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Maybe you’re looking for the perfect summer watch. Maybe you’re looking for a cool vintage Heuer. Maybe you’re not sure what your next watch should be, but you want something different. Whatever you're looking for, you should pay attention to this Skipper.
Heuer of yesteryear was one of the foremost purveyors of sports timers during the golden age of vintage chronos, the 1960s and 70s. While well known for their ties to motorsports through the Monaco, Autavia and Carrera models lines, Heuer also built watches designed for use by sailors, aviators, divers and fishermen.
The Skipper may appear to be a wild amalgam of color that was just an attempt at designing a watch that sticks out in a crowd, but like all of the Heuer greats, it’s a purpose-built machine. While the blue dial was chosen because of the watch's close ties to water, the contrasting orange hour and minute hands were chosen to increase legibility at a glance.
The red, white and blue sub-dial is a classic timer feature, with each segment marking a period in the lead up to a regatta. In the 15 minutes leading up to a race, the boat skippers must gather behind the starting line at the first signal, vying with each other for the best position. The color-coding makes the chronograph easy for the skippers to read, letting them know how long until they can cross the start line, thus allowing them to plan the best course and eek out every bit of advantage.
Heuer never built a unique case for the Skippers, and it evolved alongside the other model lines during its run. The first Skipper was housed in a Carrera case (the über-rare “Skippererra”), though it quickly found its way into an Autavia case and stayed there for each future iteration. Ultimately, cushion case, manually winding Skippers such as this one are uncommon finds on the market, making them all the more interesting and desirable as far as we're concerned.
This example, a Reference 73434, features the popular Autavia cushion case and a Valjoux 7734 manual winding chronograph movement with date function. Unlike the more common automatic examples, hand cranking models wear considerably thinner on the wrist, making them the best of the bunch in our opinion. This particular example comes from our founder's personal collection, and is in outstanding condition. From the crisp, unpolished case, to the flawless rich blue dial and lightly ghosted bezel and matching Gay Freres Rice-Bead bracelet, this is one of the nicest examples we've ever come across.
Drop us a line if you'd like more details on this beauty!
Steel case is is approximately 42mm (excluding the crown and pushers). Heuer Reference 73464. Valjoux 7734 Manual-Winding Chronograph Movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall condition: Case is in exceptional condition, showing no glaring marks or signs of over-polishing. Dial in excellent condition, with crisp printing and a light even patination across the luminescent elements with only minimal degredation. Hands are in similarly excellent condition. Original case back, fluted pushers, and signed crown.
Includes steel Rice Bead bracelet by Gay Freres with signed clasp and HLF endlinks, as well as two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.