Saturday, 25 January 2020

SPOTLIGHT ON: TAG Heuer Carrera Panamerica Quartz Special Edition


When I first clapped eyes on the CV1A10 Carrera, I was struck that it looked 'wrong' somehow... perhaps you have the same feeling? It took me a little while to figure it out, but then I noticed the 1/10 of a second counter at the 2:30 position... wait, what... is this quartz? - and if so, is this fake? Well, it is quartz, but no it isn't fake. This is a rare beast indeed, a genuine 'quartz' Carrera chronograph.

Now, let's be clear, the CV1A10 isn't the only 'quartz' Carrera, there was also a quartz (well, technically 'electro-mechanical') Calibre S a few years back, but that was a completely different proposition and immediately recognisable due to it's unique dial layout and functionality; this is a completely different animal, a quartz Carrera that on first glance could pass for a regular automatic. 

Ostensibly, I don't have a problem with the idea of a quartz Carrera. In fact I'm all for it, I was quite excited when the quartz Monaco came out a couple of years ago and I probably would have bought one were it not for the fact that it was too small (37mm) and too feminine looking for me; but I'm sure this 'battery-powered' Carrera isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea...

This one is labelled the 'Panamericana Special Edition' and it only really seems to be freely available in the United States (it appears on but not, nor the Swiss or Brazilian sites), where it is currently priced at $2900. Which means you can have a full size, proper looking Carrera on your wrist for about £2200 without even going grey market or pre-owned, and that's got to have a certain appeal.

From what I can gather, this model was launched in 2015, so I'm not sure if this is something that's into it's last days and are still selling off the balance of the stock, or if it's an ongoing model, I would suspect it's probably the former. I have seen another (rather nicer, if I'm 100% honest) Carrera Panamerican which has the Calibre 1887 movement and red rings on the subdials, but I can't find out if that's an older or a newer model (in fact I'm struggling to find out anything much about it at all - there's two images on Google Images which lead absolutely nowhere and that's about it). There was another Calibre 1887 Carrera Panamericana that had silver subdials that came out in 2013, so I suspect the one with the red subdials is probably later...

I like the price, but there's something about this to me that still doesn't look quite right, it almost looks like a fake that's very close but not quite there and I can't explain quite why that is. Maybe once you've seen that 1/10th of second subdial it niggles you every time you look at it? The dial looks particularly 'flat' as well, but I can only go off the pictures I have seen, maybe it looks better up close?

(EDIT: Another reason that's 'obvious now I think about it' is the dial layout; we're so used to seeing Calibre 16 Carreras with the 6-9-12 subdial pattern that this immediately throws you off.)

Still, if you're the sort of person whose lifestyle doesn't really lend itself to wearing an automatic, or if you just prefer the simplicity of a quartz movement but you crave the Carrera experience... at least there's something out there for you. Personally I'd probably plump for the Calibre S, mainly because it's more unusual looking but also because that movement is incredible and you'll never get tired of playing with it. Admittedly though, I suspect the price would be a good bit higher... and finding one 'new' might be a bit of a struggle.


  1. I have one and love it. Pictures do not do it justice. You have to wear one on your wrist to appreciate the quality....bdev

    1. Hi Bdev
      It was your post on C11 last year that alerted me to this watch, I started writing this post ages ago. I didn't know if you read my blog or not and I was a little concerned that you might think I was being unfair to the watch. As you say it may well look a lot better than the pictures suggest, watches often look better (or worse) than the photographs. In an ideal world I would be able to see every watch I post about, but unfortunately that's not the case.
      I think the other reason it looks somehow 'wrong' (which I forgot to mention in my post is that it has the 3,6,9 layout which is very unusual for a Carrera as they are usually Calibre 16 (6,9,12 layout).
      Glad you are happy with your watch anyway, your opinion is the only one that really matters and thanks for reading!