3147N Heuer Carrera Dato 12 First Execution
Variety is the spice of life and quirky date windows are the joie de vivre de Heuer Carreras. Some of the earliest dates on a Carrera can come at 12, as shown here. Or 45, in the latter iterations or very latter Hodinkee LE. But also 6, as in the 1153 Carrera. Or you can get a date at 3 in the modern Carrera. Heuer seems incapable of making their mind up, but at least they didn’t commit the cardinal sin of a 4:30 aperture. In my mind, they nailed it out of the gate. Whatever scratches your itch, the early Dato scratches mine.
I’m not used to seeing it at 12, but then I’m not used to much on this first execution example. For instance, the the thin, beveled baton indices. They’re very Daytona-like. In fact, they’re precisely the same that appeared on the Daytona, as early Carrera dials were made by Singer as well. These early Carrera examples also tend to have a few details in common, not often discussed: silver print, unsigned crowns, occasional hexagonal casebacks, slightly thinner hands, and ‘SWISS’ only dials. Heuer’s production at this time was not totally uniform and there are examples with any number of these elements combined. Productions varied as an artifact of what was in stock and differed for export to differing countries. This one went to France.
That’s why there’s a little Fab Suisse at 6, indicating production for the french market. Fab Suisse has made an appearance on practically ever iteration of the vintage Carrera, but in very, very small quantities. At the time, it was demanded that watches imported to France have their origin printed on dial as a sort of double check. Usually, the text was printed very close to the manufacture, but Heuer chose to separate it down at 6 which does lend an interesting visual balance. Here, it’s paired with a Heuer Gay Frères for that chef’s kiss. If your name is Alain Prost, Romain Grosjean, or you want to be any sort of generic French racer-playboy equivalent, this is your ideal chronograph.
As Carrera examples go this is what you want. A case with light surface wear but full edges, unrestored undamaged dial, deep cream tritium hands with all pips, and no spots on the white seconds track. It comes from the only name in vintage Heuer that isn’t Stein, Wind.
Find this 3147N here from Wind Vintage for 19000 USD.