SAVOIR FAIRE Flashback: the cinematic tale of the Heuer Film-Master

5 min

From film sets to collector’s items, discover the story of TAG Heuer’s glamorous stopwatch.

You know the TAG Heuer Carrera. You’re well aware of the TAG Heuer Monaco. But does the Heuer Film-Master ring a bell? Well, it’s another example of the Swiss watchmaker’s love for crafting innovative, unconventional timepieces. From being an integral part of film sets to becoming a collector’s item, the legacy of this stopwatch is crucial to the story of Heuer as a brand. So let’s flip through the Film-Master’s script and see what we can find. And…action!

Setting the stage

Flashback to the golden age of filmmaking. If you walked onto a film set in the ‘60s, you would’ve probably seen blinding key lights, tall cranes, elegant backdrops hanging off studio ceilings, and camera assistants with stopwatches. The assistants would be in charge of keeping track of how much film was being used on a shoot. It was essential for a film crew to know how much footage was available for the length of a shot. If you didn’t have enough film, you’d have to reload the camera with another magazine. And so filmmakers needed a precise, dependable stopwatch to make sure their shooting schedules ran smoothly. That’s where Heuer came in.

The birth of a star

The Heuer Film-Master made its starry debut in 1963. The stopwatch was designed to calculate the amount of film footage according to a given shooting time. The two outer rings are for 35mm and 16mm film. You can measure the film footage against the time using the center ring. As film and television evolved, so did Heuer’s approach to their stopwatches. By the ‘70s Heuer had released the Super Film-Master for 35mm and the TV Film-Master for 16mm. These stopwatches became a regular feature on film sets and in television studios.

The return of the master

Cut to the present. Our new film The Chase for Carrera is packed with references that celebrate the TAG Heuer Carrera. But look closely, and you’ll see a familiar star playing a cameo role. The Heuer Film-Master appears on a film set graced by Hollywood star and TAG Heuer ambassador Ryan Gosling, drawing a direct line to the stopwatch’s cinematic past. It’s a tribute to a watch that played a vital role for both TAG Heuer and the world of cinema. A role that the brand, film enthusiasts, and watch collectors will never forget. Roll credits.