Wednesday, 22 February 2017

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: 43mm Carrera Heuer 01 Skeleton

Today TAG have announced three new skeleton watches, this time in a smaller '43mm' case dia, and with the choice of either black, blue or brown dials. The black model is available with either a bracelet or a rubber strap, but I'm not sure if the other two have any strap options, in the picture above they are shown on colour co-ordinated aligator straps.

As an owner of the original 45mm skeleton I admit I was slightly non-plussed for a second... but, on closer inspection I have to say I think I'm happy with my choice. Yes, perhaps a slightly smaller case would be a good thing, but I've noticed that the 43mm doesn't have the full black case and it also doesn't have the red ring around the case which is one of the coolest design elements of the original and I'm sure side by side I would still have chosen the 45mm.

Interestingly, I wonder are they going to continue making both models...? If the 43mm sells in significantly greater numbers, which I think it will if only because I think stores will be more inclined to stock the newer, smaller and cheaper model, then what does that mean for the original? The 45mm isn't even a year old yet, could TAG Heuer's first 'in house' movement watch be headed for the retirement home already? After all, 45 and 43mm aren't hugely different, so it seems an odd choice to have both in the range indefinitely... 

Not entirely sure what I think of the brown and blue models to be honest. The brown looks less 'different' and seems to match well to the brown strap. But brown watches are probably not everybody's thing...

The blue is definitely much more of a new look and I think would probably look quite attractive on a steel bracelet. I'm sure a steel bracelet will be along fairly soon as it seems a bit of a no-brainer*, but I hope they don't slap the blue rubber strap on this - unless they match the blue very carefully (which TAG don't seem very good at). I doubt if the brown version would be as versatile and will probably sell in limited numbers compared to the other models.

One other thing to note (and thanks to David at Calibre 11 for pointing this out to me) is that the new 43mm version is steel rather than titanium, which means it will be heavier than the 45mm.

*Turns out I was right, these three watches are all available with the steel bracelet!



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