Heuer Carrera

Heuer Carrera

Why We Love it

Chronographs. Start, Stop, Reset.

As far as watches go, chronographs are some of the most fun to wear and use. The way we physically engage with them: the pusher feel, the satisfying "click" of the reset.

They are also some of most sporting; a stopwatch on the wrist to time things! What could be more sporting than a watch designed to time race cars? And among driver's chronographs, the Heuer Carrera is unquestionably at the top of the heap. 

This silver-dialed Carrera we have here is an early example of a Reference 3647S, also called the Carrera 45, for the 45 minute register at 3 o'clock. While we love all Carrera models, the uncluttered look of a two register chronograph with its silver sunburst dial is something we are partial to on a model that brought new meaning to the word "legibility". Strap this on, get in your car, and drive.

The Story

The Carrera was one of Jack Heuer’s most passionate projects, and his design ethos for this watch can be summed up in one word: legibility. Jack wanted a watch that was stylish and functional, a watch that gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. From the sharp bevels on the case to the artful openness of the dial, it's become a classic. 

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--a tension ring to anchor the dial in place, while also offering greater water resistance--the same year inspired him to incorporate that feature in a watch that would be a game-changer just like Omega's Speedmaster was. 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. Here now is a watch that shows you only the minimal amount of information, with plain baton markers: clean, uncluttered, undeniably attractive.  

These 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 iconic, Heuer's answer to mid-century trends that translates well to modern tastes. 


SKU: AS02781

Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Heuer Reference 3647S. Valjoux 92 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with sharp lugs and normal signs of wear. Dial is in very good condition with patina to the luminescent elements. Unsigned crown.

Includes one 19mm light green leather strap.

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