Heuer Carrera Chronographs:   
A Brief Overview: Then, Now and the Future:
A collaboration between
Matthias Liebe-Kleymann & Chuck Maddox USA!
Based on a thread from 19 June 2002,
Last Revised: 18 May 2003, 11:12 GMT.
Certain Rights Reserved.
Top, In The Beginning,
The 1960s, The 1970s,
The 1980s, The 1990s,
Now and the future...
Addendum, Author's Notes,
Certain Rights Reserved
Click here to go to Part 4: The 1980's

Top Up Down Bottom The 1990s:


The story could well have ended then and there. Under new management, Heuer was recast as TAG-Heuer. Old lines were dropped, new ones created. TAG-Heuer transitioned from a largely "Tool-Watch" manufacturer specializing in Chronographs, Stopwatches and sporting events timing, to a luxury watch manufacturer with an emphasis on "avanté garde" design. Hence the name "Techniqués d'Avanté Garde".

While the new product line achieved great financial success, it came with a cost. Many people who remembered and valued "the old Heuer" were not so keen on the direction that the new management were set on. For many years there was not a Carrera model, as the often plain, austere and older styling did not mesh well with the bold styling of the lines added after the TAG takeover like the S/EL and 6000. The Carrera line was largely forgotten except by those who had owned one, or perhaps wished they could find one to purchase. Eventually, towards 1997/1998, TAG-Heuer finally realized that the roots of the brand was still cherished and had retained great salability and launched a "Classics" series of watches. The first "new-old" model was the 1964 Carrera Re-Edition.

-- Chuck's 1964 Re-Edition Carrera Silver Dial. Note the lack of "Carrera" on the dial and the Silver not white color of the dial

At first three new Carrera "Re-Editions were offered for sale to the public in a case and style nearly identical to the original 1964 model, which is now widely considered a classic by most collectors:
  1. In 18k Yellow Gold
  2. In Stainless Steel with a Silver Dial
  3. In Stainless Steel with a Black Dial





For the most part the Re-Edition models are a fairly close approximation of the 1964 Heuer Carrera as shown in the catalog near the beginning of this article. Internally, the original models were powered by a Valjoux c.72 movement. A venerable and very popular column-wheel mechanical movement used by nearly every major watch manufacturer at one time or another including Rolex, with the only exception seeming to be Omega and Tissot. The Valjoux 72 was the counterpart and main competitor/rival of the Lemaina movement used in the Speedmasters of the same epoch known to most Omega owners/collectors as the c.321 movement. Valjoux ceased production of the c.72 movement at some point in the 1970's to concentrate on production of the 7750 family of movements which it considered to be the next big then. They seem to have been proven correct on that one.
So when TAG-Heuer sought to re-release a version of the 1964 model, they ironically choose the movement that replaced the original movement's main competitor, the Lemania c.1873, known to most Omega fans as the c.1861 movement which power the current Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. The level of finish on the movements of the Re-Edition Carrera and the Moonwatch are comparable, nearly identical.
Heuer Flavor of the Lemania 1873 movement
So once again anyone could visit their local TAG-Heuer Dealer and purchase a "Heuer Carrera" to wear while driving a vintage car through Mexico... The Carrera Panamercana rallye is once again alive since it's revival in the late 1980's.
So how did the Classics line fair? The Carrera Re-Editions (along with their Monaco Re-Edition line mates) were tremendous sales and critical successes, and TAG-Heuer quickly added additional models to each classic product line. First were two new variants of the existing Chronograph line with "Daytona Rings" added to the sub-dials of a new Black and Copper dial version:


These models are identical to the previous Stainless Steel cased models with the exception of the dial and model number. The movement remains the Lemania 1873 used previously.

In addition to these two chronograph models, TAG-Heuer choose to add two models (with attendant dial/strap variations to complement the chronograph models...



These new models are "Classics" in name and styling only. There are no direct or indirect relation to any models that Heuer produced in the 1960's or 1970's... At the time Heuer concentrated entirely on Chronographs, stopwatches and sporting event timing. These new models sported fairly commonplace ETA movements in Carrera cases with newly designed dials for the Classics line.

-- Photo provided by Jorge Merino

Click here to go to Part 6: Now and the Future

Top Up Down Bottom Certain Rights Reserved:


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