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Case of Telemeter - Tag Heuer Carrera ref. car221a

Every once in a while, the faithful of modern day Tag Heuer got treated to beloved “Heuer” only logo vintage style reedition watch. The vintage inspired design, which going back to more than 50 years old, is the legacy of Jack Heuer in the watch world.

Back in the year 2015, we were treated with something special. Introducing what is widely known as the Telemeter. In the amidst of typical modern size Carrera that range from 41mm to 45mm, the Telemeter is hitting the sweet spot of vintage watch enthusiast with it’s 39mm size. It is still larger than the traditional 36mm Carrera, but the “fair” difference only came from the automatic versus manual movement with the latter always have the advantage of being smaller in size. Another welcoming addition is the use of glass dome box instead of normal glass. The dome shaped standing glass topping the case definitely bring retro feeling like it was used to made out of Plexi crystal before. This one however has been upgraded to sapphire crystal while keeping the same design. The dial contains two registers, which are the running second and the 30-minute chronograph. All in all with the vintage force is strong with this one.

What is a Telemeter ?

Most of the chronograph will give you Tachymeter scale bezel. That is, to measure the speed of moving object over period of time.

This Calibre 18 Carrera however are equipped and made for something else altogether. The kilometer ring on the inner bezel is a Telemeter scale. Instead of measuring speed of moving object, Telemeter is to measure the distance of a phenomenon which quantified as both visible and audible. A range-finding instrument, to put it simply. To give it a scenario, imagine a situation when you could see there’s storm brewing ahead but you need to find out how far the distance separating you from the storm. So you start your chronograph button and stop it when the sound of thunder is heard. The chronograph second hand stop at the Telemeter scale will show the approximate distance between the you and the storm.

With the modern use of satellite, it is no wonder that Telemeter popularity decline after the WWII. Yes, the very same instrument traditionally was used to detect the distance of enemy fire cannon for the observer party to retaliate properly. Again, the basic principle of both visible and audible. Start the chronograph at the sight of muzzle flash or smoke coming from the enemy cannon and stop it as the sound of blasting mortar was heard. The distance shown by the Telemeter then, was presumably where the observer can set their own artillery to retaliate.

Conclusion ...

Like most of the traditional time keeping instrument, nowadays it is more about keeping tradition than the functionality itself. But given the choice, having a mechanical solution in your wrist that makes you look cool is always a welcoming option. Needless to say, the Carrera Telemeter will provide yet additional depth and functionality to your chronograph collection. A cool conversation piece too, if you like.

Mr.O for

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