In-depth Review of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Watch

TAG Heuer are making 2022 their year, there’s no doubt about that. During the Watches & Wonders event alone, we were left shocked at the mass of innovations introduced in their portfolio, from the 1,000m water resistant Super Diver to their first-ever solar powered movement. And yet no release saw our jaws drop as close to the ground as the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, a cutting-edge design implementing lab-grown diamonds and a rare Tourbillon Nanograph movement.

TAG Heuer are no strangers to pushing the conventions of luxury watchmaking. Their history began with Edouard Heuer’s crown-operated keyless winding system eventually leading to innovative dashboard timers and stopwatches, in-house chronograph movements, the world’s first Swiss-made luxury smartwatch and more recently the solar-powered Carrera Solargraph. Now their mission for industry disruption covers materials, in particular, lab-grown diamonds decorating their most iconic design of all, the Carrera. The Diamant d’Avant-Garde lab-grown diamonds are set within the case and on the indexes of the polycrystalline diamond dial which together showcase an unbounded creativity and interesting play of light.

Innovation and redefining frontiers is in our DNA. With the introduction of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, we want to expand the possible palette and designs for diamond watches and diamonds in general, and create a new and breathtaking vision of mastering carbon and diamond design as well as cutting-edge light effects”, said Frédéric Arnault – CEO of TAG Heuer

The Case

To begin our in-depth review of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma watch, we will first take a look at the case. The majority of its architecture is made of sandblasted anodized black aluminium which in itself benefits from lightness, strength and scratch resistance. To match, a black ceramic fixed bezel adorns the top detailed with a traditional Carrera tachymeter and satin-polished finishing. Most importantly, the aluminium case is set with a selection of 48 lab-grown diamonds perfectly executed in a random pattern around the edge totalling 4.2 carats. On top of that, the screw in crown is a single diamond which has been pioneered especially by Capsoul, a forerunner in diamond design, which totals 2.5 carats. On either side, the two pushers are finished in black DLC coating. The case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma watch measures to 44mm in diameter.

The Dial

Housed beneath domed sapphire crystal glass, the dial of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma watch presents even more instances of diamond manufacture. The centrepiece is decorated in polycrystalline diamonds which ultimately sees a sum of gemstones grow as one. It’s a rich type of CVD growth and the effect is mesmerising. Together, the mass of diamonds create an unmissable sparkle, reflecting the light at all angles. The chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock contrast with a black polycrystalline diamond plate and are equipped with polished rhodium-plated hands for further light interaction.

Despite its opulent aesthetic, the dial of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma watch still maintains the sporty and masculine personality of the Carrera collection. The stick indexes remain strong and easily legible but are now crafted from white gold and set with diamonds. A double diamond index marks the 12 o’clock spot for instant identification while the rhodium plated hour and minute hands are finished in black lacquer and topped with white Superluminova. The Carrera logo still finds it home up top printed in black contrasting nicely against the polycrystalline diamond backdrop.

“Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technology, which we refer to as ‘Diamant d’Avant-Garde’ at TAG Heuer, enables us to explore the versatility of carbon in the form of lab-grown diamonds – to create a stunning timepiece where diamonds are used in very unique shapes and textures. Lab-grown diamonds allow us to innovate and experiment with this exceptional material, and this opens up a new realm of possibilities for designers, watchmakers and engineers”, said Edouard Mignon, Chief Innovation Officer, TAG Heuer & LVMH Watches & Jewelry Division.

The Movement

As if the diamond-decorated exterior of the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma watch wasn’t enough, the Swiss watch manufacturer have only gone and equipped it with one of their best movements. The TAG Heuer HEUER02 Tourbillon Nanograph movement is not only COSC-certified but features the brand’s groundbreaking in-house carbon composite hairspring. The technology was developed by the TAG Heuer Institute and brought to life by the same CVD method as the lab-grown diamonds. It ensures fantastic levels of anti-magnetism, shock resistance, temperature resistance and a refined geometry allowing for its chronometric performance.

Although seen before in previous Carrera references, the TAG Heuer Calibre HEUER02 within the new Carrera Plasma watch has been re-designed especially for the special edition. It features extensive hand-finishing and an oscillating weight in the shape of the TAG Heuer shied. We’re also treated to a power reserve of 65 hours, 33 jewels and a frequency of 28,800vph. The coveted flying tourbillon and its three pointed arms is also presented centre stage on the dial giving the chronograph an even tri-compax layout.

The Strap

The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma is completed by an elegant black calfskin leather strap detailed with matching black stitching. To secure it to the wrist a black titanium grade 2 ADLC-treated black sandblasted ardillon clasp is added.

At TAG Heuer, we are driven by innovation. By using lab-grown diamonds in such an avant-guard manner; we want to make things in a different, new and exciting way. This is an innovation that has long been planned and introduces just our opening chapter for a long (hi)story to be created. It is also a truly defining moment for us and the Swiss luxury watchmaking sector. We feel that luxury watches should always be exciting and surprising and in tune with the times, and this new watch demonstrates exactly that.” – Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer

Price & Availability

The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma watch is described as a special edition which means that although there isn’t a set number of limited pieces available, the release won’t be around forever. The price is still to be confirmed so keep an eye out for more details on this closer to its release date in October 2022. If you’d like to be one of the first to get your hands on the TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma, get in touch with the team at Jura Watches today by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at help@jurawatches.co.uk.