Supply Chain issues and how they may affect your order

Supply Chain issues and how they may affect your order

Supply chain issues – 2022

In 2022 the UK is still facing supply chain issues, stemming from staff shortages, Brexit and post Covid-19 issues. For this reason we cannot guarantee that orders for out of stock items will be able to be reprinted within the usual time. Where possible we will try and use colours as close to the unavailable or offer an alternative. This may also mean that alternative garments may need to be sourced which may differ in cut than our normal T shirts.

If any orders are affected by these issues we will of course get in touch before shipping your orders.


T-shirt Horology Art & Screen printing the Seiko SKX Lume Tees

T-shirt Horology Art & Screen printing the Seiko SKX Lume Tees

T-shirt Horology Art & Screen printing the Seiko SKX Lume Tees

After a few years of being in the horology art game with the uchi horology series, I got together with copywriter Al Hidden to discuss the journey so far, future projects and in particular about printing the latest lumed T-shirts…

‘As you may have noticed from my clothing and artworks,’ explains Michael, ‘I’ve always been inspired by mathematics, astronomy, science, Hip Hop and Japanese culture. Time and watches fascinate me too. Even though, until recently, my ‘watch collection’ only consisted of a single titanium Seiko that went unworn for years because of its broken bracelet.’

Gestation of horology art ideas

When the time for further exploration of horology art and watches arrived, it’s no surprise that Michael turned to Omega for inspiration. After all, he’s long identified with the Biel/Bienne brand’s Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional. Maybe his love for this legendary watch has more than a little to do with him being born during Apollo’s 1969 Moon mission. Whatever the reason, watches and horology art have gestated in Michael’s creative consciousness for decades. ‘And, yes,’ he says, ‘I wouldn’t mind owning a 1969 Speedmaster ST105.012 one day.’

Speedmaster Moonwatch print detail

Inspiration for The Uchi Horology Series

So what finally inspired The Uchi Horology Series? It was meeting UK-based Geckota Ltd that kick-started today’s flourishing horology art collection. It also got Michael back into wearing watches again…

After meeting the Gloucestershire, UK-based watch and strap business, Michael discussed the possibility of getting some of his designs onto NATO straps. That was several years ago. For whatever reason, maybe the right idea at the wrong time, that particular project didn’t come to fruition.

The impetus to explore watches and art in more detail

‘However, Geckota gave me a couple of their watches and straps,’ explains Michael. ‘They made me a brand ambassador and gave me the kick I needed to explore watches and art in more depth and realise my ideas.’

Those first horological designs saw Michael experimenting with ideas based on the Steve McQueen Le Mans Heuer Monaco. To this he added some Bauhaus, Max Bill ‘root 2’ proportions (à la konkrete kunst 1944) and Porsche 917 references. The result was a popular first collection. The Uchi Horology Series was up and running faster than a 917 fishtailing away from the Le Mans starting grid in 1970.

TAG Heuer Monaco Watch Art

The first Uchi Horology Series collection

By July 2019, approaching the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11, he’d added his first Omega Speedmaster creations to the collection. It was perfect timing, inspired by receiving a copy of Moonwatch Only: The Ultimate Omega Speedmaster Guide as an early birthday gift.

The result, as with the Heuer Monaco pieces, was a collection of tees and art prints, including the ‘Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI Moon Landing Horology Print’. Another popular seller on the Uchi website and Etsy, this features a Moon-surface dial and accurate star map as viewed from the Sea of Tranquillity at exactly 20:17:39 (UTC) on 20 July 1969. It’s just another example of the creativity and attention to detail that’s defined Michael’s work over the years.

OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch art print - uchi horology series

Communicating concepts; not just products

‘Like so many of my creations,’ he says, the Apollo XI art avoids the simple photorealistic depictions that characterise some horology art. I prefer storytelling and communicating concepts rather than just illustrating products.’

So it was with the first Heuer and Speedmaster works. Realising how many photorealistic watch illustrations there were only affirmed Michael’s desire to add something more sophisticated, cerebrally challenging and different.

Inspired by the Seiko SKX

That’s not to say that projects have never featured accurate representations of the Speedmaster’s bezels, indices and tachymeter scales on a series of products that make the perfect gift for a watch lover. In turn, these inspired further experimentation with watch dial features. From these came new artworks, not only for the Omega, but for another icon loved by watch fans. That was when he turned to the SKX diver’s watch for his first Seiko artwork. What could be better than an accessible timepiece that punches way above its weight, a watch that Hodinkee described as ‘probably the single best value at any price point, in an automatic watch’?

