Jeff Stein is the founder and proprietor of OnTheDash, the leading online authority on all things Heuer. Jeff is also a collector of note – check him out on Talking Watches – and one of the most knowledgeable guys in watches. Ahead of Phillips’s thematic Heuer auction this weekend, we wanted to bring you a full analysis from the master himself.
Tomorrow night in Geneva, Phillips will offer up 42 vintage Heuer chronographs (and one modern watch), in a sale officially titled “The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection – Exceptional Heuer Chronographs from the Jack Heuer Era.” The sale’s nickname however is much simpler – “Heuer Parade.”
The 43rd tag heuer aquaracer grey included in the auction will be serial number 1 of the TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer Edition, with 1,932 of these limited edition watches being issued to commemorate Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday.
Phillips has published a magnificent auction catalog, which is also available online, with stunning photos and detailed descriptions of these watches. Consider this story a companion to the Heuer Parade catalog, placing the Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection, and each of the watches individually, into a broader context. While the auction catalog presents the watches according to themes – chronographs for racing, for pilots, for the water, etc. – we will take a chronological approach, describing the different generations in which Heuer produced these chronographs.
The cover of the Heuer Parade catalog.
Please note that we have not examined any of the watches in person or reviewed the condition reports offered by Phillips. Accordingly, we provide the history of each of the watches included in the auction, but do not comment on the condition or authenticity of any particular watch.
For a quick look at all the watches included in the sale, following the thematic presentation used by Phillips, including photos of each tag heuer monaco quartz chronograph and the auction estimates, head over to OnTheDash.
Ed. Heuer & Co. began producing watches in 1860, with the company continuing under the Heuer-Leonidas name in the 1960s and ultimately being acquired by Techniques d’Avant Garde (“TAG”) in 1985, and continuing to this day, under the TAG Heuer name.
From 1860 into the mid-1930s, Heuer offered stopwatches, pocket chronographs, and wristwatches, with an emphasis on precision timing, for sports and industry. In the mid-1930s, Heuer broadened its line of chronographs, with the introduction of waterproof cases, and the 1940s saw the catalog expand to include three-register chronographs, as well as chronographs with triple calendars (day / date / month).
Pre-Jack Heuer Chronographs
In the 1950s, Heuer added several lines of simpler timepieces, three-hand watches that also offered a date display or a triple calendar feature (day / date / month). Throughout these years, Heuer used very few model names for its watches, with the various models and variations being identified only by their reference numbers.
An advert announcing the arrival of automatic Heuer chronographs.
All this changed in 1962, when Jack Heuer – then the 30 year-old head of the company – introduced a new model, with the name “Autavia” written across the top of the dial. Combining the words AUTomobile and AVIAtion, the name staked Heuer’s claim, as the tag heuer carrera tourbillon heuer 02 t of choice for racers, rallyists and pilots. The next year saw the introduction of the Carrera, the beautiful sounding name that evoked the epic car race across Mexico. The Camaro came in 1968, completing the line-up of chronographs that stood at the center of Heuer’s model lines for the 1960s.
Heuer’s line-up of watches changed dramatically in 1969, as Heuer became one of the first brands to offer automatic chronographs. The 1960s model line-up was expanded with the addition of the radical “circle-in-the-square” Monaco, and in order to accommodate the larger Caliber 11 automatic movement, the cases for the Autavia and Carrera shifted from the traditional round cases of the 1960s, to larger, C-shaped cases. Thus Heuer marched into the 1970s with its “Big Three”, the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco.
The Autavia was offered primarily with black or white dials, each with contrasting registers. The Carrera offered silver or deep blue dials, also with contrasting registers. The signature color scheme for the Monaco was midnight blue with white registers, although Heuer also offered a charcoal gray version. Heuer offered manual-wind version for each of the Big Three models, with the Valjoux 77xx movements residing in cases similar to those used for the Calliber 12 automatics.
Heuer further expanded its product line in the early 1970s, with the introduction of large colorful models, including the Silverstone, Montreal and Calculator.
In the mid-1970s, Heuer led the electronic era with its introduction of the Chronosplit chronograph, which featured dual LED / LCD displays. This line was extended with the radical looking Manahttan and Senator models. The late 1970s saw some calming of Heuer’s designs, as the automatic Daytona, Verona and Jarama showed more restraint in their sizes, shapes and color palette. All the while, Heuer continued producing its original named models, with the Autavia and Carrera moving to larger cases, to accommodate a mineral crystal. From the late 1960s into the 1980s, the Autavia offered a GMT feature, using a colorful rotating bezel and dedicated GMT hand to indicate the time in a second time zone. The Carrera line was expanded with gold cases, either 18 karat or gold-plated.
