View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. Reference 2446 Seafarer 'Screw-back Case'  Retailed by Abercrombie & Fitch: A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tide indication, Circa 1963.
13

Heuer

Reference 2446 Seafarer 'Screw-back Case' Retailed by Abercrombie & Fitch: A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tide indication, Circa 1963

Estimate:

12,000

to
- 18,000 USD

Property from the family of the original owner, Norwalk, Connecticut

Heuer

Heuer

Reference 2446 Seafarer 'Screw-back Case' Retailed by Abercrombie & Fitch: A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tide indication, Circa 1963

Reference 2446 Seafarer 'Screw-back Case' Retailed by Abercrombie & Fitch: A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tide indication, Circa 1963

Estimate:

12,000

to
- 18,000 USD

Lot sold:

94,500

USD

Property from the family of the original owner, Norwalk, Connecticut

Heuer


Reference 2446 Seafarer 'Screw-back Case' 

Retailed by Abercrombie & Fitch: A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tide indication, Circa 1963


Dial: silvered, tropical 

Caliber: cal. 721 mechanical, 17 jewels

Case: stainless steel, screw down case back

Casenumber: 52'898

Closure: stainless steel associated buckle 

Size: 39 mm diameter

Signed: case, dial, and movement

Box: no

Papers: no

Case: The case is in overall excellent condition with signs of light wear. The case remains unpolished and the lugs retain strong proportions. The crown remains sharp. The bezel insert with some light patina, the luminous material at 12 o'clock is in tact but shows normal signs of age. Replaced crystal but is accompanied by the original crystal. Please note that the buckle and strap and generic and not signed Heuer.


Dial: The dial is in overall excellent condition and has taken on an attractive creamy patina - giving it tropical look. There is a slight halo effect found around the stick markers. The luminous plots remain in tact and overall the dial is blemish free.


Movement: All functions operating. The movement is running at time of cataloging, however it was not tested for the accuracy of time or duration of the power reserve and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

David Abercrombie Founded his Eponymous brand in 1892 before joining forces with financier Ezra Fitch in 1900 to create the brand we know today, Abercrombie & Fitch. The self-styled, “Greatest Sporting Goods Store in the World” was originally located on Broadway in New York and offered the highest quality sporting equipment for those interested in outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing, climbing, driving, flying and sailing. Their client list, a Who’s Who of the era’s great and good included, amongst others, Howard Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, the Duke of Windsor, Amelia Earhart and Presidents Roosevelt, Hoover and Einsenhower. Their 1950’s flagship store on Madison and 45th contained a shooting range, a roof top pool large enough for fly and bait casting lessons, a resident golf pro, gunsmiths and full time watchmakers. 


The Abercrombie/Heuer relationship started in the mid 1940’s, with Abercrombie commissioning sporting style watches, primarily 3 register Chronograph’s such as the Ref 346 based on Heuer’s existing range of high end and robust models.


Subsequently, Abercrombie requested Heuer produce a watch specifically for their fishing and hunting clientele based on the 1930’s ‘Solunar Theory’ that suggests the best time of the day or month for fishing and hunting can be dictated by the position of the sun and moon. Despite the challenges, and with the assistance of a school age Jack Heuer and his high school physics teacher, Heuer produced the colorful ‘Solunar’ model with tide indicator. Whilst the Solunar represented a commercial failure for Heuer and Abercrombie, they were undeterred, deciding that the addition of a chronograph function could broaden the appeal of the model. To do this, they had to modify a manually wound Valjoux 71 movement to incorporate the high/low tide indicator with the chronograph, re design the dial, and replace the running seconds at 9 with the tide indicator.


The ‘Seafarer’ as it was called, was introduced in 1950 and went through 10 different versions until its retirement in the mid 1970’s. Of these 10 variants, the first, the Ref 346 with syringe hands and 37.5mm case with a screw down case back is rarely seen, but the most elusive, desired and iconic is this current example, the Ref 2446. Housed in Heuer’s robust Autavia case introduced in 1962, the Abercrombie Ref 2446 featured a screw down case back, rotating bezel graduated for hours or minutes, silver/blue dial, dauphine hands with thin lume and a water resistance rating of 330 feet. Produced somewhere between 1962 and 63 and in a limited run thought to be less than 25 in total, the 2446 screw back is the rarest of the all Seafarers and Heuers. 


To the best of our knowledge, fewer than six Ref 2446 have been known to the market. This recently discovered unicorn comes directly from the family of the original purchaser. The original owner, an avid outdoorsman, fisherman and camper purchased the watch at same time he purchased his first home In Norwalk, CT in 1962. On his passing in the mid 1980’s his son inherited it, storing it in a desk draw for safe keeping. The recent passing of the son, and subsequent home clearance by the grandson has resulted in this exciting discovery. Presented in remarkably original condition, it is possibly the best example of a Ref 2446 Seafarer to come to the public domain. It retains its original dial, hands, movement and unpolished Autavia case. The dial, virtually free of blemish has aged gracefully and beautifully, with a consistent creamy patina to the main dial and a slight halo effect found around the stick markers.


Sotheby’s is proud to offer this amazing example of one of the most desirable and rare Seafarer’s to have ever come to market.


Acknowledgements: We would like to thank OnTheDash and Heuer Vintage for their contributions to this note.