TAG Heuer has been quite productive this year, creating more than one cool limited-edition chronographs. In addition to the two Carrera made for the brand’s 160th anniversary – Silver Edition and Carrera Montreal – the brand also renewed its partnership with designer Hiroshi Fujiwara and his streetwear brand Fragment Design. Following a minimalistic Carrera model in 2018, this year we have a new watch that not only looks brilliant but could also well be a teaser for new permanent motorsport-inspired models. Let’s have a closer look at the TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Chronograph.
TAG Heuer x Fragment Design
Hiroshi Fujiwara is an internationally renowned Japanese streetwear designer, influencer, musician and founder of Fragment Design. He’s also a watch lover and has been working with TAG Heuer since 2018, to create special edition watches infused with its unique sense of design, mixing boldness and minimalism.
The first watch resulting from this collaboration was based on a Carrera, fitted with a minimalistic black dial and discreet connection with the brand Fragment. Not only the watch was stunning in terms of design, but it was also the base for the Silver and Montreal editions to come next. And for 2020, both brands are teaming up again and bring an unprecedented watch, which isn’t based on something existing yet in the permanent collection.
A new TAG Heuer chronograph
Certainly, this new 44mm Automatic Chronograph will feel familiar to Heuer and TAG fans. Arguably, its shape and design are somehow close to both vintage watches or existing models. Yes, the mechanics inside the case aren’t new and have been used in multiple TAGs already. And yes, there’s an undeniable motorsport inspiration in this watch, and that’s not a surprise for a TAG Heuer. However… the combination of all these elements is not something we’ve seen before. This second TAG Heuer x Fragment Design watch is new and not just a different colour on an existing watch. That’s already quite interesting.
The base for this new TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Chronograph is named the “C-case”, a large and robust tonneau-shaped block of steel that easily refers to 1970s Autavia watches – specifically, the third generation ref. 1163. Indeed, we find here the typical pilot’s case with integrated lugs and highly raised bezel on top of the watch. Almost entirely brushed, the case, as some would have remarked, is also in line with the current Formula 1 watches, yet larger and built with more details (polished bevel on the side) but also more robustness… Maybe you can figure out what’ll be coming in the next month at TAG… This watch could easily become the top-tier extension of the F1 range.
The references to the Autavia or the Formula 1 don’t end there. The bezel’s insert, made of polished ceramic, includes a tachymeter scale with the same graduation (70-66-63) and deep notches as glorious 1970s racing models. The right side of the case features the crown, well-protected with guards, and recessed pushers for the chronograph. The screw-down crown and caseback allow for a comfortable 100m water-resistance.
Fujiwara’s touch is particularly visible on the dial of this TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Chronograph, which has been treated in a very minimalistic way – which mostly comes down to the absence of applied hour markers, creating strong negative space on the dial. This bi-compax chronograph plays on monochromatic tone – black and white – only with red accents on the markers and hands. A discreet “Fragment” inscription is found between 4 and 5 o’clock, as well as the two brands’ logos at 12 o’clock.
There’s something really special to this dial, and even though simplistic and flat, it has a great personality. Legibility is also perfect in daylight, while slightly compromised during the night – only the hands feature SLN. The watch is delivered on a new 5-link steel bracelet, with polished and brushed surfaces. As a personal note, I could easily see this watch worn on a 1970s-inspired perforated black leather strap, just to reinforce its classic appeal – and to make it more comfortable too, as the case is quite large and heavy.
Finally, while many of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches are powered by quartz chronograph movements, this new Fragment Design Chronograph relies on the brand’s in-house movement, the Calibre Heuer 02 – an integrated automatic chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch. The movement is partially visible under a red-tinted sapphire crystal with Fragment’s logo transferred on its surface.
So yes, TAG and Hiroshi Fujiwara have created another very cool limited edition watch. No doubt about it. What’s even more interesting is that it somehow announces what will be the upcoming top-of-the-range Formula 1 Heuer 02 watch. When and how, we don’t know yet, but it will surely come.
Price and availability
The TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic Chronograph is a limited edition of 500 pieces and it is priced at CHF 6,000. The watch can now be ordered from TAG Heuer e-commerce website here and deliveries will start as of August 7th, 2020.
More details at tagheuer.com.