1970 Heuer Carrera 12 Ref. 2447N
This Heuer Carrera 12 reference 2447N “2nd execution” dates to 1970/71. The N in the reference stands for “Noir” translating to black, referring to the dial colour. This rare black dial is found in excellent original condition and features the original hands. The luminous on the dial appears original and matching with the hands, both showing a nice patina. These all-black dials are very desirable and rare to find in this condition. The classic Carrera stainless steel case has a case diameter of 35.5mm which wears slightly larger on the wrist due to the thinner bezel proportions. The serial number 104,4xx fits into the known 104,xxx batch as documented for these 2nd execution black dials, and has the correct notched caseback signed Heuer-Leondias SA. This corresponds to the movement which is also signed Heuer-Leondias. The movement that powers this triple register chronograph is the manual wind Valjoux calibre 72, which is clean and fully functioning. This quality movement was shared by a number of watch companies at the time, most notably Rolex for the Cosmograph Daytona. The crown appears original and is signed Heuer. The watch is complimented by a black JPM leather strap and unsigned pin buckle. These Carrera watches from the 1960s are held in high regard by collectors for their refined iconic design and quality.
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 Heuer’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 racing’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 F1’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 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.
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