A young director
Born in 1932 in Bern (Switzerland), JACK Heuer is the last member of the Heuer family to manage the manuafacture. He is also its most famous leader.
He is formed as electrical engineer at Polytechnique Zurich (or ETH). Then he joins the compagny in 1958 and becomes the majority shareholder, 3 years later at 28.
Jack HEUER turns the familial manufacture in an international compagny, merging it with LEONIDAS in 1964, and conquering US market.
Iconic watches for legendary drivers
His most famous creations are the iconic Carrera and Monaco watches as well as the caliber 11, the first automatic chronograph movement (developped with Dubois Dépraz and Hamilton-Buren). He also designed the sought-after Monte-Carlo dashboard stopwath.
His marketing skills have certainly helped these timepieces to enter in the watches “hall of fames”. His “ambassadors marketing strategy” is quite disruptive at this time. Lot of top 70’s formula one drivers have a HEUER watch on their wrist and actor Steeve McQueen gives the Monaco a grail status, wearing it in the movie “Le Mans” (1971).
Formula one and electronics
Jack Heuer signs a sponsoring deal with Enzo Ferrari in 1971. HEUER compagny is, from this year, the Ferrari official timekeeper. All Formula one and Ferrari fans have in mind the HEUER Logo on the front of the Niki Lauda’s 312B. This partnership is a true success. HEUER is definitely confirmed as a worldwide renowned and respected brand while Ferrari is helped by the
accurate electronical HEUER devices to win world championships.
At this time the timekeeper has a special departement to developp electronic material. Jack Heuer felt electronic would have a major role in timing. In 1965 Jack Heuer introduces the microtimer, the first 1/1000em accuracy device. In the 70’s, a large set of miniature LCD/LED stopwatches (microsplit) are launched.
Jack Heuer leaves his compagny in 1982, after it is bought out by Piaget. He restarts his carrer in the electronic Hong Kong firm IDT, he worked with to manuafacture microsplit stopwatches at the very end of the 70’s.
In 2001, after Tag HEUER joined LVMH, Jack HEUER is nominated “Honorary Chairman” by the new CEO “Jean Christophe Babin”.
– picture 1 : passion-horlogere.com
– pictures 2 and 3 : automotivpressfr
– picture 4 and cover : extract from the video TAG Heuer – A Sitdown with Jack Heuer by Jura Watches under cc by 3.0