Swiss watch maker Edouard Heuer founded the company that still bears his name in 1860. He began as a manufacturer of chronographs for sportsmen, and his early interest continues to be a hallmark of Heuer timepieces today.

It took half a century for Heuer’s firm to add wristwatches to its line of stopwatches, pocket watches, and dashboard chronographs. That occurred in 1913 and was instigated by the late founder’s sons, Jules and Charles.

The earliest Heuer wristwatches were made for women and featured gold or leather bands. Men’s chronograph wristwatches soon followed. A typical antique men’s Heuer wristwatch from the late 1910s and throughout the 1920s had a round stainless-steel case, gold numerals on a white dial, and hands that suggest an Art Nouveau influence. A button set within the crown (the winder) controlled the watch’s chronographic functions.

During this period, in 1916, Heuer made the first timer to record tenths of a second. That led to Heuer’s selection as the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games of 1920, 1924, and 1928.

Despite the Great Depression, the 1930s were a busy decade for Heuer. In 1930, it invented a flyback mechanism for its chronographs and patented a waterproof case. Functions such as automatic winding came shortly thereafter and in the middle of the decade, it produced steel Flieger chronographs for the German Air Force.

By the 1940s, triple-calendar chronographs began to appear. Cases came in steel or gold, with dials ranging from black to copper to white. These are among the most collectible vintage Heuers around. By the end of the decade, Heuer would introduce the Solunar, its first wristwatch to give tidal times.

The 1950s saw the introduction of the first of the so-called "poor man’s" Heuers, which were Heuer wristwatches either manufactured for third parties or for Heuer itself under a ...

Heuer’s most famous third-party client was undoubtedly Abercrombie & Fitch, whose early 1950s line of Seafarer and Auto-Graph wristwatches were heavily promoted by the clothing retailer. The nautically themed Seafarer featured blue-and-while indicators on white or black dials, giving wearers information on tides and the phases of the moon. The wristwatch design was so popular that Heuer repurposed it some years later as the Mareographe under its own label.

A&F’s Auto-Graph was introduced in 1953. This stylish watch was a triple-calendar chronograph, with numerals around the outside rim of the dial to help wearers calculate miles-per-hour and functions designed to calculate miles-per-gallon.

Another auto-themed wristwatch was the 1962 Autavia, which took its name from Heuer’s dashboard timers from the late 1950s. The elegant Carrera chronograph line was introduced the following year—both it and the Autavia featured movements manufactured by Valjoux.

Changes in Heuer’s ownership structure consumed much of the rest of the 1960s, but the company also produced a number of new models, including the Regatta in 1965, the Bundeswehr in 1967 (a brand picked up when Heuer acquired Leonides in 1964), the Camaro in 1968, and the square faced Monaco, which Steve McQueen made famous when he wore it in the 1971 racing film, Le Mans.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

OnTheDash

OnTheDash

Jeffrey Stein's great reference site on Heuer chronographs and dashboard timepieces. This site offers everything yo… [read review or visit site]

