Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Calibre 11
It’s not all that often that TAG Heuer launches a new 3-hand or “non-Chronograph” Carrera series. In fact, since the arrival of the first 39mm Calibre 5 Carrera in 2003/4 (the “WV” series), the Carrera watch has remained fairly constant, with a refreshed collection (“WAR”) arriving in 2014 and now in 2021 the new WBN Carrera Three Hands series. The reason that these Carreras have such longevity is down to their timeless design- no outlandish dials, stripes or modular lugs to be found here.
The changes to the new collection bring the three hand Carreras into line with the upgraded design of the 2020 Carrera Sport and Carrera Elegant series and offers three distinct men’s models- a 39mm Calibre 5 date, a 41mm Calibre 5 Day-Date and a 41mm Twin-Time Calibre 7 (which technically speaking has a fourth hand if you want to be pedantic). There is also a 29mm Lady’s offering featuring the Calibre 9 automatic movement.
We’ve managed to get our hands on four newcomers from the updated range- two 39mm Carrera Date watches and two 41mm Day-Date models- to step through all the changes and upgrades.
The building blocks of the Carrera 3-hand design haven’t changed since 2003/4- a 39mm steel case with the classic Carrera horns, an external steel bezel and an internal chapter ring with a minuterie scale. Even the movement has been a constant- a Calibre 5 automatic movement sitting behind a sapphire caseback.
But, as always, it’s the details that make all the difference, as demonstrated with the slider image above which shows the 2014 Carrera WAR201E and the new WBN2012. Both the similarities and the differences are apparent.
Let’s start by looking at the dimensions of the new collection relative to the outgoing series.
|2014 “WAR”||2021 “WBN”|
|Case diameter||41mm/ 39mm||41mm/ 39mm|
|Case thickness||13.09mm/ 12.28mm||12.22mm/ 11.50mm|
|Lug width||20mm/ 19mm||21.5mm/ 20.5mm|
What the tape measure doesn’t show is the re-profiled lugs that, just as with the revised 2020 Carrera Chronographs, are shorter than before, with the curve of the horns flowing visually around the side of the case. It’s a harmonious design, with all of the Carrera family now sharing the same look.
After a period where seemingly each successive TAG Heuer release was larger and thicker than the model it replaced, collectors will be cheering the work done to make the case slimmer and maintaining case size with an unchanged 39mm option.
The case itself features a combination of polished and brushed surfaces, and overall offers a classic look that is very much a Carrera, thanks to its high legibility.
There are three dial colours on offer across the new range- sunburst silver, sunburst blue and black with a radial pattern- out goes the anthracite dial and the radial-pattern white dial options from the previous collection. While there is nothing wrong with the dial colours (the blue in particular is amazing), it does feel like a missed opportunity to highlight the new collection with a broader palette of options- maybe a sunray Green or some of the bold Pink/ Turquoise hues offered on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual series.
Many of the upgrades to the dial reflect those changes first seen on the 2020 Carrera Sport and Carrera Elegant Chronographs, with new serif-font “Carrera” and rectangular hour-markers helping bring the 3-hand collection in line with the rest of the Carrera family.
The Day-Date and Date windows have been re-profiled and slimmed, with the Date only window at 6 o’clock and the Day-Date window at 3 o’clock.
Consistent with the new Aquaracer range and other recent TAG Heuer releases, the movement name (Calibre 5 or Calibre 7) is no longer featured on the dial, replaced simply by the text “Automatic”. The change makes sense to us, as anything that removes superfluous text from the dial is a win.
The design of the hands has been changed, the new design again being the same as the upgraded 2020 Carrera Chronographs, with a slim black in-fill on the base of the dial and on the tip of the hour and minute hands.
The latest Carrera gains the same H-Link bracelet design as the Carrera Elegant series in two sizes- Ref. BA0639 (39mm) and BA0640 (41mm). At this stage there is a single strap option (FC6484), a brown alligator strap on a folding clasp.
The caseback on all models features a sapphire caseback, behind which sits the Sellita SW200 (Date) and SW220 (Day-Date) Calibre 5 movements, or the Sellita SW330-1 Calibre 7 in the Twin-Time Carrera.
