I chose a TAG Heuer over a Rolex

TAG Heuer Carrera (39mm) Calibre 6

When TAG Heuer launched the Carrera Calibre 6 COSC in 2015, I really fell for it. I was still into big watches, so I was concerned about the 39mm size, but the Calibre 6 instantly made my “list”. I stared at the watch on the Internet for hours. It seemed to give off such a cool, retro 1960’s racing vibe and it had a nice COSC-certified movement powering it. I was smitten.

Last year, I had a big event in my life and I wanted to mark the event with (what else?) a new watch. By now, I was obsessed with the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm with dark rhodium dial. I craved a Rolex to replace my Datejust II and the Oyster Perpetual just had it all. It was my ultimate target. I was now into watches in the 38mm-41mm range and I loved the brushed metal of the OP. All I had to do was find one.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm with dark rhodium dial

I went to my local Authorized Dealer to find my Rolex. They had an Oyster Perpetual, but with the grape colour. I tried it on and it was absolutely perfect. The size, weight, style, quality and feel were beyond my expectations. The AD had a dark rhodium piece arriving in 2 days and they were happy to hold it for me… without even asking for a deposit. The Rolex was over my budget, but I was going to stretch it. So I was set.

As I was leaving, I remembered my TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 6 COSC with its coolness and vintage Heuer logo. I asked my sales guy if they had one. They did! I had never seen one before. I first saw it in the showcase and boy, was it stunning! On my wrist it just popped! I was in awe of the wrist presence of the Carrera. I had a great conversation with my sales guy about the history of the Carrera and the significance of its COSC certification. The TAG was nearly half the price of the Rolex. That’s a big difference.

Now, I have been blogging for years about how price should NOT determine your timepiece. I’ve been preaching the idea that you should spend whatever you need to in order to get your dream timepiece. But you may also have noticed that I love to contradict myself. I was standing in the store wearing a watch that I had been infatuated with, a watch that was stunning on my wrist, a watch that was already in the store, and it happened to cost a little over half the price of the Rolex. I think I wanted the rhodium dial Rolex more, but I could buy the TAG plus another nice watch for the price of that Rolex and the TAG was equally stunning on my wrist. So I called an audible and I went for the TAG. I just could not ignore the price difference.

TAG Heuer Carrera (39 mm) Calibre 6

This is interesting for many reasons. Rolex is so hot lately that not many watch guys would choose a TAG over a Rolex if they could afford both. I did. And I did it after apparently learning my lesson about compromise. I also chose a piece with distinct blue colour over a very neutral and versatile timepiece. The Rolex could be your only timepiece. The TAG really only suits certain outfits and could not be worn in the water or during activity. As well, the Rolex commands all the respect among WIS whereas TAG suffers from image issues.

So how did my decision work out? I must admit that I still want a Rolex. So I did not necessarily “scratch the itch”, but my Carrera is one of my all-time favourite timepieces. I wear it regularly and I stare at it constantly when it’s on my wrist. I absolutely love the style and the proportions of this watch and I am infatuated with the whole Heuer racing history. It’s a signature piece. So did I do the right thing? Considering that if I had bought the Rolex, I would eventually crave something else, then I believe I made the right call. But all of you WIS know that collecting is as much about the NEXT piece as it is about enjoying what you have. As always, the fun is in the search…

Yours truly,


Follow me on Twitter @TimeCaptain_

TimeCaptain is a self-confessed timepiece junkie.  He spends nearly all of his spare time buying,  selling,  trading,  researching, admiring and trying different timepieces. He's also a fanatic Formula 1 fan, having followed every single Grand Prix since 1991.  He switches to NFL football in the fall and roots for the Green Bay Packers. A child of the 1980's, TimeCaptain is mad about 80's music,  TV, cinema and pop culture.  Another interest of TimeCaptain is space exploration and the study of distant planets and galaxies. When asked about his favorite watch,  TimeCaptain remembers Enzo Ferrari's answer as to his favorite car- "the one I haven't built yet."