The cost of luxury watches is and always has been steep and this is why the grey market took hold so well, but now things could be moving in a direction that favors the those of us with modest pockets without shopping at discount stores. Please welcome the TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ probably one of the most affordable certification tourbillon chronographs.
If you were a fan of the original design in 2016 you may be like this piece and the price too. The certification is carried out by the Besançon observatory, France, the certification icon being the Viper’s Head or Tête de Vipère where the TAG takes its name.
All this aside this is a good looking watch in blue ceramic bezel with tachymeter open dial design with chronograph and visible tourbillon, and a crystal case back window to boot. The dial is pretty busy but with the strong white hands and markers against blue, it really pops with all the usual rugged masculine design cues you expect from TAG with nice strong lugs supporting its equally strong strap.
The competition may be standing up and taking notice of each other’s offerings in the entry-level space, this year Longines released an annual calendar for under $3,000, in 2016 TAG gave us Carrera Heuer 02T tourbillon chronograph for a ‘relatively’ low price of $15,950.
The usual arguments still stand. What about brand value and what about build quality when it comes economies of scale? It’s always good to take these things into account but it’s also important to realize the market for $3000 watches and $15,000 watches are worlds apart so the details kind of matter here….
This may be the may best or most affordable certification tourbillon chronograph but it’s not going to affect the entry level market where the sub $5000 watches live. It does, however, beg the question about quality and for this, I’d like to draw an analogy.
If one day you had the choice of airline, one cheap and one expensive. You might decide although you don’t have too much money to throw away the best option is the more expensive flight because there’s more leg room, fewer delays, better cabin crew, and you get an in-flight meal made from something other than cardboard.
Then, what if the next time you want to take a flight you find the expensive airline has been bought by another cheap flights airline. Suddenly, you don’t even have the choice to pay more for better quality, now the only option is cattle class.
What if the lower cost, affordable certification tourbillon chronographs lower the quality of manufacture across the board meaning you have no option of buyer top quality? It’s worth thinking about, right?
This will be limited to 155 pieces and priced at $20,400, a great deal for what it is, but not really what affordable to us mortals. My advice, take a look at my watch buying guide and my discount watch stores review because you can pick up a nice entry level TAG for much less.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect Watch at the perfect price, from a trusted source, you know it can be a stressful experience, with the right help and advice, you too can find your dream timepiece. As I’m considered an expert in my field and I write for other publications like Wrist Review I know you’ll benefit from my experience and avoid the pitfalls.
If you are considering buying online you may be interested in reading the “How to choose a watch for your wrist size” article here.
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