A vintage Heuer Carrera Dato 45 made for the Jordanian Air Force is up for sale in the upcoming Phillips thematic auction of notable Heuer chronographs made during the Jack Heuer era. Part of the ‘The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection: Exceptional Heuer Chronographs from the Jack Heuer Era’ auction hosted by Philipps Watches on November 11 in Geneva, this rare chronograph is based on the Ref. 3147N second generation Carrera from 1968.
Referred to as the Carrera Dato 45 – a reference to the appearance of a date aperture at the 9 o’ clock position – this second generation Carrera has a subdial at 3 o’clock. According to the auction catalogue, it is not known how many were ordered by the Jordanian Air Force. “However, to date, only 5 have been documented but it is thought that the production run was of 100 pieces,” says the entry in the catalogue.
The case is made from stainless steel and is 36 mm wide just like the early Carreras. It is fitted with a stainless steel Gay Frères double grain bracelet with HEL endlinks. The black dial has a white inner flange. A unique and interesting feature for this Jordanian Carrera is the widely spaced one second markers on inner flange, probably added by request by the Jordanian military to provide clearer legibility. The standard versions of the reference 3147N and all other period Carreras have more narrowly spaced 1/5th second markers.
The caseback, according to Phillips, carries an engraving in Arabic which literally translates as "weapon of height”. One notable scholar believes the characters stand for Silāḥ ul-Jawu al-Malakī ’al-Urdunī or the Royal Jordanian Air Force. There is also a military issue number which in this example is 80775. The watch is powered by hand-wound Landeron 189 chronograph movement. The watch has a pre-sale estimate of CHF8,000-12,000 which is around $8,000-12.000 (AED 30,000-44,000).
It is well documented that Heuer supplied watches to a few military services around the world, most notably the Bundeswehr chronograph for the German army. In addition to Germany, the brand also supplied to the Belgian Air Force and FAPLA, the armed wing of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola.