Tuesday, 8 November 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON: Aquaracer Calibre S Hybrid Chronograph Fernando Alonso Limited Edition


This is another one of those TAG Heuer's that's a little bit hard to find information about. I do know that it was limited to 3500 pieces and that it contains the rather unusual Calibre S movement. If you'd like to know more about this movement then click HERE, basically from what I've read it seems that this is a quartz watch with a mechanical chronograph (although I'm not sure it's as simple as that because how would a mechanical movement work with those partial subdials?). 

HERE's some more info from Calibre 11 website about the Calibre S (in the Carrera). 

Very unusually, this watch uses the hour, minute and second hands as the chronograph with the left hand subdial providing the reading for tenths of a second and the right hand subdial counting 100ths of a second! Apparently when you press the crown in normal mode it resets the watch into chrono mode so all the hands move around to the 12 O'Clock position ready for timing. Once you are finished with the chrono the hands will return to their 'standard time' position.

I quite like this idea, as the owner of an F1 Kirium, one of my favourite things about that watch is how when you wake it up from sleep mode the hands spin around and resume the time. This function (sleep) saves the battery and I believe I'm on only my third battery in thirteen years now (mind you I don't think I was doing it properly the first seven years anyway!). So that appeals to me, and I'm sure would provide endless entertainment...

This particular watch is quite a smart looking model, the strap looks great although I'm not sure what kind of clasp it is fitted with. The combination of dark grey, silver and red ties in perfectly with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 theme and the Fernando Alonso branding is kept quite discreet, which is good. 

TAG have given this a white logo, which tends to signify a mechanical movement (quartz watches tend to have the red/green logo - although my F1 Kirium also has a white logo) or perhaps that they view this is a mechanical movement which just happens to have a battery power supply... I'm not sure but I kind of like that it's a quirky model and neither truly one thing or the other.

This model is discontinued (and there's very little info on the net) but I'm assuming it came out in 2015 since that was the first year that Alonso drove for McLaren. Watch Finder has the list price as £1660, although they don't have an example for sale, and indeed one of the few I can find for sale is being offered at a lofty $3000! 

I guess for the money you are getting a limited edition F1 WDC related watch with 300M of water resistance and a pretty unusual movement, so for £1660 that is quite appealing, but I think $3000 is stretching it just a tad. It's a fine looking watch but that is decent Carrera money at the end of the day.

EDIT: Thinking about this further, as it says McLaren Mercedes on the bezel, this watch must have been released in 2007 when Alonso was at the team the first time (with rookie Lewis Hamilton). Alonso's second stint at McLaren began in 2015 but by then the team was partnered with Honda.

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