Horological art meets Hokusai

Michael elaborates: ‘Inspired by the SKX, my interest in Seiko’s watches and typography converged in several tracks combining the functionally minimalistic SKX dial, bezel and day-date ring. For further variation, I also drew inspiration from Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic ‘Great Wave off Kanagawa’ (aka ‘The Great Wave’ or ‘The Wave’) woodblock print. It’s a motif that had already inspired other projects, including my “Soundwave off Kanagawa art print”. I was in my element.’

Seiko SKX meets The Great Wave off Kanagawa wall art

A year on, Michael was ready for a new collection. Back in the UK after collaborating on an article about visual design at Baselworld for Geckota’s online magazine, he developed more ideas inspired by the Speedmaster and SKX.

Collaborative promotion of Uchi horology art

By now, Michael was again exploring possibilities for working with Geckota. This time it was the management of outsourced printing for their promotional apparel – with designs to their brief as well as co-promotion of his prints and horology clothing. Conversations with the team also prompted exploration of themes inspired by the classic Rolex Explorer ‘Everest watch’. And then there’s Patek Philippe’s Calatrava Weekly Calendar (Ref. 5212A-001) with its cursive dial lettering, and the sublimely skeletal Zenith Defy range, that so excited him in Basel. They’re more ideas for the future.

Meanwhile, there was another more pressing aspect of horology art to address…

Scratching the watch-lume T-shirt itch

To bring light to the end of a Covid-19-dominated year, and encouraged by conversations with Jon Quinn and his Geckota team, it was time to take the Seiko SKX and Omega Speedmaster-inspired designs further.

Michael explains: ‘The idea of trying to print some seriously good glow-in-the-dark watch lume came from Ben, my go-to screen printer and owner of Screen One Printers in Bristol, England. I was at Screen One when Ben described some glow-in-the dark screen printing he’d done for another customer. The job had nothing to do with watches or horology, but Ben thought it would be good to try the techniques with my watch joints. As he described what he’d done for the other customer with luminescent inks, I was sold.’

Alongside the Speedy, Michael had the perfect candidates for The Uchi Horology Collection’s first ‘lume’ works. So it was that he set his creative sights on Seiko’s classic black-dial SKX007, ‘Pepsi’ bezel SKX009 and love-or-hate-it orange-dial SKX011. And, of course, the yellow-dial Seiko SKXA35 coveted by many SKX fans.

OMEGA Speedmaster Lume T shirt - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Speedmaster Lume T shirt – Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

The Seiko SKX lume tee shirts

On-site at Screen One with another set of timepiece artwork ready for printing, Michael and Ben started experimenting with combinations of T-shirt colour and base ink layers. Their objective was to find combinations that would work well with printed lume so it glows as impressively as the Seiko lume itself. They weren’t the first to try this, but some lume T-shirts underwhelm because they simply don’t capture the design of the SKX’s dial detail as accurately as they could.

Seiko SKX011 Credit: @seiko_ronin

‘Instead of ‘just another lume watch T’,’ explains Michael, ‘I wanted to create a Seiko T-shirt that faithfully captured the SKX’s detail including the delicate “tails” on the 12 o’clock delta and oval-lume markers’.

The Seiko SKX yellow dial

And then there’s the Seiko SKXA35 ‘Bumblebee’ with its distinctive yellow dial. It’s an ISO 6425 dive watch that’s up there with other yellow-faced timepieces such as the Breitling Superocean, DOXA Sub 200 Divingstar, Scurfa Diver One D1-500 and Helson Turtle.

Michael again: ‘What particularly interested me, alongside the SKXA35’s growing collectability and borderline cult following, is how its indices differ from those on the 007, 009 and 011. In particular, I like how the ‘inverted split delta’ at 12 o’clock, rectangular indices and small lumed 3 o’clock index work so well together to complement the rest of the dial’s lume.’

