‘Silver Script’ 3647N Heuer Carrera
There’s nothing like an obscure, meaningless detail to get watch enthusiasts researching. Early Carreras and early Daytonas share more than just a column-wheel Valjoux 72 heartbeat. We’re talking same hour markers, milled subdials, and subdial numerals. See, the earliest Carreras had dials manufactured by Singer—the very same of Rolex fame. And these Singer dials came in a range of variants. The silver script printing here marks this 3647N out as a small batch of early Singer production, a quite attractive one if you ask me.
It was around 1964, just after the first (and I mean first ever Carrera dial batch) black dial with white script, that Singer produced a batch of black dials with silver text for the printed script. These early Carrera examples also tend to have a few details in common, not often discussed: unsigned crowns, hexagonal casebacks, slightly thinner hands, and a ‘SWISS’ only dial. 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. But silver printed Carreras tend to be from early executions and definitely produced by Singer. And definitely gorgeous.
And then there’s the 2-register Carrera itself. 1963 saw the introduction of both the Daytona and three-register 2447 Carrera. This two-register 3647, called the Carrera 45 colloquially, followed shortly thereafter. The reference has a stunning simplicity not often seen in that era. Jack Heuer became obsessed with minimal and highly legible dial layouts after a course on the subject at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He was also an enthusiast of architecture and saw the groundswell of restraint as a force for good in design. But then there are flourishes of style here too, like the gracefully-faceted, elongated lugs which are unique to the Carrera’s 36mm case. For what was intended as an unpretentious steel tool, much care has been applied to each millimeter. The silver script dial is just the cherry on top.
This example is a killer. Most impressively, the provenance is clear, coming from the seller’s father. The case is full, light wear with maybe an extremely light polish but still super full lugs. Hard to tell. Crown is correct. The dial is undamaged, with very clear printing and lovely original cream tritium. Truly a standout Carrera dial. V92 serviced recently. It comes from a well-regarded German retailer.