For most people, TAG Heuer is a very appealing brand due to its famous ambassadors such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Cameron Diaz , Brad Pitt, Maria Sharapova, Uma Thurman and many others. Within the past few years these celebrities have been the face of the brand and have won the attention of both horological aficionados and, simply, people who are looking for a beautiful luxury accessory. Looking back at the innovations in the area of creating the finest chronographs, you realize that Tag Heuer is not just the result of advertising. It is an exceptional and revolutionary source of high precision timepieces with a powerful influence on the evolution of modern time keeping devices.
The TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Caliber 36 is an extraordinary watch. It has a large 43 mm case and it is in all ways a sports watch, functionally and aesthetically. If you haven’t tried wearing any similar design before, it will feel very heavy and big. It is a manly timepiece and definitely an instrument with complicated timing functions. All these being said, you can’t help but notice that everything about it is perfect; just as it is. After a few moments it doesn’t feel that heavy. Probably because, its complex features get your full attention and make you feel like a kid with a new toy.
As mentioned previously, the case measures 43 mm and it has a well protected screw down crown which carries the TAG Heuer shield armor logo. The dial is black color and it has very visible hour markers in polished steel, as well as marked seconds around the dial. The bezel is also made of polished steel with a discrete black marked tachymeter. The whole design is very complicated and perfectly put together. If you take a closer look at the dial you will see how the 9 o’clock dial is actually a cutout vertical strip that allows the black and red hands to be seen and move to indicate the current seconds. The 3 and 6 o’clock dials are variations of the common circular dial distorted by a silver plate with the words “Caliper Chronograph” stamped on it.
What I found to be a negative aspect of this design is the fact that the dial is not visible at night. It only has a thin strip of luminescent coating applied on the hours and on the minutes hands. These hands are hardly visible and just for a few minutes after a charge. Simply take this as a heads up so you know what to expect from it.
Just like all two button chronograph watches, the TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Caliber 36 can be started with a push on the top button. The start button has a solid click feel to it. When turned on, a second push to the top button stops the chronograph. The watch keeps pretty good time. It doesn’t need the use of a winding box during the night or any resetting in the morning. I am quite pleased with its accuracy.
The watch has a solid stainless steel case back, fitted with six screws which are spread out evenly, but two of them are intentionally placed exactly at the 9 and 3 o’clock position. The back also has the writing „Grand Carrera” on top followed by “Tag Heuer” in the middle and “Swiss made since 1860” on the bottom. Everything about the back case feels authentic and well designed. I am quite impressed with the craftsmanship of this model.
While the watch is heavy and large, it actually feels small and comfortable on my wrist. This is due to the well-made leather band closed by a deployment clasp that contains two small buttons making a noticeable click on open and on close. The small buckle is engraved with the TAG Heuer shield armor logo. It is considerably small but very visible thus allowing you to easily see where to detach the strap.
My favorite watch in the Grand Carrera range is definitely the TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 36. This is probably because while most of the Grand Carrera range focuses on elegance, the Calibre 36 found its way into the sporting category, with its leather strap and complex sub-dials. It is a premium timepiece with an indistinguishable design. A priceless asset for any watch collector.