When Jack Heuer became part of the Heuer company in 1962, the first watch ever to have been launched under his care would’ve been the Autavia (read about it here and here). However, it was the Carrera that was his first brainchild. It was the Carrera that he nurtured in his mind from the early days of his appointment as CEO and was eventually responsible for its birth just one brief year on in 1963.
The encyclopaedic website of all things Heuer (and TAG Heuer), calibre11.com, quotes Jack saying that when he took the helm, his first self-assigned task was to review the company’s range of chronographs. He initiated that review as early as fall of 1962 with a name that he had romanticized since the month of January in the same year.
This was the Carrera, the classic chronograph that we readily imagine in our minds when we think about the incredible Heuer watches of the 1960s and 70s.
Jack launched the watch at Basel fair in 1963 in 20 different iterations, which included tri- and bi-compax versions with 45 or 30-minute chronograph totalizer paired with various scales, such as tachymeters or pulsation scales.
These formed what is known as the first generation of the Carrera, which remained in production well into the late 1960s. Just about then, in 1969, the second generation of the Carrera was introduced with a major revision in the case of the watch.