The first collaboration between TAG Heuer and Fragment Design’s streetwear master Hiroshi Fujiwara is Fragment Design Carrera Heuer 02 (2018). The price of retro-style watches fell and was quickly sold out. Now the second cooperation has just been announced.
The T AG H euer x Fragment Design Caliber H euer 02 automatic chronograph is again limited to 500 watches, and uses the same Heuer 02 movement, modeled on the Autavia models of the 1960s and 1970s, but again carried out by Mr. Fujiwara Simple decoration, he happens to be a loyal user of antique watches.
As a watch collector, Mr. Fujiwara undoubtedly understands the cushion-shaped Autavia case (sometimes called “C case”) as a TAG Heuer that can be recognized immediately, so it is very suitable for cooperation.
However, unlike the early Fragment Design watches that almost look like real vintage watches, the latest version looks more modern due to the high-contrast colors. The use of red is restricted, especially in the case of a tiny hour mark, which is just enough to make the watch have an appropriate automatic racing ability.
Although I usually don’t like the six o’clock dating window, it’s done very well here. The date disc is black to match the dial, thereby fusing the date display with the dial. The Fragment Design double lightning symbol at twelve o’clock position can be used as the visual weight of the date.
The case has been increased from 42 mm to 44 mm in the original case, but the shorter lugs may mean that its wear is less than actually measured.
The watch comes with a new five-element stainless steel bracelet. It has a brushed and polished surface, reminiscent of the “meter bead” bracelet on vintage fake watches of that period. However, I’m sure that the watch will look better on a black “Rally” strap with red stitching.
All in all, although this watch is attractive in its own way, I still prefer Fragment Design’s first collaboration because the retro clues in the design are stronger. In other words, the latest version will undoubtedly be sold out instantly, especially because its price is 6,000 Swiss francs, which is a valuable suggestion for a sophisticated chronograph made from streetwear logos.
The built-in Heuer 02 is the brand’s high-end internal chronograph movement, which is higher than the Heuer 01 based on the Seiko TC78 (or 6S78). Heuer 02 automatic winding device adopts column wheel and vertical clutch, which can effectively use 80 hours of power reserve, which is almost twice the industry standard.
The bottom cover is equipped with red sapphire crystal. Despite its absolute beauty, I don’t like it covering the movement. Combining color with the movement itself, such as a rotor or bridge with a red coating, would be a less troublesome solution.
Mr. Fujiwara is sometimes regarded as the godfather of streetwear. Before the advent of the Internet, he was an influencer and tastemaker of streetwear culture.
He is no stranger to cooperation. He founded Fragment Design in 2003 and established many widely publicized partnerships with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Nike and Moncler.
All cooperation tends to adhere to the philosophy of Mr. Fujiwara, that is, based on existing exquisite products, and then add accents and remove scattered, redundant elements to enhance the appearance of the product, thereby simplifying the design.
That is the formula of TAG Heuer’s new collaboration, which bridges his two passions: design and watch. Mr. Fujiwara’s main interest in watchmaking is focused on vintage sports watches, and he occasionally shares his views on swiss watches (among many other topics) on his personal portal “Ring of Color”.