1960s Heuer Carrera 45 “Deci” Ref. 3647D
This early Heuer Carrera 45 reference 3647D dates to circa 1963 and features its original two-tone silver dial with blue decimal scale and original hands. The stunning dial is in excellent condition. The luminous on the dial appears original and matching with the hands, both showing a nice patina. The classic Carrera stainless steel case appears unpolished and has a case diameter of 35.5mm. The serial number 54,6xx fits into the known 54,xxx batch as documented for this execution, and has the correct notched caseback signed Ed Heuer & Co. This corresponds to the movement which is also signed Ed Heuer & Co. The movement that powers this double register chronograph is the quality manual wind Valjoux calibre 92, which is clean and fully functioning. The unsigned crown is correct and appears original. The watch is complimented by a grey JPM leather strap and unsigned pin buckle. The overall condition of this watch makes it one of the best examples we have seen for many years. These Carrera watches from the 1960s are held in high regard by collectors for their refined iconic design and quality.
Carrera 45 “Deci”
Heuer, Motorsports and the Carrera
Of all the brands within modern horology, very few are as closely linked to motorsports as Heuer, the predecessor company to the modern horological giants that we have today, TAG Heuer, following their merger with TAG in 1985. With faster and faster cars taking part, motorsports quickly grew in popularity during the mid-1900s, so Heuer saw the opportunity to be associated with the growing phenomenon. On the back of that idea, Heuer began to produce the instruments, clocks and dials that would feature on the dashboards of racing cars. Inspired by those designs, Heuer slowly started to release wristwatches in the 1950s and 1960s that would go on to spark their golden era as they became one of the best-known watchmakers involved in the motorsport space.
The Carrera’s story began in 1962 when Jack Heuer met two racing drivers, the Rodriguez brothers, at the 12 Hours of Seabring race. They told Jack about the Carrera Panamericana, an infamously deadly border-to-border open road racing event across Mexico that they never got to take part in before it ended. Inspired by the romance and danger of the race, Jack registered the name “Carrera”(Spanish for “Race”) in Switzerland and went about designing a practical timepiece for gentlemen drivers that would be capable of timing races and measuring speeds.
Released during Baselworld in 1963, the Heuer Carrera was Jack Heuerâ€™s answer to the market’s growing demand for pure motorsport-inspired chronographs. Having just taken over the brand the year prior in 1962, Jack wanted to put his own stamp on Heuer and, as such, sought for the Carrera to be a straightforward chronograph with a legible dial and intuitive design, a style of watchmaking that he preferred.
With its easy-to-read design, the Carrera soon became the watch of choice for some of car racingâ€™s most famous names, with Formula 1 racers loving its design. For example, in 1969, Heuer had signed a deal with Jo Siffert of Porsche in what would be the first non-automotive personal sponsorship deal in F1â€™s history. Just four years later, Heuer would then sign an agreement with Scuderia Ferrari to be their official timekeeper, pairing the best Formula 1 team at the time with the best watchmaker involved in the automotive space.
The Carrera and its movements
Throughout its lifetime, the Carrera has featured many movements that each have their own piece of historical importance, but Heuer’s truly golden era was during the 1960s when they would use movements from Valjoux. Found in the ref. 3647 D, there lies a manually wound column-wheel Valjoux cal. 92 movement. Trusted by Rolex, Patek Philippe and many others, Valjoux were the definitive authority on chronograph movements, and the cal. 92 was, and still is, a truly spectacular movement. It even featured a piece of engineering that Edouard Heuer had patented in 1887 called the “swivel pinion” or “oscillating pinion”, which is a clutch system that was superior to the more commonly used horizontal clutch system. Reliable, durable and iconic as a piece of the puzzle that led Valjoux to be one of the most highly regarded movement makers in the world, it was a perfect fit for Heuer and the Carrera ref. 3647 D.
The Heuer Carrera “Deci” ref. 3647D
Designed specifically with engineers, technicians and efficiency analysts in mind, the Carrera “Deci” was an exciting niche design for the members of a racing team, rather than specifically for the driver. In keeping with its classical Carrera design, the ref. 3647 D features a clean and legible dial devoid of obstructions and its eponymous “decimal” scale surrounding its periphery, marked in a bright blue. While most other Carreras would use a tachymeter scale, the Carrera’s tachymeter scale allows rapid conversion between time and percentages, as it plots a scale of 0-100 along its minute scale. A double register chronograph, the ref. 3647 D features a running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and a 45-minute chronograph subdial at 3 o’clock on its stunning silver sunburst dial.
The Carrera Today
Long established as one of the most historical chronograph wristwatches ever, the Carrera has now become TAG Heuer’s most powerful model as it continues to symbolise their links with the automotive industry and the brands found within the space. With limited edition models inspired by their designs from the 60s produced for cars makers like Aston Martin and Porsche and pieces like the variant released in collaboration with Hodinkee, alongside plenty of other limited edition variants, the Carrera remains a historical timepiece of the utmost importance to TAG Heuer and their journey to the zenith of automotive-inspired watchmaking.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE