We eventually come to the moves in both of these TAG Heuer watches which are technically different but very similar. The least expensive TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph watches created today contain the Calibre 16 movement, which is fundamentally a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph. Nothing wrong with this movement, but fans tend to like in-house-made moves if they can pick, and thankfully, TAG Heuer produces some of the best selling and most affordable in-house movements around.Movements are so important to watches that the titles of these two TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph versions are differentiated by the moves contained inside them. Ironically enough, the movements are only different cosmetically, each featuring the same structure, functionality, and of course performance. So, regardless of whether you opt for a Carrera Calibre 1887 or a Carrera Calibre Heuer 01, then you’re getting a very good mechanical movement.As that I said, the movements are produced in house by TAG Heuer, and supply the time, date, along with 12-hour chronograph. Around the bezel is a tachymeter scale which measures rate and can be employed in combination with the chronograph. The movements operate at 4Hz (28,800bph) and have a maximum power reserve when fully wound of 50 hours. In accordance with TAG Heuer, the movements have a power reserve of 40 hours in the event the chronograph is left always running (as some folks like to do). The Calibre 1887/Heuer 01 have column-wheel-operated chronographs which have vertical clutch transmission methods. This allows for a more exact performance of the chronograph when stopping and starting – and – generally just feels better to the touch.
Now managed by Portuguese great Jose Mourinho, Manchester United appointed TAG Heuer official timekeeper last year, rekindling the relationship between the chief executive Jean-Claude Biver and the club. In his other job as chairman of Hublot, Biver dropped the brand’s sponsorship of the Old Trafford club in 2013 after the retirement of legendary coach Alex Ferguson.
The result of the partnership is a pair of chronographs in black and red – each priced affordably for what they are – bearing the Premier League club’s logo on their dials and backs – predictably the first of many such watches.
The flagship model is the Carrera Heuer-01 Calibre Manufacture Chronograph Manchester United Special Edition, a limited edition based on TAG Heuer’s bestselling mechanical chronograph. It has a 45mm steel case with a matte black coating, as well as a black ceramic bezel. Inside is the self-winding Calibre Heuer 01.
Significantly more affordable is the Formula 1 Chronograph Manchester United Special Edition, a variant of the brand’s entry-level sports watch. It’s steel, 43mm and powered by a basic Ronda quartz movement.
Notably the Formula 1 model is not a limited edition, a prudent move since Manchester United is one of the world’s most popular football clubs, which means it has legions of members who have a sensible budget when it comes to watches. Notably, the earlier Hublot Manchester United limited edition watches (like this 2011 version) cost more than 10 times the Formula 1.
Price and availability
The Carrera Heuer-01 Manchester United Special Edition (ref. CAR2A1J.FC6416 or CAR2A1J.FC6400) is limited to 1000 pieces, priced at SFr5900.
And the Formula 1 Chronograph Manchester United Special Edition (ref. CAZ101J.FT8027) costs SFr1550.
Both are available from TAG Heuer stores and boutiques starting March 2017.