In the early 1980s, Heuer struggled to survive, with the company being sold to the Piguet Group and Nouvelle Lemania in 1982, and to TAG in 1985. In its first decade, TAG Heuer featured a broad line of dive watches, and by 1996, the company had refocused on its heritage in chronographs, with the introduction of the first re-issues of the Carrera and Monaco coming in the late 1990s. Carrera and Monaco, along with new lines such as the Link, were the heart of the line-up as TAG Heuer moved into the 21st century, with the Autavia first being re-issued in 2003. Currently, TAG Heuer offers dozens of versions of the Carrera, including a wide range of three-hand and chronograph models, and approximately half a dozen models of the Monaco.
The Monaco is among the most easily recognizable square watches ever designed.
Position of The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection
The official name of the upcoming auction is “The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection: Exceptional Heuer Chronographs from the Jack Heuer Era”. With this, Phillips presents 42 vintage Heuer chronographs as the portfolio of Jack Heuer, the fourth generation leader of the company founded by his great grandfather. Jack Heuer formally joined the family business in early 1958, and the Crosthwaite & Gavin collection “begins” circa 1962, with the first Autavia chronographs, followed immediately by the first Carreras in 1963. This is reasonable, as the Autavia and Carrera were likely the first chronographs designed under the leadership of Jack Heuer.
By positioning the collection to coincide with the career of Jack Heuer, we have the confession that the auction will not cover any of the chronographs produced before Jack Heuer joined the company. This is not offered as a criticism of the collection, but only to inform those who are new to the Heuer brand that they will not be seeing the increasingly-popular chronographs of the 1940s and 50s. We are seeing the preferences of two high-profile collectors, Rich Crosthwaite and Paul Gavin, and their aesthetic has led them to the Heuer chronographs produced from the early 1960s into the early 1970s.
At the other end of the timeline, however, we note that the timeline of The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection ends well before Jack Heuer’s sale of the company in 1982. In essence, the Heuer Parade lops off the last decade of Jack Heuer’s career at the company (1972 to 1982), but comparing the portfolio of his first decade at the company with his portfolio of the second decade, most collectors would suggest that relatively little is lost with this truncation. Considered from another perspective, in a sale of 42 vintage Heuer chronographs, it would be difficult to justify knocking out any from the 1962 to 1972 decade, in order to make room for some chronographs from the 1972 to 1982 decade.
Yes, the second decade might have offered some interesting colors and technologies, with the Silverstone and Chronosplits, for example, but in offering the watches most cherished by today’s collectors, we can understand the preferences and passions of collectors Crosthwaite and Gavin, and we can understand the decision of Phillips, not to supplement their Collection with watches from Jack Heuer’s second decade at the helm.
The Early Autavias from the 1960s
The first Autavia chronographs have several defining features — the stainless steel cases are a traditional round shape, dials are black with contrasting white registers, and all the Autavias had rotating bezels. Different inserts in the bezel would have markings for hours, minutes, a second time zone or the computation of speed by a tachymeter scale. As with almost all Heuer chronographs of the 1960s, movements are manual-winding, with a capacity of 30 or 45 minutes (for the two-register models) or 12 hours (for the three register models). The case-backs of all early Autavias are marked, ““Stainless Steel Chronograph – Waterproof – Guaranteed 330 Feet Under Water.”
The second-generation linked observe has become dubbed the TAG Heuer Linked Modular 45. As the name implies, other than the 45mm case, the brand new view offers interchangeable solutions, ranging from the straps, lugs, buckle plus the option to switch the digital situation with one particular that gives a mechanical movement. That’s ideal, you could change the Linked situation with TAG Heuer’s COSC-certified 02-T tourbillon should you come to feel like going total analog. The luxury observe may also be absolutely tailored to suit your private fashion.
The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection includes six of the early Autavias, representing three different generations, as follows:
The Standard Production Models
Lot 3 is an early three register Autavia (Reference 2446), with a screw-back case, and is distinguished by its oversized registers, known to Heuer collectors as “Big Subs”. These models are coveted by collectors, as they were produced only in the early days of the Autavias. The hands on the very first Autavias are dauphine shaped with luminous paint from edge to edge. Heuer soon switched to steel edged hands with luminous inserts, as on this Lot. The three-register model is powered by the Vajoux 72 movement.
