Motors, Miracles and a Monaco: An Interview with Vintage Heuer Collector Mikal Scott

Mikal Scott is a miracle. The 52-year-old New York City–based entrepreneur will laugh when you suggest that, but consider the facts: In just the last three years he’s suffered a heart attack, stroke, and pelvis fracture, mystifying numerous physicians who insisted there was nothing wrong with him. Yet the avid tennis and soccer player, who has run two New York City marathons, became just the fifth person on earth to have a blood vessel in the brain sealed with . . . Super Glue. “It’s really f—ing crazy,” he says.

F—ing crazy it is indeed. “I’ve always been ‘go big or go home,’ ” he adds with a laugh. Indoor track sprints caused his pelvic fracture last year. “I went from running half-marathons and 10Ks to running 800 meters and sprinting. The doctor said I ran too fast too quickly.” Today, he looks hale and fit. “I’m here for some reason; what do I do?” he ponders over drinks at a Midtown Manhattan cigar bar.

His next move may involve automobiles.  Either vintage or racing–or both. Cars have always been a passion; he’s been to Portugal 13 times for Formula 1 racing. And that inspired a further interest: TAG Heuer.

“In the ’80s, McLaren and TAG Heuer put together one of the most amazing race teams ever,” he says. “When you’re young, it’s like ‘TAG, TAG, TAG!’ And then, as you learn about Formula 1 and looks back on its history, you see Heuer used to be a sponsor of [Scuderia] Ferrari. It’s one of my three favorite sports: football — proper football, soccer — tennis and Formula 1 racing. [TAG Heuer] put in a lot of money so McLaren could develop its Formula 1 team. So I followed the whole technical part of it. I like technical things.”

Technical to a point, anyway. Among the ’60s-era timepieces that make up Scott’s vintage Heuer collection — Heuer Carrera, Heuer Skipper and two Heuer Temporada, one with a checkered-flag motif — you’ll find an anomaly. It was his first purchase, and purists may cringe. But it is a Heuer. “The world’s first quartz chronograph,” he says, proudly holding aloft a black steel 2000 Model with a cream dial. “That was its claim to fame. Eddie Murphy wore it in a movie — Coming to America, I think.”

Scott bought the watch on a trip to Lisbon in the ’90s. Many years later, he chastised a prominent Manhattan dealer for replacing his Heuer bracelet with a newer TAG Heuer one. Recovering it took the store three days, but he got it back. “It’s a bit of provenance,” he says. “It may be worn out, you may not be able to use it, but it came with it.”

Originality in automobiles is important to him as well. “I went to the Bahamas Speed Week Survival in 2012 or 2013 and met this guy from Austria,” he says. “He’s a pharmaceutical magnate, and he brought a Ferrari 250 LM — all original, no replacement parts. I went, ‘F—, that’s cool.’ He still drives it. It’s all clean, but it’s not been ultra-polished. It’s like Seinfeld with the way he likes his Porsches. Not repainted. It’s a whole other niche in itself.”

We will watch for Scott at the next major tennis tournament or car event. If he has another Heuer by then, don’t be surprised. Just expect it to have a little patina. “I’d like an original Monaco, just because it’s an odd shape. The reissues are great, but they’re too shiny. I wear all my watches.”

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