110.233 Heuer Cortina
While Heuers with Autavia, Carrera, and Monaco on the dial tend to dominate industry attention, the manufacture has an almost bewildering history of obscure and interesting low-production references. The Cortina is one model at the apex of that category, though substantially less famous than the Skipper, Seafarer, or even Solunagraph. Despite Heuer’s motorsport pedigree, the Cortina has nothing to do the namesake Ford or Lotus equivalents of the era. No, this Heuer sought to charm wealthy skiers in the eponymous Italian mountain town of Cortina; a bizarre, winter-aimed, automatic, integrated sports steel offering from an unexpected name.
All we know for certain from Arno Haslinger’s Heuer Chronographs is that Heuer was keen to add a winter-sports themed model to its portfolio and so chose the chic town of Cortina. Just why 39mm octagonal case with full bracelet integration made sense for winter is anyone’s guess. But I’m awfully glad someone thought this was a good idea. The Cortina used late 70s Heuer indices with earlier generation hands, resulting in contrasting widths that I find oddly charming. It was powered by the famed calibre 12 with date indication. The Cortina emerged in 1977 and evolved into a far less attractive second generation case by the early 80s in the ref. 510.513. Despite having all the credentials of collectibility today (integrated, niche, low production), the Cortina remains relatively unknown and uncollected.
This example is in lovely shape. Its edges are proud and sharp. Brushing is still visible on the case and links. Its dial is clear and undegraded with white scripts. Tritium applications are matched on the dial and handset, all intact. It comes as a naked watch from a well-regarded German retailer.
Find this Cortina here from Wristclassics for 6490 EUR.