Seiko SKXA35

Seiko SKXA35. Image credit: Al Hidden

Make no mistake; the lume pattern of the Seiko SKX007, 009 and 011 is great. But the SKXA35 offers something more with the subtle asymmetric lume balance that its stablemates lack. The Uchi Horology Series treatment of the ‘Bumblebee’ dial does full justice to the original. It’s a stunner, but we digress. Let’s get back to the printer’s…

A one-off Speedmaster T-Shirt

Around the same time Michael was continuing his experiment with Speedmaster-inspired designs.

‘I’d originally envisaged doing the lume and bezel as two different artworks in the collection. However, when we did a test, Ben and I realised how well the lume and bezel worked together on the same print.’

At the time of writing, that trial Speedmaster T-shirt remains a one-off, but maybe not for so long. Watch this space….

High fives time at the printers

Michael and Ben also knew from previous experience that using transparent ink directly onto clothing can darken or lighten the base fabric colour appealingly.

‘It isn’t particularly hard to do,’ explains Michael, ‘but it is time consuming, needs careful control and takes a lot of skill to get just right.’

So what does ‘right’ mean? In this case it’s the ‘horology art magic’ that results when two professionals painstakingly combine a lot of technical stuff to perfection. Even the best pictures can’t do full justice to how the lumed SKX graphics appear subtle and understated in a way that belies the complexity of the work put into them. Michael sums up the experience: ‘Perfecting this was a real High Five moment that afternoon at Screen One!’

Timepiece artwork: It’s not as easy as you’d think

His work on the combined bezel print and fluorescing lume of the Speedmaster T-shirt set the scene for perfecting these latest Seiko SKX-inspired designs. Originally, they were only going to feature the lume. But now Michael is confident about reproducing those lovely SKX details more accurately, including the fine edge lines defining the lumed indices and bezel markers on one of Seiko’s most revered entry-level dive watches.

If they’re being completely honest, any screen printer will admit that maintaining perfect register when hand printing detail on fabric such as that of a tee shirt is virtually impossible. So it proved with the SKX tees. Not only does reproducing the original’s fine edge line around the lume (‘it’s not as easy as you’d think.’) give authenticity, but it’s a neat way to ‘trap’ or ‘seal’ any misregistration between, say, the silver bezel print and the lume’s white base layer.

Forget colour; let’s go transparent

Another challenge involved the effect of interaction between black, blue, orange and yellow base T-shirt colours, and the silver or grey inks planned for the SKX007/009 and SKX011/A35 bezels. The effort required to achieve the desired result shows how much more there is to screen printing lumed horology art clothing than ‘just printing’.

As experienced printers, Michael and Ben understood how excessively shiny some silver inks appear on black – and how visually distracting grey ink could be on the orange 011 and yellow SKXA35 designs. Importantly, given the subtle result required, they decided that using silver and glow-in-the-dark ink was overkill. So they settled on transparent clear ink for all four Seiko SKX prints. A benefit is how nicely the clear ink plays with the light and adds to the subtle visual effect with certain lighting angles. This draws the eye to focus on the lume – the tee shirt’s main attraction – while the clear bezel adds further sophistication.

No less than seven precision printing screens

The finished tee shirts capture the simple clarity of the original Seiko dials beautifully. However, it takes no less than seven screens (and the acrylics used for setup and to achieve register on the printing platen) to get the desired effect. There’s one screen for all the bezel details, a base screen for the SKXA35 and another for the other three versions. Add two more screens to achieve the same for the lume; and two more for the edge detail that ‘seals’ any minute misregistration. The latter is also critical for aligning the all-important lume pip within its inverted delta on the SKX bezel. It’s this attention to detail that distinguishes the most appealing horology art clothing. You can see the SKXA35 horology art T shirt here. And the collection’s other luminescent SKX T-shirts too.

SKXA35 horology art T shirt

uchi horology series

uchi horology series

What next for The Uchi Horology Series?

So what follows the latest ‘lume’ collection? As you can imagine, there’s still plenty of inspiration left for Michael in the Moonwatch. And in other Omegas too, such as the Seamaster Chrono Diver with its skeletonised plongeur hands. As Michael says, ‘That’s the beauty of getting ideas from watches with such illustrious heritage. Honestly, given how I identify with the Omega Speedmaster, I can’t imagine ever getting bored and lacking ideas.’

Who knows where Michael will take The Uchi Horology Collection next? After seeing his reaction to Zenith’s products and stand design at Baselworld, who’d rule out an exploded deep-dive – Zenith Defy-style – into the mechanism of Omega’s Moonwatch? Only time will tell.

