Iconic figure of Tag HEUER and Formula 1 timing, Mr. Jean Campiche kindly granted an interview to Ikonic Stopwatch. Formula 1 enthusiasts and Tag HEUER aficionados have undoubtedly in mind photos of this lanky timekeeping engineer with medium-length hair, wearing aviator-style black glasses, surrounded by elegant young women and recording the drivers’ times with the famous “Centigraph Le Mans” developed by HEUER (visual 1). So why have these early 70s pictures remained so famous ?
Beyond their glamour and their “so seventies” touch, they depict a man, actor and witness of a phenomenon begun with the first industrial revolutions and exponentially amplified in the post-war era and even more so in the 70s: technological innovations and developments, especially in electronics. It is precisely during this period, the young motorsport and speed passionate engineer takes the stage with the famous HEUER Centigraph, setting an important milestone in the growing use of electronics in timing. Traditional mechanical timers give way to more accurate and regular integrated circuits, featuring smaller and cheaper components. The first early 20th century, room sized computers or quartz clocks are reduced to compact equipment. Ten years later, afforfable pocket devices outperform their predecessors. As in many sectors, the democratization of electronics contributes to improving the quality of timing systems, making this technology the reference tool to rank multiple high-speed racing cars.
Jean Campiche invites you into the world of sports timing and high-level motorsport competition. By answering questions of the interview, this passionate and fascinating man gives a captivating biographical story, marked by his deep connection to HEUER, his extraordinary encounters, with in background the amazing technological transformations of the last decades.