Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Heuer 3000 Chronograph

This is my NOS (New Old Stock) Heuer 3000 Chronograph ref 232.206. The 3000 series was one of the last Heuer design to be launch. 3000 watches can be found with Heuer only, or with Tag Heuer logo. A few have a mix of the two logos.

These early quartz chronographs has a rather interesting movement. In the automatic version, the movement is a very high quality 40 jewels unadjusted LWO 283. This is a scarce early transitional model which is an ETA 2892-2 with piggyback Dubois Depraz module. This movement was used in Heuer and Tag Heuer produced from the early 80's and shortly after the start of the Tag-Heuer in 1985. The quartz version has the same mechanical chronograph modul from Dubois Depraz mounted on a ETA 555.112 quartz movement.

My watch has the very rare original grey leather strap and buckle. Most of these chronograph was delivered with a bracelet.

The 3000 chronograph family shown in a 1984 Heuer catalogue.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Norwegian Issued Heuer Flyback

Here's my RNoAF (Royal Norwegian Airforce) Heuer flyback chronograph.

One of my colleagues in his 50's came up to me one day at work and said he had found a old watch in a drawer that might be of interest for me.... He knew of my love for Heuer. And out of his pocket comes a Norwegian issued Heuer Bund. Do you want this old watch? He asked..... yes I did :-) He would not accept any money for it, but said ok to a symbolic sum after some persuasion. He got the watch when he was serving his time in the Norwegian Airforce as a photographer in the late 1970's. It was a gift from a friend that worked with supplies. He got it when they was phaseing some of them out.

My friend was stationed at Rygge Air Base in the late 1970s. Based at Rygge was the 336 Squadron with their Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighters. The first F-5 arrived at Rygge in 1965 and stayed in active duty untill 2000 when the squadron was closed. My Heuer came from Rygge and was most likely worn by a F-5 pilot.

The dial is the "T-only" with a tiny "T" appearing just above "6". There's five different versions of dials.

The back is stamped LUFTFORSVARET and a number that ends with /76. This indicates that it was issued in 1976. The majority of these watches have the word “Bundeswehr” engraved on the back as they were issued to German servicemen from 1968 until the late 1970’s (Bundes Wehr means ‘Federal Defence’ in German).

The calibre in my watch is the Valjoux cal. 230; a hand wound 17 jewel calibre with a rate of 18,000 bph.

In a regular chronograph calibre the chronograph mechanism must be stopped before it can be reset. In a flyback chronograph, the mechanism can be reset while it is still running, making it particularly useful for timing consecutive short interval events. This is achieved by the addition of a additional lever in the chronograph mechanism. When the reset button is pressed the flyback lever lifts the coupling clutch from the chronograph centre wheel allowing the mechanism to reset.

As well as having a flyback function this calibre also hacks, which means that the movement stops when setting the time so it can be set to exactly to the right second. This important on a military watch.

A Norwegian F-5 over the snowy mountains.

The workplace for a F-5 pilot.

The famous "Tiger" F-5 from the Norwegian Airforce.

If you like to read more about these military Heuer Flyback Chronographs check out:

Thanks to Richhard Askham of for his service of my Heuer and for the use of the pictures of the movement.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Heuer ref. 345 restoration

Finally my old three register Heuer chronograph is ready to wear again. I got this wonderful old clunker very cheap on Ebay a couple of years ago. It was in a sad state. The movement was soaked in hobbyoil, and the dial was totally messed up by the oil. The good thing was that the case was good, and the movement looked complete.

This is what it looked like after I removed the blued steel hands.

After a year I found a nice used correct dial on the web, and I could send the watch to my watchmaker. After a few weeks I got my Heuer back. What a beauty! It's hard to belive that this watch is from the late 1930's, and is more than 70 years old.....

The movement needed some work. The mainspring had ’set’. This condition usually occurs with older steel mainsprings that have been coiled up in the mainspring barrel for too long. A modern alloy mainspring in good condition should have an ‘S’ form as pictured below, the old steel mainspring is pictured inset.

Secondly, the sliding gear spring was broken. This spring provides pressure on the sliding gear to ensure that the chronograph finger can advance the chronograph mechanism when engaged.

With the movement, Valjoux 71, cleaned and back up and running, it was just a matter of straightening the centre second hand and the old movement was in great shape again.

The original crown is still in very good shape.

The old blued steel hands had some rust damage, but I think they add a nice patina to the watch. So I did not replace them.

The bridge is signed "Ed Heuer & Co" in a very cool font. This was used before the Heuer logo was standard on all bridges. It was not untill 1945 that Heuer signed all movements with the Heuer logo.