Max Bill, Bauhaus, watches and art

Geckota remains another important source of ideas too. There’s a definite liking for the Rolex Explorer at Geckota HQ. And I’m always nudging Michael to create something based on the classic Universal Genève Polerouter with its signature trapezoidal date window and playful font choice.

Then again, there’s inspiration from his own modest watch collection and a couple of watches he’d like to own alongside that birth-year Speedy. I referenced Patek Philippe’s Calatrava 5212A-001 earlier. There’s also the whole Max Bill Junghans thing led by the Bauhaus-inspired watches, with sublime open-countered ‘4’ numeral, that the Swiss genius designed for the brand.

Whatever Michael does next, it’ll involve much more than just watch-themed T-shirts. The Uchi Horology Series will continue to be true to his belief that there’s more to the art of horology than just reproducing classic watches in technical illustration style. As ever, expect his horology art to keep invoking wider concepts and multiple facets of watches’ stories.

From Stonehenge to ancient African artifacts

‘Thinking ahead,’ says Michael, ‘there’s huge potential to do more with birth-year star maps like the one on my Speedmaster Apollo Moon landing prints. I want to address more Japanese themes too. This might include combining Japanese scenes and seasons with Seiko’s day-date graphics and inspiration from Patek Philippe’s exquisite Baselworld Haute Horlogerie. Taking horology art a stage beyond just the art of watches, I’d like to explore horology in its broadest historical sense. So don’t be surprised to see themes as diverse as Stonehenge, timekeeping in Aztec and Mayan culture, and the Egyptian merkhet.’

Uchi watch straps – or even a watch design?

Reviewing Michael’s watch artwork, from the Heuer Monaco Ref. 1133B, to the Moon and back to lumed Seiko T-shirts is fascinating. So’s the thought of where his talent will take him next. Perhaps we’ll see his designs on Uchi-branded watch straps. Or maybe he’ll emulate American typeface designer Jonathan Hoefler and create an Uchi typeface for watch dials.

‘Whatever the future holds for me in horology art,’ says Michael, ‘It’ll be interesting. I hope my customers enjoy the results as much as I enjoy designing them. And of course, they also make great gift ideas for watch enthusiasts too!’

Glow in the dark Speedmster T shirt - Uchi clothing

Omega Speedmaster Lume T shirt – Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

SEIKO Dive Watch Giveaway with DC Vintage Watches

SEIKO Dive Watch Giveaway with DC Vintage Watches

Seiko Dive Watch Giveaway

uchi horologi series ホロロジー シリーズ

DC Vintage watches along with uchi and Southpaw Leather Goods is giving away a Seiko dive watch package, which includes:

​1) 1993 Seiko 7S26 automatic dive watch

2) Two Southpaw Leather Goods leather straps

3) The uchi SKX “The Wave” print and a SKX Day Date Wheel T shirt!

Read on to find out how to enter

1993 Seiko 7S26 automatic dive watch

The Watch:

There are many vintage Seiko divers popular with collectors, and the legendary 7S26 is one of these. With good reason, Seiko was able to build a cult following around this movement and its various iterations. Of significant note – Seiko oddly discontinued these legendary divers in 2018.

The design of this 7S26 is classic and simple, with immediate evidence of those that came before it, namely the instantly recognizable Seiko 7002 automatic, 7548 quartz, and even the famous 6309 diver. Its automatic movement is tough and reliable – during its heyday, it was also popular with various armed forces for this same reason, despite the widely held (false) assumption that military personnel only wear military watches issued to them.

Seiko’s 7S26 is a logical step in its mechanical movement line, which debuted in 1996 to replace the 7002 in Seiko’s popular dive watch line. This 7S26 incorporates quickset day and date displays, and automatic bi-directional winding via Seiko’s patented Magic Lever system. The 7S26 automatic movement is a very reliable workhorse – with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours – and it runs at 21,600 beats per hour.

About DC Vintage Watches

DC Vintage Watches has great respect for classic mechanical movement timepieces – usually originating from the vintage and retro eras, spanning from the 1950’s to 1990’s – for the care taken during this period by Swiss, American, and Japanese watchmakers to ensure the owner had a keepsake worthy of lasting decades (and longer), all at an affordable price. We strive to bring these beautiful and interesting watches, the type people will undoubtedly notice on your wrist, to our discerning customers.

