Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer presents the limited edition Heuer Carrera Skipper, co-designed and sold with HODINKEE, the world renowned horology portal. This limited edition watch, sold exclusively online through the HODINKEE Shop, pays tribute to the Heuer Carrera Skipper reference 7754, one of the rarest vintage pieces with fewer than 20 watches known to exist today.
The iconic Heuer Carrera Skipper has been selected by HODINKEE and co-designed by HODINKEE and TAG Heuer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Emil Mosbacher’s victory at America’s Cup. The original Heuer Carrera Skipper reference 7754 was commissioned in 1967 by Jack Heuer to celebrate Mosbacher’s triumph skippering The Intrepid. Moscbacher’s decision to use The Intrepid was risky as it was an uncommon racing model due to its unusual design: the famous yacht designer Olin Stephens separated the rudder from the keel to improve steering. Mosbacher’s daring choice was successful and he defeated his challenger Dame Pattie 4-0.
The reference 7754 was nicknamed the “Skipperera” as it is the only Skipper model with the original 35mm Carrera case (and its iconic faceted lugs). The design elements of the “Skipperara” are easily traced to vivid colors of The Intrepid and are most visible in the bold hues of its dials. The light green is characteristic of The Intrepid’s deck, which has been proven by research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be the most effective color to absorb sun reflections, which are often challenging for sailors during a race. The daring orange and darker green colors can also be found on the boat’s ropes, which allow for the boat to move forward. The dark blue finish of the dial pays homage to the sea, the unpredictable race course that every boat must conquer to achieve victory.
The Heuer Carrera Skipper reference 7754 relied on a manual-wind chronograph caliber Valjoux 7730, which had been modified to account for the 5-minute countdown of a regatta. A “standard” Valjoux 7730 offers a 30-minute chronograph register, which had been changed into a 15-minute duration for the Skipper in order to display the 3 even 5-minute segments on the dial, a crucial indication for a skipper. Heuer had supported maritime activities since the 1950s by crafting stopwatches and navigation watches, however, the Heuer Carrera Skipper was the first wrist chronograph specifically made for a regatta, and those remained produced for more than a decade.
The TAG Heuer Limited Edition Carrera Skipper for HODINKEE maintains the designs of the original reference 7754, displaying the distinctive tri-color regatta count-down, which is now calibrated on 10 minutes intervals, and the Carrera case, which boasts the vintage inspired 39mm Glassbox that shows the exact lugs of the 1960s models. The chronograph is powered through the automatic caliber 18 movement, which also offers a date complication and has been positioned opposite to the regatta count-down on the dial as a nod to the vintage Heuer Carrera ‘Dato 45’, the second execution of the iconic reference 3147.
Only 125 pieces of the TAG Heuer Skipper Limited Edition for HODINKEE were created and retail for $5,900. Each piece has the limited edition number noted on the ring of the sapphire caseback. The watch will be offered with three complementary straps including one TAG Heuer blue leather strap with Heuer-signed deployant clasp, one grey NATO strap and one orange NATO strap. A green aged leather strap will also be available for purchase at a discounted price and will be fitted with a Heuer-signed tang buckle.