What’s on a Racer’s Wrist? Looking at 5 Racing Heuer Watches

When it comes to racing timepieces, there’s no brand as influential in the world of motorsports as Heuer. During the Formula 1 sponsorship breakout in the 1960s, Heuer got into the world of motorsports and it remained there to this day. Heuer was a sponsor for various championship-winning teams and an official timekeeper of Formula 1

Throughout the decades, Heuer and TAG Heuer brands have been omnipresent at the races, with their respective logos stamped on trackside banners and famous liveries. The strong racing connection was courtesy of Jack Heuer, the brand’s prolific chairman. Himself a devout racing fan, Heuer personally campaigned timekeeping devices of all sorts wherever there were cars racing.

As a result of his efforts that started in the late 1950s, many rally cars were equipped with dashboard-mounted rally timers from the Auto-Rallye, Monte Carlo, Master Time and Super Autavia lines, whereas drivers themselves started wearing Heuer chronographs on their wrists to measure their lap times in real time. Icons of the glamorous 1960s and 1970s racing scene like Jo Siffert, Mario Andretti, Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson, Carroll Shelby and many more were seen wearing Heuer timepieces, but not all their watches rank the same in the collector community.

With Ronnie Peterson’s unique solid 18k gold Carrera 1158 CHN being in a league of its own, devout collectors recognize watches worn by Rindt, Andretti, Siffert and McQueen as four most coveted racing Heuer chronographs, all colloquially named after motorsport legends wearing them in their prime. To keep the expanded selection more interesting, we’ve added two collector watches on an affordable side of the price spectrum, both with very close ties to two more legendary drivers. Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of racing aces and their iconic Heuer watches.

1. Jochen Rindt – Autavia 2446

The Rindt Autavia 2446 is a chronograph with a reverse panda layout, featuring a black dial and three subdials on the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions and it’s powered by the hand wound Valjoux Caliber 72. Its 38mm steel case features straight lugs and a rotating bezel marked with hour indexes.

Throughout his career, Jochen Rindt was seen wearing this watch on numerous occasions both on and off the track, whereas his wife Nina, a 1960s fashion icon in her own right, prefered the panda dial Universal Genève Tri-Compax. Jochen Rindt tragically lost his life at Monza in 1970, winning the world title posthumously.

Given his and Nina’s iconic status, the Autavia 2446 became a collector classic among racing fans and it is still among the most coveted Heuers of the era.

2. Mario Andretti – Autavia 3646

The Andretti Autavia bears a 3646 reference and it’s powered by Valjoux Caliber 92. Just like the Rindt Autavia, the Andretti Autavia is a reverse panda chronograph with a black dial with a similar type of case, but unlike the Rindt, it has two white subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock positions. The 39 mm case features a rotating bezel indicating either hours or minutes, depending on the execution.

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: What’s on a Racer’s Wrist? Looking at 5 Racing Heuer Watches
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Published Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2021 14:49:33 +0000




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