Each one of the vintage watches we curate has its own unique story, which we do our best to track down for our customers – doing the research to find these stories is half the thrill of the vintage watch hunt, and we do it well.

You can find DCVW on Instagram @dcvintagewatches or via email at

The SKX Wave Print and Day Date T Shirt:

If you are an Seiko SKX009 owner (the ‘Pepsi’ bezel version) you will know the relevance of featuring the Hokusai Wave in this design. The engraving on the back of the SKX dive watch is a homage to Hokusai’s Great Wave woodblock print. This is an unframed, high quality, signed and titled art print, printed onto a lovely 300 gram matt paper.

The Seiko SKX Day Date Wheel Watch shirt based on the Seiko SKX diver’s watch. As with many watch day date wheels, the SKX has various versions – choose between the International Day Date Wheel with days in English and French, the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) Day Date Wheel which has the days of the week in English and Japanese typically for watches intended for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) or the Arabic Day Date Wheel version with Arabic and English days of the week.

The Straps:

Two high-quality hand made leather straps, one navy blue with red accent stitching, the other black with white. Both straps comes with high-grade stainless steel brushed hardware – nothing but quality here!

More on Southpaw Leather Goods:

Southpaw Leather Goods is a maker of fine leather watch straps and wallets based out of central Iowa. Using only the highest quality leathers, Andrew creates each unique piece entirely by hand using traditional leather working techniques. SLG specializes in custom straps, using a few measurements from you and your watch to create a finished strap completely custom to you and your watch.

You can find Andrew on Instagram @southpawleathergoods or via email at


  1. Like our post on this contest on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter;
  2. Follow @dcvintagewatches, @uchiclothing, and @southpawleathergoods on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter;
  3. Repost this contest onto one of your social media accounts, preferably Instagram;
  4. Tag two people.

That’s it!

Giveaway ends April 5th, 2020

uchi horology series

uchi horology series

Protect Ya Neck Limited Edition Pop Art Prints

Protect Ya Neck Limited Edition Pop Art Prints

Protect Ya Neck

Pop Art inspired Wu-Tang editioned art prints

Track 58

Protect Ya Neck

20 Limited Edition Screen Prints

(16 three colour prints and 4 two colour prints).

Printed on 300gsm Somerset Satin acid free paper. Print size 42 x 42cm.

Signed and numbered by the artist.

Also available as fine art paper prints and T shirts


Ohhh…Alright… Another Pop Art parady, then?

Secret Hearts #88 by Arleigh Publishing Corp

During the 1960s, Roy Fox Lichtenstein, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, David Hockney and Peter Blake and others, became leading figures in the new postmodernist Pop Art movement. Drawing inspiration from mass media, advertising and commercial imagery, their work defined the premise of pop art through parody and critique.  One of his most famous paintings Whaam! is currently on permanent display at Tate Modern.

This particular piece is a parody of Roy Lichenstens’ “Oohh Alright” painting. However as I am a bigger fan of comic books,  Lichtenstein’s  original inspiration, the June 1963 edition of Secret Hearts #88 was the reference for this image.

Protect Ya Neck 2 colour screen print type detail

Because I also love typography and print and to add that extra twist, the traditional Ben-Day dots, used for the mass printing of comic books and mimicked in paint on “Ooh Alright”, have been replaced with the “Protect Ya Neck” song lyrics.

You best protect ya neck

Protect Ya Neck” is the first official single from Wu Tang Clan’s critically acclaimed first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Produced by The RZA, it features eight of the original nine group members.

In 1993, when the Wu-Tang Clan first emerged, Hip Hop as a whole was not considered Pop culture. The Wu-Tang Clan’s distinctly New York underground sound was far too ‘radio unfriendly’ to be commercially mainstream, at least not by today’s standard. At that time, production values were giving Hip Hop a more polished sound that appealed to a broader audience. In contrast the Wu-Tangs’ stripped back sound, choppy samples and rhyme flows didn’t allow for formulaic radio play and was definitely underground.

Despite this, the Wu-Tang Clan helped pave the way for a ‘back-to-basics Hip Hop’ wave of new artists and crews. Their first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) sold 30,000 copies in the 1st week, achieved Platinum status within two years and is widely regarded as one of the most influential Hip Hop albums of all time and one of the most significant albums of the 1990s.

Parody, irony, satire?

