Watch freaks are . . . well, come to think of it, “freaks” is a pretty good way to describe them. And surely one of the most bizarre habits of the watch freaks is “watch spotting”. Watch freaks watch (and re-watch) movies and TV shows, and put their 10X loupes on the weekly issue of People magazine, all in an effort to determine the watches that the actors, actresses, celebrities, athletes and politicians are wearing.
Breitling freaks cherish all 37 pages of a discussion forum thread that is now in its sixth year, and lists 137 celebrities who were Breitlings. (As an aside, who can suggest another list of 137 people that would include rockers Lou Reed and Nick Mason, General Ariel Sharon, Cindy McCain (wife of John McCain), athletes Walter Payton and Pete Rose, and of course, at the top of everyone’s Breitling list, Raquel Welch, wearing a Co-Pilot in the 1967 movie, Fathom). Not to be outdone, Rolex freaks have their own blog dedicates to celebrity sightings.
But as we all know, many movies and TV shows include paid placements of particular watches. The sports world also has many paid ambassadors who are careful to put on the right watch, before hoisting the trophy, as required by their contracts.
Watches In the Wild
As commercial relationships interfere with the purity of “watch spotting”, some collectors find particular delight in spotting watches worn “in the wild” (i.e., celebrities wearing watches of their own choosing or which they may have received as personal gifts, free of the influence of any paid endorsement).
The world of vintage watches — and vintage celebrities — proves especially fruitful for those of us who like to spot celebrities wearing the watches that they have chosen for themselves. Fidel Castro, Che Guevera, and Martin Luther King, Jr. wore Rolexes; they are now joined by the Dalia Llama.
President John F. Kennedy, the most visible man of the early 1960s, wore an Omega, and so did the author of Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison.
Moving beyond vintage watches, wealth can also give someone the ability to select his or her own watch, without the cloud of any commercial influence. We must assume that Eric Clapton’s choice of Pateks and Rolexes was unencumbered by endorsement money, that JayZ selected his JLC Reverso because he liked the watch and that Putin can wear whatever he damn well pleases. In what we might be an ultimate display of a “Watch in the Wild”, surely Charlize Theron (below center) decided to wear the Rolex Deep Sea to the Los Angeles Lakers game because it was such a nice match for her shirt, rather than to satisfy a contractual obligation. And how many of you even noticed that John Mayer (below left) was wearing a Patek Philippe, with his companion Katy Perry, last Sunday night at the Oscars? (Come on fellas, keep your eyes on the watch!)
Heuers in the Wild
Heuer has fared well in world of “watches in the wild”. Sammy Davis wore a Monaco, when he visited US troops in Vietnam, Stanley Kubrick wore a Monaco during the filming of A Clockwork Orange, and President Barack Obama — the most photographed man in America (or perhaps the entire world) — has worn a TAG Heuer Series 1500 watch since the early 1990s.
Heuer freaks will be happy to tell you that Adrian van Hooydonk, head of design for the BMW Group, wears a vintage Heuer Calculator . . . perfect for complex computations.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld often sports a vintage Autavia (Reference 73663), the perfect watch to wear while driving his vintage Porsches.
Watch spotters are happy when they spot an admired celebrity wearing their chosen brand or model. Happiness turns to ecstasy, however, when the celebrity is spotted wearing the chosen brand a second time. At this point, we can declare that the celebrity is not just wearing a certain brand watch, but — in this instance — we can declare that he is a “Heuer Guy”.
With this tear-laced introduction, I am happy . . . no, make that “ecstatic” . . . no, make that “satisfied” to announce that Mick Jagger, perhaps the ultimate embodiment of 1960s / 1970s / 1980s / 1990s / 2000s / 2010s style / cool / sex / music / energy is a “Heuer Guy”! So the other brands may have their musicians, models, writers and revolutionaries, but Heuer can now lay claim to the man who represents all these things and oh so much more.
