Belgian race car driver Jacky Ickx launched his own watch in the early 1970's, with the help of Jack Heuer and his Heuer watch brand. The Jacky Ickx Easy Rider watch - like this all original and full serviced Ref. 429.801B example here, with its original rubber Tropic strap - was released for the first time circa 1971 and would remain in production until 1975.
The Easy Rider proved popular with a younger clientele and its classic 1970s design rendered the Easy Rider a highly collectible commodity in the vintage watch market to this day - the dials on these vintage Heuer chronographs are some of the most eye catching ever made. Unabashed 1970s styling is something of a guilty pleasure, with its combination of bright colors set in horizontal bands running across the dial.
It is impossible to discuss this model without giving some background information to the Heuer Easy Rider and its close relative the Easy Rider Jacky Ickx - in 1972 Jack Heuer had the idea of launching a new Heuer model that would appeal to a fashionable younger audience. Heuer was a major sponsor of the Ferrari Formula 1 team, so it was a natural progression to have its new chronograph – the Easy Rider – endorsed by Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx. Youthful and dashing, the Belgian possessed the perfect image to market to promote this product to Heuer’s target audience.
Jacky Ickx was one of the biggest figures in global motorsport by 1971, and he had already won the 24 Hours of Le Mans once 1969, behind the wheel of the legendary Ford GT, and would go on to win the endurance classic five more times in 1975-77, and 1981-82. Meanwhile, in his Formula One career, he’d come runner-up in the 1970 world championship standings for Scuderia Ferrari after doing the same the previous year for Brabham, and was the odds-on favorite to win the championship for the Scuderia in 1971 after 1970 world champion Jochen Rindt’s tragic death at the 1970 Italian Grand Prix.
This Easy Rider comes with its original rubber Tropic strap, leather strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1970s Heuer Easy Rider Jacky Ickx Ref. 429.801B Watch, w/Original Tropic Strap
DIAL: Beautiful original Easy Rider-signed dial, with no patina evident. Original hour, minute, and second hands. The dial and hands couldn’t be more representative of the 1970s, with the distinctive red stripes on the hour and minute hands mirroring the lines running across the dial, evocative of the famous Heuer Autavia. Oddly, despite this reference being heavily featured in Heuer advertising at the time, the Heuer name was never printed on the dial. Instead, it prominently displayed the Jacky Ickx signature and the Easy-Rider wording on the version with a date feature.
CASE: Original 45.5mm (46mm w/crown) x 40mm steel monoblack oval lugless case (a one-piece design with no caseback, with the movement accessed via the front); chromium plating remains mostly complete, with little wear evident when worn. Of note, many of these Heuer Easy Rider cases were made of fiberglass resin – the variant here is the more highly sought-after chromium plated version.
CRYSTAL: Domed crystal is scratch-free.
BAND: This Easy Rider comes with its original rubber Tropic strap - strap remains pliable and whole, with the exception of a small crack (per picture); strap remains wearable. This Heuer also comes with a brown leather strap, with cream-colored accent stitching and stainless-steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Ebauches Bettlach of Soleure Calibre EB8420 pin lever manual wind mechanical movement, with a running speed of 18,000bph – this movement has received a full service.
CROWN: Original unsigned crown. Please note typical wear on the crown.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Pushers depress with satisfying click. Chronograph hands snap back and reset to zero with no issue. Please note typical wear on the pushers.