Found: A Heuer Carrera Reference 1158CHN With A Formula 1 Family Connection To Be Auctioned At Kaplans

Found: A Heuer Carrera Reference 1158CHN With A Formula 1 Family Connection To Be Auctioned At Kaplans

This mint and full set Heuer Carrera 1158CHN from the Haslinger Collection sold for $35,500 in 2011.

In 1971, Jack Heuer marked a partnership with the Ferrari racing team that would last until 1979. It was considerably more than an innovative marketing move from Heuer however, as the Ferrari team profited by Heuer’s timekeeping instruments through the season while the Heuer badge was found on the Formula 1 cars themselves. There was a more profound human component to this association as well, as each Ferrari Formula 1 driver was also straightforwardly provided with a watch – and a valuable one, at that, as it was a full 18k gold automatic Carrera. This was no beater. The reference 1158 had quite recently been launched in 1969, the same year that Heuer had presented one of the primary automatic calibers, the caliber 11 (consequently the initial two digits of its reference number). 

Niki Lauda wearing his Carrera 1158CHN. (Photograph: Courtesy OnTheDash)

If you go through the driver for Ferrari during the 1970s, the cast is awe-inspiring: Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx, Niki Lauda, amongst others were drivers for the Commandatore (Enzo Ferrari’s nickname) and all of them were regularly seen wearing their Carrera reference 1158s, as was Ferrari’s technical chief Mauro Forghieri.

The rundown of famous proprietors doesn’t stop at Ferrari drivers either, as Heuer’s immediate ambassadors were also given this Carrera; that means Joe Siffert, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson were also donning these watches. Those watches were individually engraved on the caseback as well; the urban legend always makes reference to the blood classification being engraved in case of an accident, yet most watches appear at least to bear the name of the proposed proprietor (maybe to avoid a speedy resale in the event that we want to be cynical about it). 

Caseback of the Heuer Carrera 1558CHN from Formula 1 driver Arturo Merzario. (Photograph: Courtesy Bonham’s)

Caseback of the Heuer 1158 from Ronnie Peterson. (Photograph: Courtesy Sotheby’s)

With all of this as a main priority, it is hard to locate any other watch with a more grounded association with engine racing than this spruced up Carrera. The creation numbers underline that fact, as well. It is to be sure accepted that around 150 examples were at any point made (according to a 2004 Tag Heuer pamphlet ), with 15 of them straightforwardly going to Formula 1 drivers as confirmed by many photographs from the time . In the event that you incorporate the Carreras worn by the staff and the drivers’ entourages, it becomes clear than a significant share of the overall run of the Carrera 1158 saw some genuine action on the track. Not bad for what is essentially an improbable toolwatch, given its heavy case in 18k yellow gold. Besides, from the start this Carrera was an extravagant watch, retailing at $550 in 1972, which was multiple times the cost of a comparable Heuer Carrera in steel (OnTheDash offers some fascinating knowledge into the reference 1158 costs  if you’re keen on learning more there).

The Heuer Carrera 1158CHN recorded by Kaplans comes with its original bracelet, manufactured by Gay Frères.

At the time, Heuer’s U.S. branch trusted in creating a dedicated bracelet for this watch, also in 18k yellow gold. Logically, the provider Gay Frères was enrolled (it was the best quality level for bracelets), and this extravagant choice was offered at a considerable premium: The yellow gold bracelet was double the cost of the actual watch and gauged one and a half times to such an extent. It is easy to imagine what a limited number of were actually created, and significantly more importantly what a limited number of make due right up ’til the present time. Clearly, the bracelet is part of the appeal of the Heuer Carrera 1158CHN recorded by Swedish auction house Kaplans in its upcoming sale.

Caseback of the Heuer Carrera 1158CHN offered at Kaplans.

The casebacks of these Carreras can be a gold mine of information (and can easily drive up the final cost) in the event that you discover an association with a notable Formula 1 driver. On account of Kaplans’ lot, the Swedish engravings could be a touch of disappointing; surely, a literal translation in English would basically read “For your 60th birthday,” an unforeseen age for piloting those dangerous race cars. Be that as it may, one ought not surrender, as there is actually a beautiful story behind this very watch. 

Signed clasp of the yellow gold bracelet with the hallmarks of its maker, Gay Frères.

Back in the early 1970s, there was a famous Swedish pilot in Formula 1 called Ronnie Peterson. He was not racing for Ferrari, however he was among Heuer’s ambassadors. Thus, in 1972 he had gotten a Heuer Carrera reference 1158CHN , the most popular dial configuration among Formula 1 racers (CHN standing for the champagne dial with black sub-registers – Noir, in French – while the reference 1158 also came with a silver dial choice). In the same year, Ronnie and his sibling Tommy requested exactly the same watch on a bracelet for their father as a 60th birthday present. There’s your Formula 1 association, hiding behind one extra layer of history.

Ronnie Peterson in the cockpit with his better half Barbro and sibling Tommy out of sight (Photo: Courtesy The Peterson Family)

The blessing was sourced straightforwardly from Jack Heuer and appeared to have been very much appreciated; Tommy’s father apparently wore the watch each day until his death in 1999, which explains its genuine condition nowadays. This Carrera is currently entrusted by the original family (more accurately by Ronnie’s sibling Tommy who had been engaged with the original purchase). Sadly, in 1978 Ronnie kicked the bucket after a crash on the Monza track, in one of the an excessive number of accidents that happened in professional racing at the time.

The 1158CHN on the wrist, with a great 38mm case size.

This rare watch will be offered on Saturday, November 12th, alongside with Ronnie’s personal Rolex Day-Date , also in yellow gold. The estimate for this Heuer Carrera 1158CHN with great provenance is SEK 130,000 (approximately $14,400 at season of distributing). Pre-auction web based offering for this piece already surpasses that estimate however, so it will be an intriguing lot to follow on Saturday.