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Up Close- Heuer Skipper Calibre 15 Reference 15640

A new arrival this week in the form of a Calibre 15 Heuer Skipper. The Skipper is based on the Heuer Autavia and is designed for sailing, with its 15-minute timer at 3 o’clock split into three segments. While the first Skipper models were based on the Carrera, the models of the 1970s were all based on the larger Autavia.

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History of the Heuer Skipper

Heuer Skipper Calibre 15 - 1This version of the Skipper appeared after 1972, when Heuer introduced its Calibre 15 movement. There were several models available, with either a blue or black dial. The scan above from the 1974 Catalogue shows an early 15640 model based on the Autavia 11630 case.

The watch that I have is a later model from the early 1980s with the case from a 11063V Autavia, as we’ll see shortly. Here is a scan from the 1982 Catalogue

Heuer Skipper Calibre 15 - 1While my watch has a tachy bezel, that is likely to have be fitted more recently- the “more correct” bezel is the Hours and Minutes bezel shown above.

Heuer Skipper Dial

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15The defining element of the Skipper dial is the large 15-minute counter sitting at 3 o’clock that splits into 3 5-minute segments- red, white and blue. It gives the dial a great splash of colour when contrasted to the otherwise monochrome black and white dial.

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15

Heuer Skipper Case

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15This late Skipper uses the oversized Autavia 11063V case- as you can see from the reference number stamped inside the lugs on the case. This version of the Autavia/ Skipper is distinguished by the deep ridges in the bezel (see above) and the cut-outs for the chronograph pushers on top of the case.

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15The starburst pattern on top of the case is one of the hallmarks of this series of Autavia/ Skipper and looks fantastic when set against the polished case edges.

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15

Heuer Skipper 15640 Calibre 15

Bracelet

Heuer Skipper 15640 BraceletThere are several bracelets offered with the Skipper, and this is the one for the later series, featuring a divers extension and micro-adjustments with the clasp.

Heuer Skipper 15640 Bracelet

Heuer Skipper 15640 BraceletWith all the focus on the 1970s Autavias at the moment, collectors shouldn’t forget about the Skipper, which offers a (in my opinion) more interesting dial and the case and bracelets of the Autavia range.

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