Through a rather strange path I recently acquired a very nice Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch as part of my rally navigator’s kit. This path started out when I saw the stopwatch for sale on eBay. I had a feeling that it might sell for a reasonable price. The problem was that I had to be in a business meeting when the bidding closed. My friend Harald von Langsdorff and I often share information on items that might interest each other, so I contacted Harald to see if he could bid on this item for me. By the time Harald got back to me, I had begun to get cold feet on this clock, as I was starting to formulate another timing approach. So I told Harald that I changed my mind and that I would not be bidding. Harald then said that if I was not going to bid, then he might be bidding on the Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch. As it turned out Harald did place the winning bid. His winning bid was a price that was even lower than I had estimated. Then it turned out that Harald, who I know has some nice stopwatches, said that he was having second thoughts about the stopwatch, although he would be satisfied with the stopwatch, so he offered to re-sell the watch to me at the price he had just paid for it. The price was so good that I could not refuse, so I finally wound up with the Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch shown below.
My Heuer Monte Carlo Stopwatch
The Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch is a 12-hour stopwatch. The large white digit at the bottom of the face is a “jumping hour” display. For example, in the photo above, the “0” will be displayed for the full first hour, then once the first hour is complete within about five seconds, the digit on display will change to “1”. This process will continue for 12 full hours when the display will go back to “0”.
The shorter hand with the yellow arrowhead at the end is the minute hand. The longer thinner hand is the “second” hand although the face on this stopwatch also has a display in 1/100ths of a minute in addition to the traditional seconds display. This is important to me as rallies in the USA are mostly run using the 1/100 minute unit. This timing method is much more navigator friendly than using seconds and constantly having to do “base 60” mathematics. Electronic calculators and Curta calculators all prefer decimal minutes as compared to seconds. And having both scales on the stopwatch would allow for timing calculations to be done using decimal minutes then using the clock face to convert to seconds.
The stopwatch operates very simply. The crown stem winds the clock spring. By pushing the crown stem down the stopwatch starts. A subsequent pushing of the crown stem will stop the clock. Pushing the single offset stem will return both the second hand and the minute hand to zero.
I only have done one timing test with this clock up to now. I wound the clock spring stiff and started the clock for a 12 hour test. Every three hours, I gave the stopwatch stem about one full turn to return the spring to a stiff resistance. After 12 hours, the stopwatch had gained 14 seconds as compared to my atomic clock. This amounts to about a 1 second gain per hour. I checked the time almost every hour during the test and the gain of 1 second per hour was consistent throughout the test. I now am considering whether or not to have the clock adjusted. And where to take or send it for adjustment. Watchmakers are no longer common.
In summary, I am glad to have the Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch in my rally navigator’s toolbox.