A rare 18K gold automatic calendar chronograph wristwatch presented to Mike Hailwood has just sold for £56,500 at Bonhams’ classic bike sale, held as part of the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Staffordshire County Showground.
Regarded as one of the most sought after Heuer chronograph models, the reference 1158 Carrera was introduced in 1969 and enjoyed a production run of nearly 10 years being discontinued around 1978. The watch gained significant popularity when Jack Heuer awarded an 1158 Carrera to each driver of Ferrari’s Formula One team.
The team included Mike Hailwood, and this one was offered by Heuer to Hailwood in 1973 for his outstanding performance. It bears a personal engraving to the caseback which likely refers to Hailwood’s heroic actions during the 1973 South African Grand Prix, where he went to pull Clay Regazzoni from his burning car after the two had collided on the second lap of the race.
Bonhams say: The 1158CHN Carrera is an iconic reference within the world of watch collecting where it is nicknamed the ‘Montre de Pilote’ or ‘Driver’s Watch’. Fewer than 500 pieces are thought to have been produced. As Hailwood was a British driver, the inside of the case back bares an unusual British hallmark.
Jack Heuer said about the 18K gold Carrera 1158, which was his favourite model: ‘These watches have a deep emotional meaning for me, as we have lost drivers to racing accidents’.
Previous sales of Carrera models have realised circa £12,000, such as this one at Sothebys in 2018. The incredible premium fetched by this watch over what was a very good example shows the value of the personal Heuer provenance and Hailwood association. The continued attraction of the right classic bike ephemera remains an important consideration for insurance, divorce and probate valuations.
Date: Circa 1971
Movement: 17-jewel Cal.12 automatic
Dial: Brushed champagne, applied gilt baton hour markers with black accents, black outer 1/5th second divisions, raised outer tachymetre scale, black subsidiary dials at 3 and 9 for 30 minute and 12 hour recording, date aperture at 6, gilt baton hands with black accents and luminous inserts, black centre chronograph hand
Case: Brushed and polished tonneau form, screw down back, crown at 9, twin fluted chronograph pushers at 2 and 4, engraving to case back ‘To Mike Hailwood for a successful 1973 Jack Heuer’, case back inside with UK 18K gold import hallmark for 1971, No.249215
Strap: Brown calf skin
Buckle/Clasp: Gilt associated
Signed: Case, dial & movement