Heuer Carrera

Heuer Carrera

Calling a sports watch a thing of beauty seems somewhat incongruous, and yet when you consider the Heuer Carrera—particularly the Reference 3647N—there’s really no other word to describe it.

The beauty lies in part in the clarity of the dial—clean, uncluttered, and irresistible.

The first Carreras, in the Reference 2447 family of models, were powered by the redoubtable Valjoux 72 manually-wound chronograph movement. Due to the architecture of that particular movement, the dial had an hour counter as well as running seconds and a 30 minute counter. However, the dial design of the Carrera—unlike other brands that utilized the Valjoux 72—was refreshingly simple, with a tension ring to secure the dial.

The chronograph registers were evenly spaced. Applied markers, rather than painted numerals, gave the dial a feeling of perfect harmony. Far beyond being a choice of simple aesthetics, the design choices that Jack Heuer made in creating the Carrera were meant to ensure maximum legibility when in the cockpit of a race car.

However, with the Reference 3647, Heuer eschewed the hour counter. A 45-minute counter took the place of the 30 minute counter at 6 o’clock. And the Reference 3647N, unlike its predecessors, lacked a tachymeter or decimal track on the chapter ring around the edge of the dial.

For a watch that was already unremarkably uncluttered, the Reference 3647 made it even more so. And perhaps in no other reference is that made manifest than in the Reference 3647N. The inky darkness of the dial, contrasted with the white of the numerals and markers, puts the legibility of the dial in stark relief.

The clean lines of the dial are echoed in the sharp bevels of the lugs, manufactured by esteemed case-maker Piquerez. Though lugs of a similar sort appeared on a Seafarer in the 1940s, the silhouette is best recognized—and best executed—on the Carrera. The result is iconic, Heuer's answer to mid-century trends that translates well to modern tastes. 

This Carrera we offer here is a Reference 3647N, powered by the Valjoux 92. An honest example, the case retains the sharp bevels. Patina to the luminescent elements softens the stark whiteness of the baton markers and hands. As with many vintage pieces, a few small elements can tell us a lot. In this case, the dial lacks a "T" and the movement bridge is signed "Ed Heuer & Co."-  both indicators of early production and dating this example to 1963 or 1964.

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. The long lugs of the case allows the watch to wear extremely well on the modern wrist, a testament to the wearability of this classic chronograph.


SKU: AS02155

Stainless steel case is 35.5MM, excluding crown. Circa 1963-1964. Heuer Reference 3647N. Valjoux 92 manually wound chronograph mvoement signed Ed Heuer

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in superb condition, showing light signs of wear and a very careful polish at some point in the past. Black dial is in similarly excellent condition with crisp printing and a fine, even patination across the hour markers and handset. Unsigned crown.

Includes generic 19mm Beads of rice style bracelet.

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