Heuer Skipper 'Skippererra'
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Heuer Skipper 'Skippererra'

Why We Love It

The word 'rare' gets overused a lot.

So let's get this out of the way - this watch IS rare.

With roughly 20 known examples in existence, the Reference 7754 Skipper — or ‘Skipperera’ — has become nothing less than a grail for watch collectors. With its iconic Carrera case and a Brilliant multicolored dial that has become the foundation for modern tribute editions by HODINKEE and Revolution, the 7754 was the first watch in a series of Heuer yachting chronographs to carry the name Skipper. 

This particular example is in great condition throughout, including an honest case with no signs of prior polishing, and a stunning dial with even patination, intact luminous material, and only a hint of edge wear. Unlike a few of the “cobbled together” Skippereras floating around, this piece has all of its correct hands, including a beautifully faded central chronograph indicator.

Furthermore, this watch comes on a period Gay Freres double-grain rice bead bracelet with ‘HEL’ endlinks — a rare prize unto itself.

We’ve had the distinct pleasure of handling a few of these special watches in our time, and even brokering one between clients. But this is the first time we’ve ever had one in stock to offer publicly - and who knows how long it might be until we do again!

The Story

The Heuer of yesteryear was one of the foremost purveyors of sports timers during the golden age of vintage chronographs- 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. According to noted Heuer expert Jeff Stein, the first generation Skipper was created to celebrate the America's Cup win of the New York Yacht Club's ship The Intrepid. The blue sunburst dial being chosen because of the watch's close ties to water, and the green of the sub registers matching the color of the Intrepid’s deck, with this color having been chosen because of its anti-reflective properties. The contrasting (and here faded) orange chronograph hand was chosen to increase legibility at a glance.

The multi-colored sub register at 3:00 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.

Interestingly, Heuer never built a unique case for the Skippers, and it evolved alongside the other model lines during its production run. This is the only iteration to use the Carrera case (lending the watch it’s 'Skiperrera' nickname) as the Skipper quickly found its way into an Autavia case and stayed there for each future iteration.

 

 

 

 

Details

SKU: AS03538

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown and pushers). Reference 7754. Valjoux Calibre 7730 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1970.

Overall Condition: The  case is in excellent  condition over all, showing minor wear from age and use, and shows no signs of polishing. Luminous dial is in excellent condition with applied baton indices, with signs of patination near the '9' position. The luminous handset is in excellent condition with matching patina. Correct case back, pushers and Heuer-signed crown.

Fitted to a Gay Freres Double Grain Beads-of-Rice bracelet with 'HEL' endlinks.

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