The Pop Art movement raised questions about mass consumerism and western values. It was a revolt against traditional views on what art should be. Hip Hop was born from the revolution of marginalized communities, giving expression to the political and socially unheard around the world. Both challenged the status quo and were rejected as art by critics and the mainstream.

Today, Pop Art is one of the most recognizable styles of modern art and Hip Hop is the most popular genre of music.  It may or not be ironic that Pop Art and Hip Hop culture have had such a huge impact on the commercial world despite their revolutionary roots of anti-establishment expressions and cynical views on mass consumerism.

Looking for the Perfect Beat – CMYK Edition T shirt and Art Print

Looking for the Perfect Beat – CMYK Edition T shirt and Art Print

TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

uchi horologi series ホロロジー シリーズ

For our first Uchi Horology Series project, we’ve created a couple of unique TAG Heuer Monaco art prints and digitally printed t-shirts.

At the suggestion of our friends at Geckota, we took a classic – genuinely iconic – racing chronograph… So here’s our unique take on the Heuer Monaco. Not just any old Heuer Monaco either, but the famous Cal. 11 powered Ref. 1133B ‘Steve McQueen Monaco’. The watch that made history on McQueen’s wrist in the movie Le Mans

Highlights of this design include Heuer’s exquisite Cal. 11 movement. Then we added some Junghans references (imagine if Max Bill had designed the Monaco). There’s more than a nod to Jo Siffert’s Porsche 917K (Kurzheck, or short tail) too. In particular, references to the Number 20 car (chassis 917-024) driven by McQueen’s character, Mike Delaney. We bring everything together with a unique Uchi treatment showcasing our graphic design, typography, technical communication and design-for-print skills.

We hope you love your Heuer Monaco timepiece art as much as we’ve enjoyed researching, designing and printing it for you.

More on Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

Our TAG Heuer Monaco inspired artwork and printed garments have been designed and crafted to delight watch collectors, racing fans and movie buffs alike.

Maybe you own a TAG Heuer Monaco watch or collect Steve McQueen art? If so, these designs have lots to offer. Equally, if you collect Le Mans art, Jo Siffert art or even Porsche 917 art, at least one these prints or garments really should be in your collection.

The inspiration for our Heuer art prints

The inspiration for these timepiece artworks comes from the famous avant garde Heuer Monaco watch worn by the late, great, Steve McQueen in the motor racing move Le Mans. Then, for good measure, we referenced the awesome Porsche 917K, itself an iconic sports car, driven by Mike Delaney, played of course by the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, in the film.

The birth of the Steve McQueen Monaco watch

According to Jack Heuer’s autobiography, The Times of my Life, the Heuer Monaco’s distinctive square case was designed by case supplier Piquerez. Swiss watch case makers Piquerez supplied many cases to Heuer in the 1960s. The Monaco wasn’t the first square-case chronograph. Universal Genève and others had manufactured square button chronographs for decades. What made the patented Piquerez case different was that it was the first fully water resistant square case. Heuer quickly negotiated a deal with the Jura-based firm to give Heuer exclusive use of the new design for chronographs. The story of the Steve McQueen Monaco, Heuer’s ‘Project 99’, with its Calibre 11 automatic winding mechanism, had begun. Now, half a century later, this innovative watch inspires the first Uchi Horological Series art work.

For collectors of Jo Siffert art too?

Great successes often come from serendipitous events. Uchi’s introduction to UK-based watch and strap company Geckota is a case in point. Our relationship was key to the launch of the Uchi Horology Series.

Heuer’s inspired decision to sponsor young Swiss racer Jo Siffert in the 1960s was similarly important. Indeed, Siffert was arguably the prototypical watch brand ambassador. Through a fateful series of events, the relationship gave Heuer’s watches the promotional boost needed to bestow iconic status for ever.

This was particularly so with Heuer Autavias such as the 1966 ‘Rindt’ Ref. 2446 and the panda-dial Ref. 1163T ‘Siffert’. And, of course, the most famous Heuer of all – the Steve McQueen Monaco.

In the late 1960s, Jo Siffert, who, tragically, was to die at Brands Hatch in 1971) was widely considered one of the greatest talents in Formula 1 and sports car racing. Because of this, our Heuer Monaco watch art works should also appeal to collectors of Jo Siffert art.

