Documenting changing tastes, styles and complications across the brand, it was the biggest selection since 2010 when the firm sold the collection of Arno Haslinger (who remains a consultant for Bonhams).
The recent collection ranged from entry-level pieces in outstanding condition – different versions of designs such as the Camaro, the Silverstone and the Golden Hours, with prices beginning at £1000 – to well-known collecting rarities.
There were many nods to Heuer’s racing history in the collection. The Monaco, named by Jack Hauer after the celebrated grand prix circuit and launched via simultaneous press conferences in Geneva and New York in 1969, was the first chrono with a square-shaped dial.
There were five variants here, including the Ref 74033 or ‘Dark Lord’ – a watch introduced into the range right at the end of its production c.1974.
Only a few hundred pieces were produced with its dark, angular lines quickly likened by collectors to the Star Wars character Darth Vader. It was among the best-sellers in the sale at £43,000.
The Skipper Carrera (Ref 7753/54), nicknamed the Skipperera, was the first of the Skipper models to be made. Taking colour references from the 1967 America’s Cup winner, the Intrepid, it was made in a very limited run. To date only about 20 are known.
This example c.1970 was in particularly good condition (compare it with the model with a discoloured dial sold by Fellows in 2016 sold at £24,244) and it took £65,000.
The Mareographe was launched in 1950 by Heuer under the name Seafarer in the US. Designed for the sailing community, it was the first chrono with tide level indication for regattas.
As documented in Heuer Carrera Chronographs 1963-85 by Richard Crosthwaite and Paul Gavin – a 2017 book indicative of the literature that is increasingly available on the subject – most were sold as Seafarers by Abercrombie & Fitch, with only a limited number retailed directly by Heuer. The model (Ref 2447) sold at Bonhams for £16,000 dates from c.1977.