Heuer Carrera Chronographs:
Brief Overview: Then, Now and the
- Based on
a thread from 19 June
Revised: 18 May 2003, 11:12
and the future...
Carrera Panamericana Rally
In 1950, Mexico was
about to compete its section of the great
Pan-American highway. To celebrate that event,
it was decided to create a motor race on the
3,500 km distance of the highway from the border
of Guatemala and the United States. From 1950
through 1954, "Le Carrera Panamericana
Rally Mexico" was held five times. And
five times the worlds greatest drivers traversed
the vast expanse over terrain that varied from
deserts, prairies, mountains and tropical
jungles. A legend was born.
- Introduced in 1963,
Carrera was the first Heuer line of watches
with it's own brand name.
courtesy of Eric So
Although the Carrera was
a evolution in terms of design for Heuer, its
look was completely distinctive when compared to
the commonly seen and sold chronographs of the
1940's and 1950's. Jack Heuer (pictured at
left), the CEO of the company, wanted a watch
with an excellent readability. So he printed the
1/5 sec scale on the "rehaut" (the inner bezel)
of the watch. Tachymeter or pulsometer scales
were not placed in the centre of the dial (a
typical design feature of 1940's and 1950's
chronographs), but formed an outer ring around
the five minutes markers. The dial immediately
looked bigger and cleaner.
It's fair to say that
Heuer was already moving in this direction prior
to the first formal naming of a Carrera model.
The line was in continuous production until the
late 1970's/early 1980's in one form, model,
style or another. Design changed with the taste
of the times from classical-elegant, round case,
small lugs (until mid 1960's) to, well 1970's
style - large and fancy cushion cases. The last
vintage Carreras in the 1980's showed more
modern designs like the contemporary Lemania,
Omega or Porsche Design watches.
This article is an
attempt to show the origins, the growth, the
seeming death and rebirth of this classic
"tool-watch" chronograph. The Heuer Carrera
chronograph is sometimes overshadowed by it's
contemporaries, but it deserves recognition and
respect from the watch community.
here to go to Part 2: The
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