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Heuer Carrera 3647S

I was still a young Padawan when I stumbled across a vintage Heuer Carrera being offered by a European watch dealer. I didn’t know much (anything) about the Carrera or the world of vintage Heuer, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the listing. It was being offered for $2,000, which was half of what I had paid for my first vintage watch (a Tudor Sub) and it looked so…refined. So restrained. So classy. I couldn’t resist. With zero diligence (I mentioned I was a young Padawan still, right?), I pulled the trigger on the Carrera and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.

What followed was a love affair with its clean dial, proportions, and case design, and it quickly became a daily struggle to choose between the Carrera and the Tudor each day. When I got married six months after buying it, it was the go-to choice and can be seen prominently in all of my wedding photos (especially on the dance floor). So if I’ve written all of this gushy stuff about it, why is it in the Sold category? Well, that also has to do with me being a young Padawan. After our honeymoon, we went to Copenhagen on a trip and I stumbled along an Ed White Speedmaster (story here), which resulted in the largest single purchase I had ever made to that point. The thought of spending $5K on a watch was absurd to me, since I’d already spent that amount on two watches. I panicked a little bit, and ended up selling the Carrera in order to “get back to equilibrium.” I made about $500 on the sale, and felt great about selling the watch…until it was time to ship it off to the new owner.

I made a silent pact to myself that day that I would eventually buy another Carrera, and though it took a little time, I’ve since made up for this lost Carrera multiple times over. The Carrera is my favorite sports watch ever made, and this was my “trial run” that solidified that opinion, even as I went deeper and deeper down the vintage watch rabbit hole.

The Fine Print

This was a decent example of a 3647S, but had I done my research before purchasing it, there are a couple things that would have easily stuck out to me. The first issue is the handset, which is not correct. The minute hand should extend closer to the edge of the applied hour indices, and the hour hand should have slightly less lume. As you can see in the pictures, they’re nearly even in length at certain angles – something that would’ve run counter to the legibility principles that Jack Heuer instilled in every design. The second (admittedly less egregious) issue is the case, which has been polished previously. The angled lugs are obviously still readily apparent, but the crisp edges of the lugs have been slightly polished down unfortunately. As an eager and untrained collector at that point, however, these issues didn’t matter to me and the beautiful proportions and dial design spoke for themselves.

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