Heuer Carrera*** 1553 S*** 1970's
Heuer Vintage Carrera Automatic Chronograph Ref. 1553 S, 1970s
Serial # 253XXX
Circa: 1970s

DESCRIPTION: Vintage Heuer Carrera automatic chronograph with the rare Caliber 15 layout from the 1970s

MOVEMENT: Heuer Caliber 15, Self-winding mechanical chronograph movement, 17 jewels

DIAL: Silver Dial with Heuer logo, silver baton hour indexes, subsidiary seconds at 10 o’clock and black blue 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock, date at 6 o’clock.
Black hours/minutes hands with luminous center and orange central chronograph sweep seconds hand. Silver tachymeter inner bezel, indicated as ‘TACHY’.
*Inner bezel is original Heuer, but not correct color for this dial, should be black.
CARRERA, AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH and SWISS all originally printed on the dial.
Dial and hands are in excellent condition.

CASE: 39mm, stainless steel tonneau-shaped, screw-back, crown on the left, glass in acrylic
Worn condition, but never polished, edges sharp and original finish

BRACELET: Black nylon NATO strap

MANUFACTURER: Heuer-Leonidas S.A. Biel, Switzerland

The Carrera chronograph, designed by Jack Heuer, was introduced in 1963. It was named after the Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico. The model was also discontinued after Jack’s departure from the company in the early 80’s. The Carrera was designed to be legible and easy to read. The tachymeter was moved to a ring outside the dial to give it a simple and clean design. This chronograph was designed for car racing and became one of the most iconic models for the brand proven by its re-launch and success in recent years.

The 1960’s saw the race towards the development of the first automatic chronograph movement. Two groups were in contention for this feat: Movado/Zenith versus Heuer/Breitling/Hamilton/Dubois Depraz. The Caliber 11 was released just ahead of its competitor in March 1969 and became the first iconic automatic chronograph in the world.
The amalgamations that lead to its success therefore benefited from the same caliber fitted into Breitling, Heuer-Leonidas and Hamilton-Buren. This caliber became the base workhorse for the next 40 years to follow including its successor the Caliber 11-I and the Caliber 12.
In 1972, Heuer and Breitling modified the Caliber 12 movement so that it was offered as the Caliber 15 movement, a more affordable version of their automatic chronograph. The most apparent difference between the two movements is that the Caliber 12 movement has a 12-hour and a 30-minute chronograph register, whereas the Caliber 15 movement has only the 30-minute register and a running seconds counter a 10 o’clock.
There were also some technical modifications to the balance wheel, shock protection and regulation. Retail prices were able to be reduced by $5 to $20 (about 10%) depending on the models, which was a considerable amount at the time when the Carrera retailed for below $200.