-chronograph-car2111-2-v2-review/

 

To me, this is a special watch. I remember the first time I saw it in a magazine, I had to have it and it took quite a while before the watch was actually available for sale. I remember waiting ages for it to finally come out and it was my first “real” mechanical watch and was given to me by my father. History: The watch was launched to celebrate 150 years of TAG Heuer, they had developed their first “in-house” chronograph. At the time, I had no idea how controversial this movement was. Heck, at the time, I didn’t even know what “in-house” meant. All I knew it was a TAG, it was automatic, you could see the movement and you could time things. To me, that was all that was important.

Turns out, TAG purchased the rights for this movement in 1997 from Seiko, they changed a few things, had 22 suppliers deliver parts and called it their “in-house” movement. It wasn’t until many years later when I was doing some research that I found out this movement really needed some large quotation marks around the “”””IN-HOUSE”””” statement. I sat back and thought about it, well I love controversy, so this watch fitted in well for me. Specs: 41mm x 15.4mm so it will wear pretty nice on most wrists although it is a bit on the thick side. Automatic column wheel chronograph with 40-50hr power reserve depending on if you are using the chronograph function or not, 30 min counter at 12 o’clock, 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock , sub seconds at 9 o’clock and a discrete date at 6 o’clock. The pusher action is very nice to use, a real tactile pleasure and makes a “tink” sound each time you activate. The crown is very smooth winding but it could be a bit bigger and it sometimes hard to wind with your fingers aren’t completely dry.

Originally, I bought the watch on the leather strap, it lasted about 2 grueling Australian summers before the smell was unbearable and I needed to buy the bracelet because the replacement TAG OEM leather strap was an eye watering $945 AUD. I tried for ages to buy the strap in Australia but unfortunately TAG made this very difficult and impossible so I was lucky enough to come by a bracelet in a TAG boutique in the USA. I can’t forget the sexy Carrera lugs, they are just too cool for school. The watch gets noticed, to most non watch people, they know what a TAG is and they certainly comment on it. These days it doesn’t get much wrist time but it will always be special and just by doing this review I am excited to wear it again a bit more often.

Why I love it: For me, it was the gateway to a humongous rabbit hole that I am really glad I went down. If not for this watch I could have been stealing cars or finding something more productive to do with my spare time. Collecting watches is a journey, like some things, if you had your time again or in hindsight, you might do things differently. In the case of this watch that is probably true, but as I am getting older and more into the hobby, you realise that most people that go deep into this hobby didn’t start with an AP or Rolex, it was TAG, Tudor or the like that really cemented the fact that a journey was to follow. I did try to sell this watch once when I was raising funds for a new piece and I am glad the dealers offers were so low that I opted to keep saving and spare the watch. Being a gift, I shouldn’t have ever thought about it but we all make mistakes and I’m glad I didn’t sell it. Love TAG or hate TAG, I owe a lot to them, I would never have met so many people or tried on and researched so many watches if it wasn’t for this 1887 Chronograph.

The Review

PROS

  • Blue column wheel takes centre stage
  • Historical Carrera lugs and profile we have come to love. Elegant but sporty
  • Pump pushers work like a dream and sound great

CONS

  • Lume is “meh”
  • Chronograph sub dials are hard to read
  • Its pretty thick at 15.4mm

Review Breakdown

  • Quality 0%
  • Style 0%
  • Value 0%
  • Wearability 0%

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