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In the world of Formula One racing, 1963 was indisputably the year of Jim Clark.
That season, Clark dominated at seven out of ten races, including a dramatic victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Three years before, on that same track, Clark had watched friend and teammate Alan Stacey lose his life. But on June 9, 1963, in wet and foggy conditions, Clark pulled ahead from eighth place on the starting grid to beat all cars in front of him to take the checkered flag.
With a distinctive, smooth style and an uncanny ability to avoid danger, Clark was without question the best driver in the circuit, but there was one who was right on his trail—John Surtees.
The son of a motorcycle dealer, it was no surprise that Surtees would start his racing career on two wheels rather than four. As a member of the MV Augusta factory team, he earned the nickname figlio del vento or “son of the wind.” In motorcycle racing he was just as unstoppable as Clark, winning 32 out of 39 races in 1958, 1959, and 1960.
In 1960, he switched to racing cars full-time, making his debut at Silverstone for Team Lotus—Clark’s team. Three years later, at that same track, Surtees would have the fastest lap, but would ultimately lose out to his teammate, Clark. However, that would all change that summer, when—after a switch to Scuderia Ferrari—Surtees would finally best his former teammate at the German Grand Prix.
Chronographs and racing go hand-in-hand, and nothing illustrates that close relationship more than the relationship between Scuderia Ferrari—Surtees’ team—and Heuer.
Jack Heuer was a longtime racing aficionado, and before long he became acquainted with il Commendatore—Enzo Ferrari. Many of Ferrari’s drivers, from Jo Siffert to Jochen Rindt, would wear Heuers in the pit; in fact, Siffert was so taken with Heuer’s watches that he would even sell them to other drivers on the racing grid. In 1971 that friendship became an official partnership, in a sense making him the first motor racing celebrity on the payroll of a major watch company.
It was as a guest of Ferrari’s that he first heard the name Carrera, which Jack Heuer would register as a trademark in 1962. The following year would see the debut of the chronograph that would bear its name: the Heuer Carrera. Early Carreras were produced in a variety of styles with a range of dials: black-on-black, white-on-black, or solid silver, with tachymeter or even pulsometer tracks around the outer edge of the dial.
After the debut of the Calibre 11 “Chronomatic” movement, the Carrera was revamped. It was given a larger case to accommodate that movement. As a token of Heuer’s affection for the members of Ferrari’s team, all drivers were given one of these new automatic Carreras—including John Surtees.
This particular Carrera, a Reference 2447NST, is one of the earlier iterations from the 1960s. It features a rare and desirable "Panda" configuration with white triple subsidiary register layout. This model also comes with a printed tachymetre ring on the dial, earning it the "NST" model designator.
With a sharp, crisp case and a beads-of-rice bracelet, this Carrera is a stunner. Whether navigating the chicanes at your local race course or just cruising around town, it’s the perfect companion for a fast-paced lifestyle, and, for the time being comes at a sizable discount to those other motorsports styled Valjoux 72 powered chronographs...
Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Heuer Reference 2447 NST. Valjoux Calibre 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with crisp bevels on the lugs. Case does show minor signs of use and wear. Inverse panda dial is in very good condition, with crisp printing, and a small scratch near the 30 minute register. Luminescent elements of the hour plots and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Heuer signed crown. Case back is in very good condition.
Includes one 19mm generic beads-of-rice bracelet with unsigned clasp, in very good condition.