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Genuine Tag Heuer Monza Automatic - Wr2110Jason Bourne Tag Heuer Link Chronograph Mens Watch Ct1111Tag Heuer Carrera Cv2a10 Mens Black Dial Automatic Chrono Stainless Steel Watch Tag Heuer Monaco Caliber 12Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph Calibre 18 Car221a.fc6353Tag Heuer Monaco Automatic Chronograph Caw2114.fc6177 Black Wrist Watch For Men Carrera Vintage Heuer Chronograph Automatic Cal.11Heuer Automatic Chronograph 1163v Caliber 11 VintageTag Heuer Connected Modular 45 - Black Rubber With Black Mat Ceramic BezelVintage Heuer Montreal Valjoux 7750 Black Dial Stainless Steel Chronograph WatchTag Heuer Connected Modular 45Mens Tag Heuer Carrera - Cv2a11Vintage 1960's Heuer Leonidas 2 Register Chronograph 17 Jewels Men's Wrist WatchTag Heuer Carrera Twin Time Swiss Made Men's Stainless Steel 2010 Auto Watch M18Tag Heuer Ladies Diamond Carrera War1315Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 8rs Grand Date / Gmt Ref #wav5111 WristwatchTag Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 - Cv2a12Tag Heuer Carrera Cv2a10 Mens Black Dial Automatic Chrono Stainless Steel Watch Tag Heuer Aquaracer Chronograph Men's Automatic Watch Cap2112.ba08332006 Tag Heuer Monaco Cronografo Glass Plexy Calibrer 17 Ref. Cw 2113-0 In BoxTag Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Cva210Mens Tag Heuer Monaco - Caw2110Vintage Heuer Pre Carrera Chronograph Watch Ref 73323 Serviced Fully SignedAuthentic Tag Heuer Link Automatic, Crystal Skeleton Case Back, Cjf2115-0Tag Heuer Formula 1 Men's Watch Caz2012.ba0970 Ceramic Chronograph Automatic NwtWay211a.ba0928 Tag Heuer Aquaracer Mens Watch Automatic Black Ceramic BezelTag Heuer Aquaracer 300m ,cay1110.ft6041 Chronograph Black Rubber Men's Watch Tag Heuer Link Wjf1313.ba0571 Wrist Watch For Women Mother Of Pearl Diamond DialTag Heuer Monaco Ii Automatic Watch Ww2110.ft6005Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 Automatic 500m Ref#wak2122 Steel & Gold WristwatchTag Heuer Connected Smart Watch. Excellent Condition! Android Ios Sar8a80.ft6045Tag Heuer Aquaracer Diamond Ladies Mop Swiss Quartz WatchTag Heuer Connected Black 46mm Smart Watch Fast Ship Ios AndroidTag Heuer Formula 1 Watch (waz1010 Ba0842)Jason Bourne Tag Heuer Link Chronograph Mens Watch Ct1111Tag Heuer Connected Luxury Smart Watch (android/iphone) (black)Tag Heuer Connected Smart Watch Android Sar8a80.ft6045 Complete BoxTag Heuer Aquaracer Caf2110.ba0809 Wrist Watch For MenTag Heuer Aquaracer 500m Calibre 5 Ref. Waj2111 WristwatchTag Heuer Connected With White And Black StrapsTag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph Cap2112.ba0833 Wrist Watch For MenTag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 Automatic 500m Diver Watch Waj1112Tag Heuer Link Automatic Men's Chronograph WatchTag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Calibre 5 Black Dial Steel Watch Wap2010 ExcellentTag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Calibre 16Men's Tag Heuer Aquaracer - Perfect - 4 Weeks Old, Worn Once - No Reserve!Vintage Heuer Chronograph One Button Valjoux 23 Men WatchTag Heuer Link Calibre 5 Wj201aTag Heuer Mercedes Benz Slr Cag7010.ba0254 Wrist Watch For MenTag Heuer Link Ref#wjf1417 Diamonds & Steel Ladies WristwatchTag Heuer Formula One Mclaren Limited Edition Black Dial Caz1112.fc8188Tag Heuer Man's Watch Indy 500 Special EditionTag Heuer Aquaracer Stainless Steel Diamond Dial 300m Ss Date Watch 38mmWomans Genuine Tag Heuer Profesional Diamond Mop Dial Wrist Watch Stainless Tag Heuer Aquaracer "grande Date" Diver Mens Chronograph Watch Tag Heuer Diamond Ladies Aquaracer Stainless SteelVintage Heuer Silverstone Chronograph Nsa Bracelet From 70'sVintage Swiss Heuer Up & Down Chrono Valjoux 77 Cal. 33.5mm Case. Pre-carrera.Tag Heuer Carrera Was2112 Calibre 6 Automatic Movement Strap WatchTag Heuer Men's Cj1110 Link Quartz Chronograph Watch (free Shipping)