Haslinger's Fifteen: Countdown to Heuer Auction

In London on 15 December, Bonhams will auction the famous Haslinger Collection of historically important classic Heuer watches. As an appetiser, Classic Driver presents a little 'advent calendar' countdown to this interesting sale.

The 'Vintage-Heuer Advent Calendar'

1 December: Heuer Carrera, 1964

A historically interesting piece, this watch is a very important Carrera: one of the early production samples. Introduced in 1964, later that year Heuer was to merge with Leonidas to form 'Heuer-Leonidas SA'. The pre-merger signature 'ED.Heuer & Co. SA' can be seen on the movement and the case-back. This was gradually changed to 'Heuer-Leonidas' after mid-1964.

It is a one-owner watch in beautiful original condition and still has its first Heuer-stamped leather strap from 1964. The movement is the rare Valjoux 92 with its classic two-register design.
2 December: Heuer Monza, 1975

The ‘Monza’ has a very special place in the Heuer portfolio. It was introduced after a Ferrari-mounted Niki Lauda came third in the 1975 Italian Grand Prix at the famous Italian circuit near Milan, clinching the 1975 Drivers’ World Championship.

To commemorate this event, Jack Heuer launched the Monza model line. It was a limited-edition watch powered by the Cal 15 movement, and came in a chrome-and-black pvd case. Contemporary black and red Ferrari colours featured in the dial design, while the first watches were delivered in red, ‘miniature helmet’ packaging. Surrounding the dial is a pulsometer and tachymeter scale and on the back is engraved ‘Heuer Monza’, as well as the serial and reference numbers. Both models (very rare collector pieces) in the auction have the characteristic ‘large-hole’ leather racing straps and are in new, ‘old stock’ condition.
3 December: Heuer Calculator, 1977/1978

The Heuer Calculator was a small mathematical sensation when introduced in the late-70s. Powered by the Cal 12 movement, it was the first ‘wrist computer’ to calculate division, multiplication, currency conversion, fuel consumption, average speed, metric to Imperial and many other handy operations. This example has highly visible, contrasting white hands, its original steel strap, box and papers, and is unusual in lacking the familiar ‘Calculator’ name on the dial.
4 December: Heuer Camaro, 1970

The Heuer Camaro model was introduced in 1967, targeting the important US market. ‘Pony cars’, medium-sized sporty saloons with big V8 engines, were the latest trend. Chevrolet’s Camaro model followed the super-successful Ford Mustang as an affordable four-seat sportscar for the masses. Heuer’s Camaro-branded chronograph neatly tied in with GM’s promotional work, such as sponsored Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars in 1967 and ’69.

This rare, ‘black dial’ Camaro, powered by a Valjoux 72 movement, features red hands and sub-dials and is another new 'old stock’ survivor.
5 December: Heuer Carrera 'Indianapolis', 1966

With its printed date-wheel at 12-o-clock, the 1966 ‘Indianapolis’ Carrera chronograph was shown in the Heuer sales catalogue for one year only. It has a silver starburst finish to the dial – a beautiful effect that gives the face a metallic look. Printed on the dial is the logo of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, neatly coordinating with Heuer’s involvement in motorsport timing at that famous venue, an association maintained by TAG Heuer today.

There are three ‘Indy’ watches in the auction, some of only a handful of these watches in existence today.
6 December:

This is an extremely rare Autavia model, inspired by the famous Heuer Bundeswehr pilots’ watch. This was made solely for the German market and was only shown once in the German Heuer catalogue. It utilises the last version of the Autavia case, similar to the automatic version. As a military-type watch, it employs green luminescent Arabic numerals and a bi-directional bezel showing minutes and seconds. Powered by a Valjoux 7736 movement, very few of these watches were made and this represents an opportunity to buy one of the rarest Heuer chronographs.
7 December: Heuer Carrera, 1968

The contrasting, so-called ‘panda’ dial of this series of Carrera is rare and commands a hefty premium. Over the years, the face’s starburst finish has mellowed to a creamy, brownish hue.