Lot 5 has the same characteristics as Lot 3, except that the Reference 3646 is the two register version, powered by the Valjoux 92 movement. While some collectors insist on their chronographs having three registers, fans of the two-register models make the case that the open area below the center pinion offers better offers better balance.
Lot 36 is the second iteration of the Autavia dial to appear in an early screw-back case, featuring both applied metal markers and luminous dots, at each hour. This configuration evidences a further attempt by Heuer to reduce the amount of radium used in the watches. The metal-edged dauphine hands are carried forward from the previous models.
Lot 41 represents the third generation of the Autavia dial, with applied metal markers taking the place of the luminoius markers used in the previous generations. The case has moved from the first generation to the second, the primary visual difference being that the teeth on the bezel are cut diagonally, whereas they were rectangular shaped on the first generation screw-back case. This is the model that was worn by racing hero Jochen Rindt, providing this Autavia with its instant nickname.
The Special Autavias from the 1960s
While the watches that we have described so far represent standard production watches from the three generations of screw-back Autavias, the Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection includes three additional executions of the screw-back Autavia that are far more rare.
Lot 38 is called the “Transitional” screw-back, representing the last of the first execution screw-back cases. This case is identical to the standard first generation cases, except that the lugs have only two primary surfaces — the top and the side — with no third chamfer between these primary surfaces. The absence of this shaved surface between the two primary surfaces give the tag heuer aquaracer extra links a beefier look than either the first or the second execution cases.
After the run of third generation Autavias, Heuer made a small number of Autavias, which used a unique dial, in the second generation screw-back case. The hours are marked with rectangular strips of luminous material, that remind us of the very first Autavias. Lot 34 is one of these “All Lume” Autavias. The hands are a continuation of the metal-edged hands used on the standard production models.
Lot 28 represents the last execution of screw-back Autavia, and with it Heuer introduces a new complication – the three-register chronograph with a GMT indication. This GMT Autavia combines a three register chronograph (with 12-hour capacity) with a colorful red and blue bezel that is rotated so that an additional hour hand (red with a luminous triangular tip) will track the time in a second time zone. The Valjoux 72 movements were modified to allow for the extra GMT hand, which circles the dial once every 24 hours. Heuer marketed the Autavia GMT chronographs to pilots and travelers, producing almost a dozen models over the life of the Autavias.
Lot 25 is the last of the manual Autavias from the 1960s, a GMT model in a Reference 2446C (compressor) case. Heuer replaced the screw-back case of the previous Autavas with a snap-back case, in order to improve the waterproofing of the watch. Other elements pointing to the 1970s include the thicker lugs and the fluted pushers.
If the defining features of the first Autavias is the “Big Subs”, the defining feature of the first Carreras would be the long, thin markers and hands. Indeed Heuer seemed committed to maintaining consistency between the style of the hands and the style of markers, and the lightness of these elements is also fitting for the smaller registers of the Carrera. Lot 1 is an early Carrera, with the paint being eggshell white, rather than the silver-white that would soon follow. Lot 13 shows the same light style of hands and markers, except that the markers are moved toward the center of the dial to accommodate a decimal minutes scale. Rally organizers and navigators used decimal minutes, rather than seconds, as it was easier to add or subtract times expressed in decimal minutes than times expressed in seconds. With the markers closer to the center of the dial, the hands are shortened to maintain balance between these elements.
The blue decimal minutes scale on Lot 13 was designed for automobile rallyists, and the “Yachting” Carrera (Lot 16) includes simple markings on the minute recorder so that the yachtsman can time the countdown to the start of a regatta. This minute recorder is marked according to the five minute sections of the countdown to the start of a yacht race.
Carreras With Contrast
The first Carreras had dials and registers in matching colors – either white-on-white or black-on-black – with thin markers and hands. By the late 1960s, however, Heuer began to mix things up a little. While Heuer continued to offer dials with matching registers, it also offered Carreras with contrasting registers. The markers on all the second execution Carreras were shorter and wider, with black inserts, and the hands also became wider, also having black stripes down the center.