Thanks to Richard Askham for great work on the movement and for use of the two pictures of the work done. Check out his exellent blog

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Heuer Camaro ref. 73445

This is my 1971/72 Heuer Camaro ref. 73445. I'm not normally a big fan of golden watches, and this baby is gold plated, but it has grown to me. I have learned to like this all original Heuer. The condition is very nice for a gold plated watch. There's no wear to the plating, just an nice overall patina. Dial and hands is also in perfect condition.

The movement is a Valjoux 7734 with a bridge signed HEUER LEONIDAS S.A. The inside of the case back is also signed with the same name. Earlier ref. numbers had Valjoux 92, and Valjoux 7730. The three register Camaro had Valjoux 72 and later Valjoux 7736.
This watch even has the very rare original two piece bracelet from NSA in Heuer Monaco style. This is the only Camaro I have seen with this bracelet. I also have a period vintage brown rally strap with a genuine vintage Heuer gold buckle. The buckle has the sun symbol on the inside, a proof for a genuine vintage buckle and not a re-issue.

NSA bracelet in Monaco style.

Heuer 1971/72 catalogue with the two register Valjoux 7734 driven Camaros.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

New Life - Landeron 13 Heuer

I sold my old incomplete Heuer Landeron 13 movement to S. Craig Bergsma of .
I never managed to find the missing parts or a suitable case, so I sold it on Ebay. Craig is a watchmaker and managed to find the missing parts and a nice vintage case of the correct period.

The result is nice and looks correct. The oval pushers and vintage crown add nice detail.

For the original post about the movement see:
Thanks Craig for giving this rare early Heuer movement a new life. See to see more of Craigs work on rare vintage watches.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

1950's Heuer Automatic

This a sweet litte Heuer from the 1950's. It's a mans watch but by today standard it's very small. The diamater is only 32mm.

The case is stainless stel with a screw in case back. The watch is signed four times, dial, movement plus outside and inside of the case back. The serial number is stamped between the lug, but no ref. number can be found anywhere. It's very difficult to find informations about these automatics, they do not appear in any catalogue I have seen.

The movement is A.S. 1361 automatic with sweep second.

Size: 11.5''', Dm= 25.6mm, H= 5.7mm. 17 or 21 jewel. sf = 18000 A/h, power reserve 36h.

I have a few of these small Heuers, all with different dials. This one has a lot of patina, but I like it. I makes me think of this little machine's almost 60 year long life.....

Monday, 4 May 2009

Autavia Ref. 1163 V

This is one of the best known Heuer chronographs, the 1163 Viceroy. This version was produced as a promotional item for Viceroy cigarettes in the 1970's. While the 1163T Autavia of the period was selling for $200, enthusiasts would buy the 1163V for $88 by sending in Viceroy coupons / proofs of purchase.

The Viceroy model (Reference 1163V) is recognized by the tachymeter bezel, the economy dial with red dots by the applied markers and white elements incorporated into the markers, brushed steel hands with red tips and luminous inserts.

This is one of the Viceroy adverts that promoted this very good deal.

The case is standard 1163 with domed plastic crystal and pushers fully visible from front, and partially hidden from the back.

The case is stamped 1163 V between the lugs. Strap size is standard 20mm. The Viceroy was sold with a black rally strap.

My Viceroy has the original vintage Heuer buckle. The originals is easy identified by the "sun" stamped on the back. The re-issue buckles from the modern Carrera and Monaco do not have this symbol.

For more info check out

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Orange Diver ref. 980.007

This is my favorite vintage Heuer diver. The bright orange dial is just very cool. And the big full size 42mm case makes this a very visible watch thats get a lot of comments when you wear it.

As you ca see on the picture above, the writing on the dial is a mix of English and French. On the French made ref. 844 ( all text is in French: 200 METRES / Professionel. On this Swiss Made watch the print on the dial says: 200 METRES / Professional. The depth rate is still French, but professional is now in English..

The movement on these early diver is ESA 536.121. This is a quite fragile movement, and it's very common to see non working examples of these diver for sale on Ebay. The can often be picked up very cheap. But be avare, it's very difficult to find parts for this movement. Even a used replacement can be very difficult to find.

If your movement fails, and you don't have a spare or the parts needed I got the solution for you. A automatic ETA 2824 is a straith fit. The base is the same, so the hands, dial and stem will fit. If you are a little handy, you can do the swap yourself in no time. I have done it without problems.

The caseback is just plain, without the HEUER shield logo. They are stamped with ref.number and serial number. Later Heuer divers have more well made case backs with the HEUER logo in the middle. The screw in crown is unsigned.

It made it as "covergirl" in this 1981 Heuer catalogue....