Decades ago, traditional races would look pale in comparison to the old Carrera Panamericana race. Considered one of the most dangerous races in history, this race was a border-to-border event traversing from the open roads of Mexico to hundreds of miles of rugged landscapes. It began in 1950, but because the 8-day-long races were often lethal (with over 27 people dead and dozens injured), they were temporarily discontinued in 1954.

Know the Rich History of Jack Heuer’s Carrera. Recent Creations Can Now Be Bought from Reading Jewellers.

Despite its history, renowned watchmaker Jack Heuer took inspiration from these races and introduced the Carrera Panamericana chronograph in 1953. This watch would later on be the inspiration for the successful Carrera line of timepieces unveiled in 1963. Recent makes of these watches can be bought from jewellers.

How Was the Carrera Line Different?

Before World War II, Heuer rarely named its watches, and would only reserve the honour of names to very special stopwatches. Jack Heuer attributed this practice to the tradition his grandfather started. Once the war was over, the brand began giving names to its new models, a practice attributed to then Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Walter Haynes, who would often visit the factory to give new ideas.

The Carrera, in particular, began the practice of eliminating the Telemeter dials that were often seen among Tag Heuer watches manufactured during the war.

A Revival

Like its namesake, the Carrera Panamericana races were resurrected in 1988, 33 years after it was initially stopped, though with big changes. Now, it was a speed rally for classic sports cars. The race continues and is widely known as the most engaging races in the world featuring vintage cars. For its revival, Tag Heuer was named the Official Partner and Timekeeper for the rally.

The Carrera line, on the other hand, also had its final days and resurrection. After Jack Heuer left the company in 1982, the famed watch line was shortly discontinued. Yet, more than a decade later, Jack came back from his exile and helped the brand relaunch his watch in 1996.

Carrera’s Legacy

A lot of time may have passed after the introduction of the original Carrera, but the latest models have stayed true to its spirit. The Carrera Telemeter, for one, echoes the ‘60s models with its silver dial and contrasting black subdials. The Carrera Chronometer, on the other hand, features a COSC-certified Calibre 6 movement, a stunning feat for a three-hand watch.

Own a piece of this legendary watch line by visiting jewellers in Reading, like those from Jacobs.


TAG Heuer, Giancarlo Stanton, Hilaire Damiron Celebrate 100 Years of Innovation and History Surrounding the Carrera Panamericana Races, Haute Time

Origins of the Carrera, Calibre 11