Lot 4 is one of the classic second execution models, the Reference 2447 SN, with a silver-white dial and black registers. Lot 8 follows this same basic color scheme, with the addition of a Tachymeter scale, except that the three registers have faded to a tropical shade. Lot 9 is the reverse of Lot 8, with a black dial, white registers and the Tachymeter scale. Consistent with the theme of contrast, on both these models, the inserts in the markers contrast with the color of the dial.
Lot 35 and lot 23 are two-register Carreras from this same period, both with 30-minute recorders. Lot 35 has the SN color scheme – a silver-white dial with black registers. Lot 23 shows a unique style for the Carreras, with elements designed for pilots – Arabic numerals painted in lume and bright white hands with luminous inserts. This model was produced by Heuer for Lucht Macht – Forces Aeriennes (the Belgian Air Force), with military issuance marks on the case-back dating the watch to 1970.
The Carrera Datos
Commencing in the mid-1940s, Heuer offered three register chronographs that included the triple calendar complication, showing the day of the week, the date and the month. These triple calendar chronographs were offered throughout the 1940s and 50s, and soon after the Carrera was introduced in 1963, the Reference 2547 triple calendar was repositioned as the “Carrera 12 Dato”.
Lot 26 is a Carrera 12 Dato circa 1968, by which time Heuer had transitioned from screw-back cases with wider lugs (offered prior to the time that the Carrera was introduced), to a monocoque construction, with the movement being accessed by removing the crystal. Consistent with the late 1960s Carrera theme, this tag heuer formula 1 blue dial features a black dial with contrasting white registers.
Those who are familiar with the Carrera name will recognise some design cues borrowed through the 60s type Carrera watches together with the wide dial opening and fine bezel paired with twin chronograph counters situated on the 6 and 12 o’clock mark. A fine addition to yet another historically inspired style component during the faceted lugs as observed while in the original Carrera designs.
The watch was unveiled in London by Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer and president from the LVMH Group Observe Division.
While Heuer’s calendar chronographs from the 1940s used a hand pointing to the outer track to indicate the date, in 1966, Heuer offered a new way to display the date on a chronograph – a small window, above a date disc, as used on many non-chronograph watches of the period. In the first execution of the Carrera 45 Dato (such as Lot 29) the window was located on the top section of the dial, just below the 12 o’clock marker, and these first models used black-on-black or white-on-white dials and registers.
In the second execution of the Carrera 45 Dato, the date window is moved to the nine o’clock position , the chronograph minute recorder remains at three o’clock, and the running seconds register has been deleted, to make room for the date display. The Heuer Parade offers two of these Carrera 45 Datos, both with their own “stories”. Lot 11 is a black-dialed Carrera 45 Dato, with the famous “Wings and Wheel” logo of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with research suggesting that these watches were sold in the gift shop at the track. The Carrera 45 Dato offered as Lot 24 has more exotic origins – having been produced for the Jordanian Air Force. Unique among the Carreras, the inner bezel (tension ring) is marked in whole seconds, rather than being divided by 1/5 second markings, likely a feature to make the marks for the seconds more legible for pilots.
Long before it became a chain of “mall stores” for teenagers, Abercrombie & Fitch was a very different style of retailer. The company had only two stores, in New York City and Chicago, and was the supplier of choice for well-heeled gentlemen embarking on adventures. Whether going on a climbing expedition, enjoying an ocean voyage, fly fishing, hunting or motoring, Abercrombie & Fitch offered top-quality gear for the most discerning customers.
Most smartwatches look like tiny wearable versions of your smartphones their corporations are hawking alongside them. This one particular is made by Tag Heuer. In Switzerland. And it demonstrates. They basically took a luxury timepiece and seamlessly replaced the dial having a touchscreen (that is much easier stated than completed). The dimension is on the larger side at 45 mm, but not outrageous, along with the finishes are what you’d expect from a storied watchmaker. Plus you may get in to the action by customizing the dial-either using among the thirty predesigned possibilities dependant on common and vintage Heuers or producing your personal customized dial.
Beginning in the early 1950s, Abercrombie & Fitch had a unique relationship with Ed. Heuer & Co., calling on the watch company to design and build watches and chronographs to support its clients on their adventures. Heuer built rugged chronographs for Abercrombie & Fitch, and the most celebrated was the Seafarer, a unique watch that combined a 12-hour chronograph with a dial (at nine o’clock) to show the high and low tides each day.
