Abercrombie & Fitch | Seafarer
Ref. 2446C SF
This very rare, steel Heuer Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer (Ref. 2446SF) from the early 1970s is a beautiful example of a now iconic specialist chronograph. It has its original, anthracite-grey dial, with all original patina on the tritium hour markers. Whilst examples exist with similarly-toned, lighter military-style hands, these may or may not be early service replacement examples. It also has its original, Heuer-signed crown and highly-collectible Gay Frères bracelet, with matching HLB end-links. Manufactured by Heuer for A&F, on a private-label basis between the early 1950s and 1970s, and sold under the “Mareographe” moniker (and later “Solunagraph”, by Orvis), these examples are highly-sought after, owing to their unique place in the brand’s history.
In the 1940s, Heuer began producing watches for Abercrombie & Fitch. As Jack Heuer recalls, Walter Haynes, then President of Abercrombie & Fitch, would visit Ed. Heuer & Co. in Switzerland twice each year, to consider new types of watches that might be of interest to sportsmen. Throughout the early twentieth-century, Abercrombie & Fitch established itself as an integral part of American clothing culture; supplying high-quality sporting equipment for those with a passion for outdoor adventure and exploration. The original “Solunar” example, incorporated a vibrant dial which rotated once per-day, indicating high and low tides (determining optimal hunting and fishing times during the day). Heuer’s three-register chronographs would later become the Seafarer, replacing the running-seconds register of the chronograph with a “tide dial”.
This Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer is one of two ‘final’ versions, which were designated the reference 2446C (engraved 2446SF). With this example, the handset is white-painted, with increased luminous material (inspired by the Heuer Bundeswehr) - offering superb legibility against the dial. It features white Abercrombie & Fitch text, while 'SEAFARER’ is referenced on the dial at twelve o'clock. A 'T SWISS' marking is visible at six o'clock on the twelve-hour sub-register. The sub-registers at three and nine o'clock are the thirty-minute and “tide” dials, respectively, featuring Arabic numerals. To the left, the tide dial is divided into lighter and darker blue segments, with corresponding white divisions featuring concentric “wave” lines, believed to indicate rising tide. Similarly, the minute-recording subsidiary features three “sky-blue” segments.
The tide dial is set using the left-side pusher, advancing the tide markers until the appropriate times are indicated. The four arrows visible on the tide dial show four tides for the day, automatically advancing at midnight, then indicating the four tide times for the following day.
The case features a black, rotating 60-minute bezel and is well preserved. Similarly, the anthracite-grey dial is in excellent condition, has white minute markers and applied, faceted, index-markers for the hours.
This 2446SF Seafarer, with serial number 324 XXX has a round, stainless steel ‘compressor’ case with large fluted chronograph pushers and an original, Heuer-signed fluted crown. The case measures 40 mm in diameter and is sharp and thick, retaining its definition. The case has straight-line lugs with sharp bevels and it comes on an original Gay Frères bracelet (signed “Heuer”).
The watch carries the manual-winding, Valjoux Calibre 72 (labeled as "Leonidas") at its heart, beating at 18,000 A/h, with a power reserve of approximately 46 hours. The movement has been serviced to the highest possible standards by leading Heuer technical expert, Abel Court.
Rare Heuer Chronographs are increasingly sought-after by collectors. Part of their charm is their rarity, while boasting incredible pedigree and fantastic utilitarian aesthetics. This example, preserved in exceptional condition, reminds us why Heuer chronograph wristwatches throughout the 1960s and 70s were often the tool of choice for sporting professionals.
Our thanks to Jeff Stein, founder of On The Dash, for the incredibly detailed resource provided.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Brand:||Heuer for Abercrombie & Fitch|
|Model:||Seafarer Ref. 2446SF|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Cal. Valjoux 72|
|Functions:||chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Case:||40mm stainless steel|
|Bracelet:||Heuer Gay Frères bracelet (signed 2/69, HLB end-links)|
|Box & papers:||N/A|
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