On the edge of the dial is a tachymeter scale. The hour markers and hand-inserts have a patina which matches the rest of the dial.
8 December: Heuer Solunar, 1976

The Heuer Solunar is the first automatic watch to measure the rise and fall of sea tides. Two moveable bezels work together to indicate – over a two-week period – low and high tide. The bezel and bilingual date functions are adjusted by two large crowns. The watch is new ‘old stock’, comes complete with its original leather strap and still has its (rare) user manual.
9 December: Heuer Jacky Ickx, 1973

The oval, very 1970s, chrome-plated case encloses a dial with the famous Belgian F1 and Le Mans star’s signature on it. The Heuer Jacky Ickx, with its avant-garde design, was aimed at a more youthful buyer. The watch, another new ‘old stock’ piece, comes complete with its original ‘helmet’ packaging memorably signed by Ickx himself. One for the real motorsport collector.
10 December: Heuer Skipper, 1970

The Skipper was a model intended for the ocean-racing set. Ref. 7764 is manually wound, powered by a Valjoux 7730 movement, and is another rarity in Heuer collecting circles as it was only produced for one year: 1970. The dial exhibits a nice patina, showing as it does an enlarged blue/white/red countdown scale for the start of a regatta. It comes complete with its original strap and Heuer-stamped buckle. The model was succeeded by an automatic version with a Cal 15 movement.
11 December: Carrera ‘Royal Jordanian Air Force’

Another rare piece, this Landeron 189-powered military model was specially ordered by the Royal Jordanian Air Force. It has RJAF markings in Arabic on the case-back. An interesting model for the military watch collector.
12 December: Heuer Cortina, 1977

In addition to its widespread activities in the world of motorsport, Heuer was also a prominent source of timing equipment at skiing events in the 70s. The Cortina model line was introduced in 1977 and featured a hexagonal-shaped case, nicely integrated with the steel links of the strap. The white dial with Roman numerals and black hands is as elegant now as it was at the time. Originally exported to Argentina, the watch still has the importation sticker on the reverse. A black-dialled Cortina was also produced – both rarities, having only been made over a three-year period and now highly sought-after, especially in such fantastic condition.
13 December: Heuer Verona, 1978

The Verona, introduced in 1978, was the last completely new model line in the Heuer portfolio. It was influenced by classic chronograph designs from the 1950s. Also available in gold, the brushed steel case had a contrasting polished bezel with either gloss black, or brushed silver, dials. The latter dial with a red date is particularly rare. Production of the Verona stopped after just two years.
14 December: Heuer Silverstone, 1974

The Silverstone was the successor to the famous (think Steve McQueen and the Le Mans movie...) square Monaco watch. It was introduced at the tail-end of Monaco production, in 1974, and was a more rounded evolution of the geometric Monaco.

The case was highly polished, with brushed panels to the lower sides and back. Three dial colours were available (gloss red, gloss blue and starburst-finish brown – examples of all of which are in the sale), as well as a choice of either steel or perforated leather straps. The Silverstone was only catalogued for three years in period, although it has since been re-released in a modern format by the current TAG Heuer company.

The three Silverstone chronographs in the sale are all unworn, new ‘old stock’.
15 December: Heuer Monaco PVD-Black, 1974

Although introduced as a new version in 1974, the manual-wound, 74033 model Monaco was catalogued in the last year of the series’ five-year production life. It featured a Valjoux 7740 movement and had the winding crown in the centre of the two chronograph pushers.

The 740303 version was fitted with an all-black dial with white hour and minute hands, and orange-red chronograph dial hands. Unusually, instead of the more familiar brushed steel case, this version had a black, PVD-coated finish. It is the rarest variation and, within the Heuer collecting community, is the most desirable.

It is new ‘old stock’ and comes complete with its original box, Heuer ‘racing’ strap, rare black-coated buckle and red factory sticker on the case-back.

Estimated at £10,000 - 15,000 (12,000 - 18,000 euros, $US16,000 - 24,000), it is possibly the best example to come to auction to date – an “incredible trophy for the Heuer collector”.

Text: Arno Haslinger - www.heuerchronographs.com, J. Philip Rathgen
Photos: Clemens Kois

ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!