Abercrombie & Fitch sold these colorful chronographs under the Seafarer name, while Heuer sold them as “Mareographes” and also produced them for Orvis, these being sold under the “Solunagraph” model name. The Seafarers were always housed in cases used by other models of Heuer chronographs, including cases for Carreras and Autavias.
The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection includes one Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer and two of the Heuer Mareographes. Lot 20 is the earlier of the two Mareographes, residing in the Reference 2447 (Carrera) case. Lot 17 shows us the last case to house the Seafarer – the Reference 2446C from the Autavia. The dials used in these circa 1970s Seafarers have gone from the silver / white of the earlier models, to a dark charcoal. With Lot 19, we see the Heuer Mareographe version of this same execution chronograph.
The 1970s Autavias
Heuer introduced its first automatic chronographs in 1969, with the line-up consisting of three models – the Autavia, the Carrera, and the Monaco. In order to accommodate the larger Caliber 11 movement, the Autavia case that had been used in the 1960s was redrawn from scratch, the traditional round case of the 1960s giving way to a larger C-shaped case. Of course, the rotating bezel, the defining feature of the Autavia, remained in place. This new C-shaped case was used for both the automatic Autavias and the line of manual-wind Autavias that Heuer introduced in the 1970s. The automatic Autavias were initially powered by the Caliber 11 movement, which was soon improved and renamed as the Caliber 12 movement. Both these movements had the hour recorder on the left, at nine o’clock, and the minute recorder on the right, at three o’clock, with the date at the bottom of the dial. The “running seconds” a feature of all the previous Autavias, was deleted on the Caliber 11 and 12 models. In 1972, Heuer offered the Caliber 15 movement, a chronograph having 30-minute capacity, with the running seconds back in place.
The TAG Heuer Connected view was personally picked by Mr Vaughn to become the timepiece of selection for his Kingsman agents.
There were three primary cases for the automatic Autavias. First was the Reference 1163 case, which used a plastic crystal. In 1972, Heuer increased the size of the automatic Autavia cases, in order to equip them with a mineral crystal. The last of the Autavias, produced starting in 1984, used an even larger case (Reference 11063), measuring 42.7 millimeters across the dial and 21 millimeters between the lugs.
The Siffert Autavias
Tag Heuer has constructed an extended and proud legacy of making iconic racing watches, however the most iconic of them all has to be the Monaco 1133B Calibre 11 automated timepiece that Steve McQueen sported within the 1971 movie Le Mans, a traditional racing flick with regards to the golden age of motorsport.
The standard model Autavia that Heuer offered in the 1960s all had black dials with white registers, but with the move to automatic chronographs, Heuer offered a new color scheme – chronographs with white dials, black registers and blue accents. Consistent with the motor sports theme, all these models were sold with a Tachymeter bezel. Swiss Formula One hero Jo Siffert wore one of these Autavias, with the result that collectors refer to models with this color scheme as the “Siffert” Autavias.
The very first automatic chronographs offered by Heuer had the word “Chronomatic” across the top of the dial, with the model name (Autavia, Carrera or Monaco) on the lower part of the dial. Lot 42 is a “Chronomatic” Autavia, in the Siffert colors, so we know that it is one of the very first automatic chronographs produced by Heuer. Lot 10 is also a relatively early “Siffert” Autavia, evidenced by the ridged markers on the dial and the polished steel hands. Lot 33 represents the final version of the Siffert Autavia, as the markers now have black inserts and the hands are brushed metal with blue inserts and tips. This sample features the MH (minutes / hours) bezel, in place of the Tachymeter bezel.
Lot 7 is a variation on the “Siffert” theme, being a manually-wound chronograph with the date at six o’clock. As a manual model, the “Automatic Chronograph” is deleted from the lower section of the dial and the crown returns to is customary position, on the right side of the dial.
Colorful Autavias of the 1970s
The 1960s Autavias were black and white, and the “Siffert” Autavias were white and black, but Heuer offered some more colorful variations of these basic color schemes in the 1970s. Lot 37 is the Autavia known to collectors as the “Orange Boy”. The orange accents appear on the dial, as well as the main time of day hands, with the usual red of the chronograph second hand yielding to orange.
Lot 14 is known as the “Exotic” Autavia. The Caliber 15 movement has deleted the hour recorder, in favor of an asymmetrically placed hand for running seconds. The markers are painted lume rectangles, the fifths of seconds follow a hash pattern, with orange for a stripe around the minute recorder and the main time of day hand.
