We do believe that you, the Monochrome-Watches readers, are facing the same dilemma as us: finding cool, essential, interesting and collectible vintage timepieces. In our last ‘Cool Finds’ article, we showed you 3 unusual and underrated chronographs. Today, we wanted to focus on a single brand, one that we love, and that is growing fast in the heart of collectors: HEUER. Here are 3 vintage Heuer Chronographs, the best of Jack Heuer’s production.
A mint Heuer Silverstone Blue Dial
The Silverstone is a pure interpretation of what the late 1960s and early 1970s produced. It is a watch with a great personality and that presents no compromise in its design. It has this very unusual ‘TV Screen‘ shape; a square case with rounded angles and colourful dials with a brushed finish that gives it so much appeal… but that won’t fit everybody’s tastes.
Heuer’s 1970s production was audacious and felt apart from the rest of the industry. Except the conservative Carrera, Heuer produced the big and bulky Autavia and the iconic square-shaped Monaco. All of them shared the same very interesting movement, the Calibre 11 and its evolution, the Calibre 12, known as the first automatic chronograph, presented in 1969.
The Silverstone may not be ‘mainstream’ but it has a great value in the heart of Heuer-enthusiasts. It was available in brown, burgundy and in this very nice blue, clearly the easiest colour to wear. The Silverstone here has been fully refurbished by one of the best Heuer specialist and is in perfect condition, both mechanical and visual. HeuerTime lists it here at EUR-5.800.
One of the few triple calendar panda Carrera
Carrera: a name full of history that reminds us of a sports car and a famous and dangerous race. But if you are reading this, it will certainly remind you of an iconic watch, competitor of the Omega Speedmasters and Rolex Daytonas. The first generation of Carrera, with its pure and simple design, has to be considered as one the greatest achievements of Jack Heuer. A true classic that must take place in a vintage chronograph collection.
During its early life, the Carrera has been made in many editions: silver dial, black dial, panda and reverse-panda dial, 2 or 3 registers, with several movements (Valjoux 72, Valjoux 92 and Valjoux 7730), with or without date. If all are collectible, one has to be considered apart, the only version that came with a real complication: the Carrera Dato 12 Ref. 2547.
Under this complicated name hides the uncommon triple-calendar and reverse-panda dial edition of the Carrera tri-compax chronograph. So, what we have is a 3 registers chronograph that features a black dial with white sub-counters and a Valjoux 72c (the ‘C’ stands for calendar). This movement comes with a column-wheel mechanism and displays the date (displayed on the dial’s outer ring with a central hand), the day of the week and the month (both displayed in windows at 12).
The Carrera ref. 2547 is one of the most collectible Carrera and one that you won’t find every day. It is on auction on eBay here at GBP-4.860 (for the moment).
A military Autavia with a perfect pedigree
The Heuer Autavia, which stands for Automobile-Aviation, is the perfect example of a 1970s tool chronograph. It has been made in multiple editions inspired by race-cars, dedicated to diving activities or to travellers (with a GMT complication) and even in military versions. We knew about the existence of few military Autavia, some with a Black DLC case, some with grey dials and luminous points as indexes. But this one is clearly less common.
It has the classical bulky case of the Autavia, the usual fluted pushers and the same rotating bezel but the dial and the hands are different. It presents a typical pilot layout, with luminous Arabic numbers printed on a black dial and an arrow-shaped second hand. It has lots of similarities with another military watch made by Heuer, the Ref. 1550SG Bundeswehr.
The Bundeswehr, the German military forces, has ordered this special Autavia reference 73663MH. It doesn’t feature the Calibre 11 but a 3-register Valjoux 7736, certainly easier to service and more resistant in tough field conditions.
Already a rare bird, this one, listed by Chronomatic, has one of the best pedigrees possible, as it was featured in “Heuer Chronographs” book by Arno Haslinger and bought from Bonhams’ auction: Haslinger collection. Compare to a usual Autavia that will cost you around GBP-2.000, this one is understandably more expensive, at GBP-5.000.