Manchester United was once again mentioned as the most valuable football sports property in the world. Football (soccer) is big business and the lads from Manchester are at the top of the game. This no doubt has earned them the attention of many sponsors and partners, including their fair share of watch brands. For 2017 TAG Heuer, the official timekeeper and watchmaker of Manchester United offers a new “special edition” TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Manchester United Red Devil watch – in two versions (different straps).
As mentioned in the article I linked to above, TAG Heuer’s relationship with Manchester United (starting in 2016) celebrated the reunion between the sports franchise and Jean-Claude Biver who previously worked with the team when Hublot was their official watch sponsor. It was argued that the average price point of Hublot timepieces was too high for a large percentage of Manchester United fans. From there, the watchmaker role went to Bulova for a brief period of time. As of last year, Jean-Claude reunited with Manchester United, and interestingly enough, these new TAG Heuer Manchester United watches remind me a lot of the Hublot ones from several years ago.
That isn’t a huge accident as the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 45mm watches that the special edition Red Devil is based on, are meant to resemble the Hublot Big Bang. The Carrera Heuer 01 is a more accessibly-priced Big Bang (if you want to see it that way). With Biver’s typical penchant for aggressive styling, the color black, and a skeletonized dial. The TAG Heuer Carrera Manchester United Red Devil Special edition can be seen as the epitome of the types of products he liked to release. More so, as a “special edition,” the watch will not be strictly limited in numbers, meaning that TAG Heuer will make them as long as people are willing to buy them.
aBlogtoWatch offered a full review of the underlying TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 01 watch here. To better understand this Carrera watch collection, I recommend you reference that article. The Manchester United Red Devil model adds special colors, branding, and of course, the signature Red Devil mascot on the dial where the subsidiary seconds dial is. It is actually a pretty neat looking watch, even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of Man U.
This Carrera case is 45mm wide in black PVD-coated steel and water resistant to 100m. The black bezel is in ceramic (with an engraved tachymeter scale), and most of the hardware on the case is all done in black for a very signature “Biverian” and masculine modern watch look. Inside the watch is the in-house made TAG Heuer, Heuer 01 automatic chronograph movement – which we continue to herald as being both good looking and strong in terms of performance. The movement operates at 4Hz (28,800bpm) with about two days of power reserve. For more information on the Heuer 01 movement, please do reference the link to the review on the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 watches above.
The red-colored luminant on the hands and hour markers looks pretty slick and helps with legibility. Though, the reality of these darker color luminant materials is that they don’t glow as brightly in the dark compared to lighter colored Super-LumiNova (such as white, light green, or light blue). Overall I think this is an attractive version of the Carrera Heuer 01, and its relationship to Manchester United simply adds personality (or a reason to buy for those who are diehard fans).
On the wrist, the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Manchester United Red Devil 45mm (there is a 43mm wide version as well) is pretty comfortable – especially on the strap. Taking another cue from Hublot territory, the strap is rubber with pieces of alligator leather on the outside. This is a sort of “best of both worlds” approach where you have the comfort and wear resistance of rubber with the visual attractiveness of the exterior alligator leather. TAG Heuer actually offers two versions of the Carrera Heuer 01 Manchester United Red Devil Special Edition watch – the difference between the two being the color of the strap with one being red and the other black. I’m personally partial to the red strap version – as it is a particularly cool looking execution of this TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 45mm watch.
The TAG Heuer reference CAR2A1J.FC6400 is the Carrera Heuer 01 Manchester United Red Devil watch with the black strap and the reference CAR2A1J.FC6416 is the model with the red strap. Both of them should be available now. Price for each is $6,300. tagheuer.com