Heuer Carrera 45

Heuer Carrera 45

The Carrera was a true passion project for Jack Heuer; his design ethos for this watch can be summed up in one word: legibility.

Heuer wanted a watch that was stylish and functional, a watch that would give the wearer everything they needed and nothing they didn’t. A spartan, purpose-driven tool watch. 

A longtime racing aficionado, Heuer first conceived of the Carrera in 1962, when he was attending the 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida. It was there, in a conversation with the parents of the legendary Rodriguez brothers (both drivers), that Heuer first heard the name: Carrera, meaning the Carrera Panamerica, a treacherous five-day race along the Mexican stretch of the Pan-American Highway. The name haunted him, and he registered it the following year.

A new innovation that same year, a tension ring to anchor the dial in place, while also offering greater water resistance, inspired him to incorporate that feature in a watch. It would become a game-changer just like Omega's Speedmaster.

Taking the tachymeter track off the dial wasn't a new innovation—Rolex did it with the Daytona and Omega of course started it, more or less, with the Speedy—but Heuer's obsession with legibility cleaned up the dial in a way that hadn't quite been achieved before. At last, he had built the minimalist, uncluttered and undeniably attractive Carrera.  

The early Carreras were produced in a variety of styles with a range of dial colors. The dials were manufactured by Singer, the same company that produced dials for the Rolex Daytona. While the elusive black-and-white ("panda") designs remain the most desirable, there's something to be said for the light-catching silver dials like the one we offer here. The clean lines of the dial are echoed in the sharp bevels of the lugs, manufactured by esteemed case-maker Piquerez. The result is Heuer's stunning answer to mid-century trends that translates well to modern tastes. 

This silver-dialed Carrera, a Reference 3647S, is powered by the workhorse Valjoux 92 unit, a derivative of the triple register Valjoux 72 that we all know and love, with similar architecture and quality, but without an hour register (another nod to Heuer's quest for extreme legibility). 

For a watch designed in the 1960s, the Carrera remains a stunner, proving the brilliance of Jack’s design philosophy. A clean dial never goes out of style, and it makes the Carrera an easy watch to dress up or down. At 35.5mm, the case wears extremely well on the modern wrist, its long, beveled lugs making it feel a bit more substantial while still slipping easily under a cuff.


SKU: AS02531

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown and pushers). Heuer Reference 3647S. Valjoux 92 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement.

Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition over all. Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of polishing. Case does have some signs of light use and wear in keeping with its age. Dial is in very good condition. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Unsigned crown. Screw case back has some minimal signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one vintage Rodania 18mm black perforated leather rally-style strap and Heuer-signed buckle.

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