Lot 32 is offers another variation on the traditional Autavia themes, with Arabic numerals, placed radially around the dial. This was a style traditionally used to enhance legibility and certainty for pilots. Collectors refer to these models as “ShaunTavias”, as the models were researched and cataloged by a UK collector named Shaun. While most samples that employ the radial Arabic numerals were produced for the Kenya Air Force, Lot 32 is a civilian model.
Heuer introduced the GMT Autavias as manual-wind models in the 1960s, but with the introduction of the automatic Autavias in 1969, most of the GMT models sold by Heuer were powered by automatic movements. Lot 31 is the first execution of the automatic Autavia (Reference 1163 GMT), identified by the 24 numerals on the bezel (from the earlier GMT Autavias) and the brushed steel hands (later used on the Viceroy model of the GMT). Lot 27 is the second execution of the Autavia 1163 GMT, with the bezel now having only the even numbers and the hands on the registers now in bright red.
Most smartwatches look like tiny wearable versions in the smartphones their corporations are hawking alongside them. This 1 is manufactured by Tag Heuer. In Switzerland. And it exhibits. They mainly took a luxury timepiece and seamlessly replaced the dial using a touchscreen (which can be a lot easier stated than accomplished). The dimension is within the bigger side at 45 mm, but not outrageous, as well as the finishes are what you’d count on from a storied watchmaker. Plus you’ll be able to get in on the action by customizing the dial-either making use of among the list of thirty predesigned options based upon popular and vintage Heuers or producing your own custom dial.
“For Kingsman: The Golden Circle, we necessary a linked view for our agents. We looked on the various alternatives offered, but none of them were elegant sufficient to get a Kingsman. Then I saw an interview on Bloomberg Tv with Jean-Claude Biver about his connected watch, and it became immediately obvious; the Kingsman agents would dress in the TAG Heuer Connected,” the film’s writer and director recalls.
Lot 30 is the only manually-wound model of the GMT Autavia from the 1970s, carrying forward certain elements from the automatic models, but using distinctive “pencil” shaped hands, with bright white edges, wide luminous inserts and red tips. As on the manually-wound “Siffert” described above, we see no writing across the bottom of the dial and the crown in the customary position on the right side of the case.
The Last of the Autavias
Lot 21 represents the last generation of the Autavias. The Reference 11063 case measures 21 millimeters between the lugs (versus the 20 millimeters of the earlier models), and the bezel is unidirectional, so prevent the diver from accidentally adding time to his dive. This bezel on this model, the Diver 100, is specifically designed for divers, indicating the amount of time that the diver may remain at a specific depth.
The 1970s Carreras
Stainless Steel Automatic Carreras
Like the Autavia, in 1969 the Carrera received an entirely new case, to house its new automatic movement. And also like the Carrera, this new case was a C-shaped case, that broke from the traditional round style of the 1960s Carreras. Throughout the 1970s, Heuer would offer a broad variety of automatic and manual-winding Carreras using these C-shaped cases, using stainless steel cases, as well as 18 karat gold and gold-plated cases.
As described above, the very first chronographs using Heuer’s Calibre 11 (Chronomatic) movement were marked “Chronomatic” across the top of the dial, with the model name across the bottom. Lot 2 is one of these early automatic Carreras, with the metallic blue dial and contrasting white registers, all set off by a red chronograph second hand. This sample was produced by Heuer for Abercrombie & Fitch, as shown by the co-branding across the bottom of the dial.
Lot 12 is another automatic Carrera, except that this one is a standard production model, rather than the earlier Chronomatic. The dial is silver, with contrasting registers. Note that both these automatic Carreras have the numerals 3-6-9-12 on the hour recorder, whereas later executions had all 12 numerals.
18-Karat Gold Carreras
Since the mid-1940s, Heuer had offered chronographs in 18 karat gold cases, with this tradition being carried forward with the manual-winding Carreras of the 1960s. Of the three automatic models that Heuer launched in 1969 – Autavia, Carrera and Monaco – the Carrera was the model chosen to be produced in 18 karat gold, however, it was only in 1972 that these were offered. Related to Heuer’s sponsorship of the Ferrari Formula One team, Jack Heuer presented these Carreras to each of the Ferrari drivers, as well as other persons associated with the team. Thus we see photos of theses Carreras being worn by Ferrari racers Mario Andretti, Clay Regazzoni and Nicki Lauda, among others, as well as technical director / engineer, Mauro Forghieri.
