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Thread: Another preowned watch from Tourneau: Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition

  1. #1

    Another preowned watch from Tourneau: Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition

    The late Chuck Maddox has already published the definitive guide to Carreras and I will not repeat it here. It's worth reading, for sure. See it here:

    Some highlights...

    One of Jack Heuer's big moves after buying the Heuer Watch Company from his uncle was the development of the Carrera. It was named for the Carrera Panamerica, a race through Mexico held from 1950-1954, covering Mexico's portion of the new Panamerican Highway.

    His idea was a chronograph that opened up the dial by moving the minute track to this new metal band his case supplier was using around the crystal to improve water resistance, which we call the rehaut. This prevented all the markings around the inside of the dial, which was the previously common dial style for chronos. The first models of the new Carrera had only these, or they had specialized tracks (tachymeter, telemeter, pulsimeter, or decimal minutes) in lighter colors outside the chapter ring. The case had no separate bezel and the crystal was installed in the thin shell of the outer case. This opened up the dial, allowed long hands, and made the watch wear large, despite its 36mm diameter.

    The case also used faceted lugs of the type now associated with TAG-Heuer watches.

    Jack Heuer maintained a strong connection to racing, famously trading highly accurate track timing equipment and watches for team drivers for the Heuer logo on the Ferraris that Enzo Ferrari was campaigning in Formula One. And, of course, Heuer provided the watches to Steve McQueen in his role in the movie Le Mans. This was the Monaco, his second car-racing-themed line.

    In 1985, Heuer, under duress, sold out the company to Techniques Avant Garde, and Heuer became TAG-Heuer.

    I used Heuer sports timing equipment to time bicycle time trials at the Texas track championship which I officiated in 1980, and I have always associated Heuer with sports timing and car racing. I campaigned my own race car in the Texas International Drivers Association in the early 80's, and had followed Formula One closely in the 70's.

    So, when the movie Rush came out last year, I was taken back to those times, when Niki Lauda was only slightly short of deity in my mind. And that accurately portrayed mid-70's Ferrari race car prominently displayed the Heuer logo.

    Last week, I wandered into the new Tourneau store on Pentagon City, and noted a much-expanded preowned watch display. And I noticed this small vintage-looking Carrera.

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    In 1998, TAG-Heuer experimented with what became a successful return to its roots, by issue a "Classics" line that started with a re-edition of the first Carrera Deci 12. The original had used a Valjoux 72, which was long out of production, and so TH used the only high-grade hand-wind chronograph movement available, the Lemania 1873. Yes, this is identical to the Omega 1861 used in the Speedmaster Moonwatch.

    I left it, but a repeat showing of Rush on Friday presented me with so many non-TAG Heuer logos that I considered it an omen. I went back on Saturday and bought it. Tourneau isn't always the cheapest, but the deal for this one was excellent.

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    The Heuer CS3110, ca. 1998

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    The text around the outside has caused some controversy. Some of these have it, and some don't. There is no correlation to serial number or market, and some have insisted that its presence makes it a fake (or those without it likewise). This is silly. My own theory is that people were flipping these as NOS vintage 1964 Carreras and TH added the inscriptions for watches that had not yet been delivered to retail stores to prevent the practice.

    But you can't fake this:

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    Lemania 1873, with Heuer engraving.

    You can see the Lemania Maltese Cross logo and caliber number under the balance wheel. This isn't a Poljot 3133 or a Chinese ST-19, as would be found in fakes. The finish is excellent for series-produced movements, and certainly equal to solid-caseback Speedmaster movements.

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    It's small, at 36mm and 13mm thick (a large portion of which is the deeply domed acrylic crystal. Remember, I have an 8-1/4" wrist.

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    (The Di-Modell strap is borrowed from another watch while Tourneau orders an extra-long strap from TAG-Heuer, which they provided at no charge.)

    Yes, Tourneau services their used watches:

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    The details are nearly identical to the originals:

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    Except for the signed crown--the first Carreras were smooth:

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    It's been running +4 on the wrist with exceptional tight variability. Lemania deserves its reputation.

    Yes, it's ironic to have a vintage-style Heuer with a Lemania movement--they would have been part of the competition in the 60's. But it's a great movement. And no longer available to Heuer since 1999 when Lemania was bought by Swatch, so this is a one-shot production not to be repeated with a traditional hand-wind movement.

