The wind is blowing and the sea is slighty rough. You’re on your boat ready … ready for the start of the “vendée-globe” one of the most prestigious boat race. The pressure is getting higher as the final 10 minutes countdown is on. The start is so important to success the race. Professional racers are agree that victory highly depends on the start. They estimate victory issue of the race depends on it for around 40 % .
You’ve just push the crown of your Heuer yacht timer stopwatch. It will be your best partner for this hight critical last minutes before crossing the starting line…
This beautiful Heuer ref. 603.615 stopwatch has a special small register designed for regatta (boats race) start . The 3 first five minutes eye catching colors segments with countdown graduation indicate the steps of the race start :
- Warning signal (start – 10 minutes) : racers try to find the better position but all regatta are not applied.
- Preparation signal (start – 5 minutes) : all race rules are now applied.
- The one minute time (start – 1 minute) : a boat which cross the start line is strongly penalized.
Today duration of starting procedure is changing. “-5, -4, -1” countdown tends to be the standart. An update of the dial should be planned for the next “vendée-globe” !
Black dials stopwatches are beautiful and quite uncommon. The kind of timepieces, collectors want to have. With some yacktimer references, black dial can also be mounted on skydiving or cars and planes dashboard (collectors holy grail ). Flying and racing, activities where accuracy and legibility are hightly required. Imagine you’re running “les 24 heures du mans”, driving your Porshe 917 over 120 miles per hour, and you have to decrypt an unclear interval time… No way. So it can be assumed the so sought after black dial is easier to read and that”s certainly the reason holy grail dashboard or skydiving stopwatches features it.
Official french HEUER catalogs describe the heavy screwed back case as “semi-waterproof”. English ones say “waterproof”. It certainly resists to water projections but can be fully immersed.
This reference is not easy to find. Official catalogs, availabe on “onthedash” and “calibre11“, present a close variant. The exact reference was finaly spotted in instragram’s collector Andhoravintage.
HEUER-LEONIDAS ref. 603.615 – yacht timer
- start, stop and reset to zero by consecutive depression of the crown
Recorder and register
- 1/5 second recorder (long orange hand makes one revolution in 60 seconds)
- 0-30 minutes register (yellow hand makes one revolution in 30 minutes) with color segments for regatta steps start
mid 70’s / very early 80’s (vintage stopwatch)
- 410 pinlever movement
- 1 jewels
- unbreakable mainspring
55 mm (without crown)