Volvo Dial 2447NST Heuer Carrera
Safety has never looked so sexy. Volvo make sensible cars for sensible people. I have many friends for whom an XC90 is more akin to the family dog than a mode of transport. As someone who comes from a very Swedish family, I can assure you the Swedish do not often take massive risks. We go to work on time, look after our families, and if we’re feeling really ornery might just have a bit of Svedka and listen to Abba. No surprise then, that Volvos look good and keep people safe. But vintage Heuer? Heuer we associate with daring feats, Formula 1, Le Mans, and drivers willing to risk life and limb for glory. That contrast is what makes this Carrera so special, not just the rarity, which it certainly also has.
These Volvo dials were given to high performing Volvo executives as gifts from the company in the early 1970s. Now many of us are used to see double-signed dials, but it’s equal parts strange and incredible to see a double-signed dial where the collaborative branding takes priority at 12. Even in Heuer’s other double-signed dials such as the Champion Spark Plug, Car and Drive Magazine, or any retailers I’ve seen, the collaborative brand is placed down at 6. I’m not sure just how Volvo got away with top billing, placing a tiny shield down in the 6 subdial, but it makes for a Heuer dial unlike any other.
There are thought to be somewhere around 15 examples in total, these are at the very top of collectible Carreras. I know of just one of these that has traded hands in the last five years. This one is coming to market next week from Swedish auction house Bukowskis, consigned by the niece of its original owner, who was a Volvo exec. It’s about as cool a Carrera as you’ll ever have the chance to pick up. And between the recent reference points, a cooling off period since Phillips Heuer Parade, and all the great work from people like Jeff Stein, Rich Fordon, Nicholas Biebuyck, and Eric Wind, I suspect we’re at the outset of a groundswell in renewed Carrera collecting. If any historic chronograph deserves the attention today, this is it.
This example is in decent condition, with a little attention it could be great. Thankfully, the case is sharp and not touched. I suspect it’s spent a few years on wrist and many in a drawer. The crystal is loose, which can be easily fixed. Lume is faded to a deep pumpkin, which looks great. Very light specks and spotting on the dial, commensurate with age, but no damage. Running well. Overall, a seriously great watch. My money’s on it to beating the top estimate by a considerable margin.
A very special thank you to our friends at Eqo Time for providing the photography in this feature.