    By the way, I did pay for the extended full coverage from Tourneau, which will get me a new strap every year and even a new crystal in the first three years if I scratch this one. For a watch like this, it's worth it.

    Rick "enjoying the trip down Memory Lane" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  3. #2

    Another preowned watch from Tourneau: Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by rfortson View Post
    Great looking watch, Rick! Congrats on the find, and thanks for the good story (as always). Didn't realize this had a Lemania movement. Are these still around? I've seen one at my local jewelers (I think). Is it NOS with the Lemania, or a newer version that TAG has going now?

    Anyway, good looking watch. It would look great on a rally strap.
    Only the CS311x models had the Lemania hand-wind movement, as I understand it. Later 211x etc. movements were caliber 17 modular chronographs (2892+DD module), or a facsimile of the original caliber 11 and 12 (which always were modular movements). I'm no expert on those, have never research TH model numbers.

    They made maybe 10-12,000 of these, so there never were a lot of them, but I see them go by on Ebay every little while. There were three dial choices in those first offerings.

    Rick "for whine this is one of only a couple really desirable TAG-Heuers" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  4. #3
    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Nice find Rick. Perhaps this once, I have beat you to the punch.

    Attachment 22978

    Here is mine, which I have owned since Mr. Maddox was around. I toyed with the idea of owning it since it has essentially the same movement as my Speedy Pro. He convinced me I should get it.

    Attachment 22976

    I really like the clean design. Very legible.

    Attachment 22975

    Caseback could have been better executed. Nothing like the crisp writing of my Speedy Pro.

    Attachment 22977

    And there it is. The Speedy Pro, for reasons I can't say, is a far better time keeper. That said, this Tag is my talisman. I have successfully interviewed every job I wore it to since the early 2000s.

    Dan "Thanks for making me bring this bad boy back up to the top" Ravenna
    Attached Images Attached Images     

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  6. #4
    The poor engraving quality of the writing around the edge of the case back is what tells me it was added after the watches were already in stock. It looks like a jobber did it and not the case manufacturer. The Heuer logo and the reference number are stamped, not etched. But it was done exactly as they would have done it in 1963, when Heuer made watches for functional duty, so I'm not surprised at the workmanlike finish.

    After three days of measuring time several times a day, with a normal-wear protocol including morning winding daily wear, and no concern at all about resting position, the best-fit rate has been +4.6 with no data point varying from that by more than a second per day. It's regulated slightly fast but that is very good timing indeed.

    Rick "noting that Mr. Maddox, a confirmed Omegaphile, sought to own every variation of these" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rdenney View Post
    There were three dial choices in those first offerings.
    Actually, in the first production run sold in 1996, there were only two dials: the black and the white.
    The white was also available in a gold case making three model line-up in the original release.

    The first (limited) Monaco (target dial) re-issue followed the year after which was replaced one year later by a (regular) 3-dial model.

    In 2000, the Carrera line had been expanded to include a three hander, a gmt and two more dial options for the chronograph.

    the four chronograph dials.

    my personal favourites are the white on rally strap and the daytona rings on bracelet (non-original original guy freres "grains/beads of rice")

    The white/silver dial looks a little plain with it. The black looks okay-ish but the rings gives a little bit of continuity between the dial and the bracelet that the plain dials seem to lack. It's probably also why the 2447NS and SN models look so good on the bracelet too.

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  9. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by drunken monkey View Post
    Actually, in the first production run sold in 1996, there were only two dials: the black and the white.
    The white was also available in a gold case making three model line-up in the original release.
    Chuck Maddox thought it was 1997/1998 when they were thinking about reviving the old lines, but I don't know myself. If Dan bought his new, he might remember the year--his has a very low serial number and is certainly from the first batch.

    I should have said the first three offerings were different case and dial combinations. There were three reference numbers (CS3140--gold with white dial, CS3110, steel with white dial, and CS3111, black dial). The Daytona-rings dials were in the second batch of models, reference CS3112 and CS3113. All of these had the Lemania movement. Subsequent models were made after TAG-Heuer lost access to Lemania.

    Or, so says Mr. Maddox.

    Rick "curious as to why they selected the decimal minutes version to re-edit" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  10. #7
    The re-edition first appeared in the 1996 catalogues.
    Can't off the top of my head say it it made an appearance in the mid-year update of the previous year or not, or if there was a special dedicated release catalogue but the "classics" were definitely introduced in the main annual catalogue for 1996.

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