Carrera Day-Date 41mm Calibre 5
The larger 41mm with the Day-Date feature is also available dial options- black with steel finishing (WBN2010), sunray blue (WBN2012) and the two colours you see here- sunray silver and black with rose gold details.
Carrera Silver Dial- WBN2011
Officially, the watch you see above is the only one in the new men’s range that can be bought with a leather strap, but we hope that this expands over the coming months, as the silver dial would also look great on a black or blue Alligator strap.
On the Wrist
The beauty of these watches is that their classic design means that it looks equally good with a Tuxedo or with a “Canadian Tuxedo”, as modelled above.
Carrera Black Dial- WBN2013
There are two variants of the black dial Carrera- one with steel hands/ hour-markers and this model, with Rose Gold features. The combination of the radial pattern and the Rose Gold details gives this watch a very different feel to the silver dial. TAG Heuer resisted adding Gold finishing on the crown/ bezel/ links, which feels like the right approach to us, as it gives flash of Gold, but still looks modern and fresh.
On the Wrist
Carrera Date 39mm Calibre 5
There are four dial options for the 39mm diameter watches- black with steel finishing (WBN2110), black with rose gold details (WBN2113) and the two colours you see here- sunray blue and sunray silver. All four colours are sold with the stainless steel bracelet.
Carrera Blue Dial- WBN2112
Regular readers will have already guessed that this was our favourite of the new range, thanks to the combination of that beautiful deep blue dial with minimal text and its perfect 39mm size. With most watches we review there are small details that we’d change- but not here. It’s a perfect Carrera 3-hand watch.
On the Wrist
Carrera Silver Dial- WBN2111
The Silver dial option is perhaps the most versatile, as it’s hard to think of when it would ever look out of place. Heuer didn’t offer a 3-hand Carrera in the 1960s, but if they did, it would have looked like this.
Carrera Twin-Time 41mm Calibre 7- WBN201A
The one variant that we did not get a chance to review in person is the 41mm Twin-Time Carrera, which is offered with a single dial- the beautiful sunburst blue. The minuterie bezel is replaced by a blue/ silver inner bezel, with the silver segment for the day and blue segment for the night.
Again, design simplicity comes to the fore with the simple GMT hand, with the bright red tip contrasting nicely with the blue dial.
Price and Availability
The 2021 TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands collection is on sale now at all TAG Heuer authorised dealers and at www.tagheuer.com. Prices in key markets are as follows
39mm Date Steel (Steel & Rose Gold)
- Switzerland- CHF 2,650 (CHF 2,850)
- Europe- €2,550 (€2,750)
- Great Britain- £2,250 (£2,400)
- North America- US$2,700 (US$2,900)
- Hong Kong- HKD21,800 (HKD 23,450)
41mm Day-Date Steel (Steel & Rose Gold)
- Switzerland- CHF 2,850 (CHF 3,050)
- Europe- €2,750 (€2,950)
- Great Britain- £2,400 (£2,600)
- North America- US$2,900 (US$3,100)
- Hong Kong- HKD23,450 (HKD25,100)
41mm Steel Twin-Time GMT
- Switzerland- CHF 3,100
- Europe- €3,000
- Great Britain- £2,650
- North America- US$3,200
- Hong Kong- HKD25,550
Depending on your market, prices are either the same or marginally more than the out-going models.
Overall, we love the new Carrera Three Hands range, perhaps not surprising given the similarities with the 42mm Carrera Elegant series, which is also a favourite. Perfect size (especially the 39mm watches), classic dials and a minimalist design with all the right Carrera heritage design touches. These watches are the final piece in the complete re-design of the Carrera series over the last two years, designs that move the Carrera back to its roots and away from the skeleton/ modular approach that dominated in the mid-2010s.
TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands- Specifications
|Model Name||TAG Heuer Carrera Date/ Day-Date/ Twin-Time|
|Year of Launch||2021|
|Production Type||Regular production|
|Watch Reference Number||– WBN2010/ 2011/ 2012/ 2013
– WBN2110/ 2111/ 2112/ 2113
|Strap Reference Code||– Bracelet BA0639/ BA6040
– Leather strap FC6484
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Case Diameter||39 and 41 mm|
|Movement||Calibre 5 and Calibre 7 Twin-Time|
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