Heuer Heirloom: Jon's Jarama Chrono
Jon's dad seems like the type of guy who'll help a total stranger. The kind of guy who sees a car stuck in the snow - wheels spinning to no avail - and leaves his warm house to go outside and give it a push. When it comes to his family, his generosity seems to know no bounds. To show how proud he was of his son graduating college some years ago, he gave him his watch - something he knew Jon had been eyeing. Not only does Jon have his dad's watch, but he also inherited his generous nature. Surely that's part of the reason why he agreed to meet me in a coffee shop - a stranger he met on an Internet forum - to share the story about this special Heuer.
I'll be honest, I had no clue what Jon was talking about when he mentioned the model to me. The "Jarama?" Before I could put a face to a name one thing was clear: in collector circles other Heuer models drive laps around it. Nevertheless, the Jarama is every bit a Heuer watch - right down to how it got its name. Like its older siblings, the Carrera and Monaco, Jon told me the Jarama was similarly named after a famous auto race - or rather a race track - the Circuito del Jarma, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix nine times between 1968 and 1981.
This particular Heuer Jarama is a reference 110.245 - a two-tone case with black dial and white handset. It was produced in small numbers back in the late 1970s. As Jon was giving me the rundown, he made sure to point out the pulsometer - the portion of the outer track underlined in fiery red. For those who don't know, it does what it sounds like it does: it measures a person's pulse (i.e., heart rate). The calibration of this pulsometer correlates to 15 pulsations. That is, after you engage the chronograph you stop it after counting off 15 pulse beats. The number the second hand points to is the person's pulse rate (per minute). Until seeing this watch, I'd never seen this indicator combined with a tachymeter. For more info, we encourage you to check out the Ultimate Guide to the Heuer Jarama on Caliber11.com's website.
Now that you know where the Jarama falls in the Heuer company timeline, we'll get into its place in Jon's family. It was given to Jon's dad by his first wife (probably a gift to celebrate an anniversary). Unfortunately there weren't too many anniversaries that followed... And while the then couple's love didn't stand the test of time, this watch did. According to Jon, his dad told him this watch was "the only thing I got out of that divorce. I lost my car, my house, my everything. But I kept that watch." We're happy to report his dad did end up finding true love. He's been married to Jon's mom for over 30 years!
Not only did Jon's dad wear a Heuer for decades, but he's also very much a car guy. (Seriously, we didn't make this up.) Besides having owned a bevy of cars over the years - from British roadsters to Porsches to Mustangs - he's also been going to races at the legendary Road America track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin since the '70s.
Thanks to his dad Jon developed an interest in cars - but not so much watches. In fact, he didn't really take notice of his dad's watch until the day some random person offered to buy it on the spot for $1,200. Jon was suddenly curious why this watch was desirable to someone - and apparently valuable. So he did some research with his dad... Of course, he learned about Heuer's ties to auto racing, as well as its famous Hollywood fanbase (including Mr. McQueen). But more importantly, as they read up on Heuer together, his bond with his dad grew stronger.
That's why if someone wanted to buy this Jarama from him, he'd politely decline their offer. His only plans for this watch are to enjoy wearing it - and if he has a son someday - passing it on to him.