TAG Heuer Monaco

When Heuer was finalising development of the square-dialled ‘Project 99’ Monaco chronograph, Jo Siffert drove for Porsche in sports car racing events, including the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was also the official Porsche dealer in Fribourg, Switzerland – an hour’s drive (or maybe less for Jo Siffert) south from Heuer’s La Chaux de Fonds factory. The Swiss also owned numerous contemporary racing cars, and was well liked and well connected on the Formula 1 and sports car racing scenes. This would soon lead him to involvement in Steve McQueen’s forthcoming project to direct and star in the greatest, most authentic, motor racing film ever made.

Steve McQueen Le Mans Film DVD

Racing watches for the Le Mans movie

By 1970, Heuer had appointed film industry property master Don Nunley to help with product placement in Hollywood movies. In June 1970, Nunley was property master on the forthcoming Steve McQueen film, Le Mans and needed a selection of watches and other timekeeping equipment. Heuer were quick to oblige…

Jo Siffert had joined the project to organise drivers and cars to for additional filming. This took place later in 1970, on the Le Mans circuit, using cars that had been in the actual race, interestingly, the whole 1970 race was filmed from trackside and from a camera-equipped Porsche 908. During the race, Siffert and co-driver Brian Redman drove the now-iconic Number 20 John Wyer Automotive (JWA) Gulf Porsche 917 that McQueen’s Mike Delaney drives in the movie. Unfortunately, despite leading the field on the first lap, and building a sizeable lead, they were forced to retire with gearbox problems while leading the race in the early hours of Sunday morning…

Steve McQueen wanted to replicate Jo Siffert’s look

McQueen was mentored by Jo Siffert and Gulf Porsche teammate Derek Bell during filming on the Circuit Permanent de la Sarthe after the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours race. Though an accomplished sports car racer (who nearly won the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier in 1970), his insurers forbid him to drive in the actual French classic. No such bans applied to him driving the mighty Porsche 917 during later filming. McQueen loved Jo Siffert’s ‘look’, complete with Heuer-emblazoned racing suit and Heuer chronograph watch. He insisted on replicating this look exactly in the film, complete with the same racing suit.

At this point, the story goes, Don Nunley offered McQueen an Omega to wear. However, the star rejected this due to fears that Omega would exploit the association. Instead, McQueen chose the less well known Heuer Monaco Cal. 11 that now inspires the first Uchi Horology Series designs.

Not only was wearing a Heuer watch consistent with the racing suit logos for filming continuity. Significantly, the Monaco, rather than the round-dialled bi-compax Heuer Autavia that Siffert wore, was the only Heuer watch on set for which there were three identical copies (for filming, stills and backup).

The rest is watch, motor racing and cinematic history…

Further reading and viewing

If you’re interested in exploring this fascinating story further, we recommend Jack Heuer’s autobiography, The Times of my Life. Other essential references for fans of Steve McQueen, Le Mans and the Heuer Monaco Cal. 11 are Michael Keyser and Jonathan Williams’ book, A French Kiss with Death: Steve McQueen and the Making of Le Mans, and Arno Michael Haslinger’s definitive watch reference titled Heuer Chronographs. The movie of Le Mans and the highly acclaimed 2015 documentary Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans will also be of interest – complete with visual references – during filming and in the finished movie – to Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco.

More on Heuer Monaco art prints and t-shirts

As you can see, our launch products for the Uchi Horology Series come with impressive historical influences and a great back story.

TAG Heuer Monaco Watch Art – Heuer Art Prints – TAG Heuer T-shirt

This is must-have suite of high quality Heuer art prints finalised for digital, Giclée or digital t-shirt printing. Will you choose one of our digitally printed TAG Heuer art prints, several striking t-shirts, or a print and t-shirt set?

Whatever you select, you, or a lucky gift recipient, can look forward to a product designed and manufactured with passion and attention to detail. The same kind of passion and attention to detail that Steve McQueen put into Le Mans. And that Heuer (the watchmaker only became TAG Heuer in 1985) put into its now-iconic Monaco racing chronograph.

It’s time to choose your Heuer Monaco art work

So, which of our tribute art works to the classic Heuer Monaco, the King of Cool, and a golden age of sports car racing will you choose?

Welcome to the Uchi family and our unique Horology Series.

uchi Timepiece Art - TAG Monaco print

View the uchi horology series

Written by
Al Hidden
June 2018

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