Heuer offered several varieties of these chronographs over the years, with the dials being either metallic silver or champagne, and the champagne version being offered with either champagne or contrasting black registers.
Lot 15 is the version with the silver dial, with the numerals 1 through 12 on the hour recorder. Lot 39 has the champagne dial, with the contrasting black registers, and the date disc is also executed in black, with white numerals.
Barrel-Shaped Automatic Carrera
In 1974, Heuer introduced an entirely new style of case for the automatic Carreras, a case that evoked the style of the 1970s. The new case was a distinctive barrel shape with covered lugs, produced in stainless steel, as well as black and gold coatings. The dials were blue, fume or champagne dials, with luminous metallic finish (Cotes de Geneve), and a vertical line dividing the dial into three areas. Chronograph registers are black on all models, with a slightly oblong shape, rather than the previous round shape.
Lot 22 is a stainless steel case, with the blue dial, and this watch was issued to Forças Armadas Populares de Libertação de Angola (or FAPLA), the People’s Armed Forces of the Liberation of Angola. The FAPLA was transformed from a guerilla group responsible for overthrowing the Lisbon regime in the national army of Angola.
With the introduction of its automatic chronographs in 1969, Heuer redesigned the Autavia and Carrera models from the 1960s, but also launched an entirely new chronograph, the Monaco. In its oversized square case and dramatic midnight blue dial, the Monaco would be entirely different from any other chronograph then on the market. Over its six years of production, Heuer offered approximately 15 different versions of the Monaco, with blue, charcoal or black dials, powered by either automatic or manual winding movements. The common denominator of all these Monacos – the bold, square case.
Ask a collector today about the Heuer Monaco, and the watch is immediately associated with the actor Steve McQueen and the 1970 film, Le Mans. Seeking to look like his racing hero, Jo Siffert, Steve McQueen selected the blue Monaco as his watch for the film, and the publicity surrounding numerous re-issues of the Monaco over the past 20 years has deepened the Monaco’s association with “The King of Cool.”
Lot 40 is a “McQueen Monaco” (Reference 1133B), the exact version worn by Steve McQueen in the movie, Le Mans. Whereas the first blue Monacos had a metallic finish, starting in 1970s, the standard production models had midnight blue paint, with a matt finish. Red accents are used on the main time-of-day hands, as well as for the chronograph second hand, consistent with the markers on the dial.
Despite being offered in a choice of colors and configurations, sales of the Monaco were sluggish over the first few years of the watch’s production. In what might have been a last ditch effort to develop a model that would be commercially successful, circa 1975, Jack Heuer had the team develop a Monaco that would be very different from the previous models. In fact, the geometry of the case was about all the remained of the original models.
The case was coated in black; the dial was black with luminous strips; and all three chronograph hands were a bright orange. The tag heuer sls is powered by the Valjoux 7740 movement, a manual movement that offers the two-register-plus date arrangement of the Caliber 11 / 12 movements, with the crown returning to the right. Lot 6 is a sample of the Reference 74033N Monaco. This version of the Monaco never appeared in a Heuer catalog, and seems to have had limited production, before being discontinued after a very short run.
And Finally, Lot 43
The Original Autavia 2017 re-issue (left) and Lot 43 of the Heuer Parade (right).
The first 42 lots of the Heuer Parade are vintage models, but the final lot in the sale is a new TAG Heuer chronograph that has its root in the brand’s vintage portfolio. Lot 43 will be serial number 1 of the TAG Heuer Limited Edition Autavia, being issued in honor of Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday. All the production models of the 1960s Autavias had black dials with white registers, but toward the end of the decade, Heuer produced dials for a new Autavia, in a silver / white, with black registers. These watches were never completed by Heuer, but in recent years several of the loose dials have been used to make watches, and these watches have been coveted by collectors.
The new Jack Heuer Limited Edition Autavia adopts this panda scheme from these 1960s Autavia dials, to create a watch that complements the standard black and white Autavia that TAG Heuer introduced earlier this year. 1,932 of these Limited Edition Autavias will be produced, a tribute to Jack Heuer’s year of birth. Lot 43 of the Heuer Parade will be serial number 1 of a series that has been well received, with the remaining 1,931 watches expected to sell out quickly.
Stay tuned for live coverage of the Heuer Parade sale from Geneva.