The story begins in 1860. Jack W. Heuer is the great-grandson of Edouard Heuer, who in that year founded a small watchmaking workshop in Saint Imier called “Ed. Heuer & Co”. One hundred and fifty-four years later, the spiritual father of TAG Heuer and Honorary Chairman of the Swiss brand reveals his secrets in an autobiography entitled The Times of My Life.
The story of the last living legend in Swiss watchmaking had never yet been committed to paper. As the last member of the Heuer family professionally active in the watchmaking industry, Jack Heuer felt it his duty to write: “I represent the fourth generation of the Heuer family. Both my professional and my personal life have been inextricably linked with the watchmaking industry. I wanted to share my history and my stories with you.”
An opportunity for him to undertake some serious introspection in looking back over a long career brimming with unexpected developments and to sort through the many anecdotes that he has been passionately recounting ‘live’ to friends of the brand for more than 50 years.
“I am delighted to have had the time, the health and the energy required to complete this project,” says Jack Heuer, who celebrated his 80th birthday last November. “The story I had in my head for years is finally on paper and I am truly relieved.”
Supported and encouraged by members of his family, his friends and a number of journalists, collectors and friends of the brand, “Jack” as he likes to be called decided to write his memoirs before retiring and leading a quieter life.
“It is heart-breaking for me to leave my role as Honorary Chairman of the company which bears my name and that of my ancestors but I am happy to see that TAG Heuer is in good hands and in a leading position on the market. I take my leave in complete serenity.”
The Times of My Life is a fascinating story of a benevolent and visionary man, a man of great conviction who enabled TAG Heuer to experience an unprecedented ascent, but above all simply a man. Through its ten chapters and 290 pages, the work reveals the genius and daring of a pioneer who has left an indelible imprint on his time as well as on his contemporaries, and who will remain an unequalled model of excellence, creativity and pugnacity for future generations.”
“Jack’s greatest achievement is to have succeeded in placing a ‘Monaco’ chronograph on the wrist of Steve McQueen during the shooting of the film Le Mans in 1970” declares Jean-Christophe Babin, ex-CEO of TAG Heuer (2001-2013) in the preface to the book. He adds “Without Jack’s vision and inspiration over the years at the helm of the family business, TAG Heuer would never have achieved the success it enjoys today.”
Jack’s knowledge of electronics, his love of automobile sport and his obsession with precision, along with his countless “strokes of genius”, have enabled the Swiss brand to become the prestigious Manufacture that it is today. It is to Jack that TAG Heuer owes the creation of its bestseller, the Carrera, today recognized by fans and collectors as one of the most iconic pieces of all time. It is to Jack that TAG Heuer owes its close connections with Formula 1 and the world of beautiful mechanics. It is to Jack that TAG Heuer owes its “Aquaracer” series, formerly known as the “1000 series”. It is to Jack that TAG Heuer owes the transmission of the values of the founding family business that is now internationally renowned.
Jack Heuer’s fascinating story is now accessible to a wider readership in English and vividly demonstrates how the apparent twists and turns of an individual career constitute decisive steps in human destiny.
The work, a veritable encyclopedia, provides a greater understanding of the challenges of the Swiss watchmaking industry and constitutes a reliable historical document on the ups and downs experienced by the entire watchmaking industry, notably during the dark quartz crisis at the end of the 70s. This was indeed a somber era for Jack who confides: “It has not always been easy. I had to find the courage and the emotional strength to delve into my archives, which in some instances had been kept shut up in a box for more than 30 years. Out of concern for the truth, I wanted to cover not only the happy years of my life but also the more difficult ones.”
The Times of My Life is a true story of a life that is already romanticized by certain observers. “Jack has an amazing memory. He doesn’t cheat. With its spicy anecdotes and warm touches of humor, his autobiography is above all the story of a great man. Happy reading to everyone!” Stéphane Linder, CEO of TAG Heuer since 2013.
A new page turns, but the book remains open…