The TAG Heuer Carrera "Glassbox" collection for 2023 may not be the most revolutionary or attention-grabbing release from the brand, but it holds immense significance. This innovative interpretation of the iconic Carrera design, featuring a bezel-less and futuristic style, has gained tremendous popularity among enthusiasts. TAG Heuer is now keen on expanding the line's success by introducing several new variations.
In the summer of 2023, they turn their focus to a timeless nautical classic from their archives, bringing a beautifully aquatic color scheme of deep blues, seafoam greens, and high-visibility orange to the new "Glassbox" platform. The introduction of the TAG Heuer Carrera Skipper adds a refined and summery aesthetic to the highly acclaimed "Glassbox" family while incorporating the revered Skipper nameplate into a standard production Carrera for the first time.
The stainless steel case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Skipper measures 39mm in width, maintaining the functional features of the "Glassbox" family. It provides a uniquely retrofuturistic wearing experience, albeit with a slightly larger feel. The distinctive inwardly beveled lugs, tall pump pushers, and brushed case sides are familiar elements, but the absence of a bezel, replaced by a high-dome sapphire crystal, gives it a Carrera design with a futuristic touch.
Although it retains the overall size of a 39mm Carrera, the crystal and the outwardly sloping seconds scale beneath it catch the light in a way that makes it more attention-seeking than the vintage-style Carreras offered under the heritage Heuer nameplate. While the Skipper design introduces nautical connotations, the new Carrera Skipper maintains the "Glassbox" Carrera's sapphire display caseback and a water resistance rating of 100 meters.
The true visual highlight of the TAG Heuer Carrera Skipper is its dial. The rich and faithfully vintage color palette immediately captures attention with its deep ocean blue main dial surface, complemented by pale seafoam green, Kelly green, and signal orange accents on the subdials and scales. Although the color combination may seem unconventional on paper, it is expertly balanced in person, creating an offbeat yet charismatic appearance.
Beyond the colors, the Carrera Skipper incorporates significant updates. For instance, it features a unique movement variant that adjusts the 3 o'clock chronograph minutes subdial to track 15 minutes instead of the standard 30 minutes found in other Carrera models.
While this modification may reduce functionality to some extent, it aligns the Carrera Skipper with the original Skipper models from the '60s and '70s. The branding of this new model also differs from its predecessor. The original '60s model simply displays "Skipper" at 12 o'clock without any Carrera nomenclature, whereas the new model retains the Carrera tagline at 12 o'clock for brand recognition, while placing the printed Skipper emblem on the 9 o'clock subdial.
This visual choice may be seen as unconventional by enthusiasts, with some appreciating the effort to maintain the Carrera name's visibility and others perceiving it as visually cluttered. One of the most notable changes in the Carrera Skipper's overall appearance is its signature double-sloped outer chapter ring. Without the need for a tachymeter scale like other "Glassbox" models, the Carrera Skipper moves its seconds scale to the outer edge of the ring. This design element, coupled with the bowl-like inner slope of the chapter ring, creates an open and airy look on the wrist, distinguishing the Carrera Skipper from its counterparts.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Skipper houses the in-house TH20-06 automatic movement, which is specifically modified for this model with a 15-minute chronograph minutes register. Apart from this minor adjustment, the TH20-06 movement shares the same architecture and performance as the brand's flagship TH20-00.
It offers an impressive 80-hour power reserve and operates at a beat rate of 28,800 bph. Visually, the TH20-06 features a clean and modern design with broad skeleton bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève finishing, all beneath a bold and robust shield-shaped skeleton rotor. To complete the timepiece, TAG Heuer pairs the Carrera Skipper with a sturdy deployant strap made of deep navy blue sailcloth.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Skipper combines a captivating color scheme, unique movement modifications, and a design that merges the past with the future. It marks an important step in bringing the Skipper nameplate into regular production while showcasing the adaptability of the "Glassbox" case concept across various styles. It has a MSRP of $6,750 USD.