Mick Jagger’s Heuers
The photos below, show Mick Jagger wearing a Heuer Carrera, Reference 1153B (in 1972 and 1973) and a Heuer Autavia, Reference 11630P (in 1977 and 1978).
The Carrera is relatively easy to identify – the first execution automatic case has a distinctive shape, the blue / gray dial is another give-away, and having the chronograph pushers on the right side of the watch and the crown on the left side of the watch is unique to the Calibre 12 movement.
This photograph shows Mick Jagger, with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, at the Record Plant, in New York City, 1972. Click for a blurry close-up of the watch.
Any doubt about the identity of this Carrera ends with this color photograph, from October 1973.
In this close-up view, we see the distinctive blue / gray dial, applied markers and the orange chronograph second hand of the second execution of the Carrera Reference 1153N.
Examining this reference photo, we see that Jagger’s Carrera is the second execution of the Reference 1153N model. The main time-of-day hands are painted white (rather than the polished steel of the first execution), and the hands are thinner than the hand used on the third execution.
Next, we move on to Mick Jagger’s Autavia years. Powered by the same Caliber 12 movement as the Carrera Reference 1153, this Autavia has the same crown-on-the-left / pushers-on-the-right configuration. Even from a distance, however, we see a larger case and a black outer bezel.
This photo from 1977 shows Mick Jagger wearing an Autavia, Reference 11630P, distinguished by its decompression bezel.
Once again, the close-up view shows us that this can only be one watch, the Heuer Autavia, Reference 11630P, a dive chronograph, with a decompression bezel. The number “40” on the bezel is the telltale sign that this is the Autavia Reference 11630P; there is no other Heuer chronograph that uses this bezel.
We also see Mick Jagger wearing the Autavia in this photo from 1978. With this, we have Mick Jagger wearing his two Heuer chronographs over the period from 1972 through 1978.
The close-up of the Autavia confirms that it is a Reference 11630P, with orange hands and orange accents on the dial. As on his Carrera, Mick Jagger has chosen a racing style Corfam strap (synthetic leather), rather than the optional steel bracelet.
In this reference photo of the Autavia Reference 11630P, we see the decompression bezel, along with the orange hands and racing stripes (on the chronograph minute recorder), exactly what we see in the photo of Jagger. Also notice the “40” on the bezel, at three o’clock
Mick Jagger — Heuer Guy
So there we have it, Mick Jagger “rocking” two different Heuer chronographs, over a span of seven years. Urban Dictionary confirms that “Jagger” has become an adjective, defined as “cool; anything totally amazing”. As of today, we can say that vintage Heuers are absolutely “Jagger”.
Special thanks to Tino Valentinitsch, of Vienna Austria. This past Monday, February 25th, Tino did a Facebook posting showing some photos of Mick Jagger, with the caption that he is wearing an Autavia Reference 11630. Of course, I jumped in quickly and suggested that Jagger was not wearing an Autavia, but that he was known to wear a Carrera. Tino pointed to the bezel, and insisted that it was an Autavia, and with this the research for this article had begun. Thanks, Tino, for your sharp eye, for the Facebook posting, and for insisting that Jagger was wearing an Autavia.
Thanks also to everyone over on the Timezone Public Forum. On Wednesday, February 27th, as I was preparing this posting, I posted a message on the Public Forum, asking readers for suggestions as to their favorite “Watches in the Wild”. The postings were amazing and some of the celebrity watch enthusiasts and the images for this posting were derived from the discussion on the Public Forum. Another fine example of collaboration / crowd sourcing at its finest.
We have discovered some more well-known “Heuer Guys” and will be posting more profiles soon. Follow OnTheDash on Twitter for all the breaking vintage Heuer news!! And, of course, if spot any interesting “Watches in the Wild”, especially the Heuers, please please send them to me.
You can browse a gallery of all the images from this posting, plus a few additional ones here.
February 28, 2013