Heuer Carrera 3647NT
Heuer Carrera 3647NT, Valjoux 92, 45Min register, 1964
1st execution dial and polished hands, 50-200 tachy scale. Unsigned crown and non-fluted pushers, round screw-back case.
Just to clear up any confusion, this model is listed as being c1968/69 in the MOAT (Mother of all tables) master table on On The Dash. Being a novice to these early Carreras, I checked and this model is listed in the 1964 catalogue, so I contacted one of the Heuer communities Carrera experts, Mark Moss. Mark too was vexed why ‘68/69 was listed in the MOAT, and agreed it’s just a typo, and that this model is indeed from the same period as the other 3647’s an 8’s, and the serial number of this model lands it smack amongst others from 1964. Everything else checked out OK, unsigned crown correct for the period, some of the very early examples had the poly caseback but this round caseback fits in with the date. It’s a fairly rare model too, Mark reckons maybe a ratio of 1/10 compared to red tachy/silver dials.
So, this is a big moment for me.. my first ever 60’s Carrera. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve actually ever seen or handled one in the metal. I bought it from a well regarded fellow US collector, so I knew it would be in good shape.
My only concern was the size, and after opening the packaging, my concerns didn’t go away… blimey it is small, too small.. it’s beautiful, but it’s too small.. I’ll have to sell it. I took a few breaths, grabbed a coffee and calmed down.. from experience I’ve had a knee-jerk reaction to ‘unknown’ models, and have ended up loving them. Before I collected Heuers I used to wear a modestly sized watch, so I decided to wear it and give it time. It worked.
I think I’ve just become accustomed to 40mm+ watches, and because of this, only ever bought large watches, so this Carrera does look tiny (36mm), but it’s just acclimatisation. I’m writing this after wearing this stunning Carrera for just two days, and I have actually got used to the size now, it’s no longer an issue, and I couldn’t be more happy. In fact I put on an Autavia last night and it felt massive!
For a long time I’ve read many words from the usual suspects of the joy of these Carreras (you know who you are – Mark & Paul!!), and now I get it. It’s hard to explain, but the pure design and quality is remarkable. It is simply a joy to look at, I just can’t stop looking at it. It’s not that the quality is better than other Heuers, but it oozes elegance, but also has that rare quality of being cool. Yes, I know that’s subjective.. but this is a stainless steel black dial Carrera we’re talking about. It is subtle, achingly pretty but .. well, just cool. It’s a cool watch, and I love it.