Pasadena 750.501 (No name dial)
Heuer Pasadena 750.501 ‘no name’ Valjoux 7750 c1982
This is the later Pasadena, which is commonly referred to as the ‘Non-Pasadena’ by collectors as it doesn’t have Pasadena written on the dial. All Pasadenas were available with day/date or day only like this version. These were also available in brushed & polished stainless steel. A while back I delved deep into the 7750 series of Heuers.. my research is here on OTD.
I love these big Valjoux 7750 driven Heuers. They have massive 43mm cases (inc. the crown). The dials on these are amazing, they are so clean and simple, a real accomplishment given the amount of info going on. The sub dials are just lovely. They are slightly sunken, with chamfered edges that catch the light. Sometimes you can see them, sometimes not. This dial is in a stunning condition with beautifully creamy aged lume. The case is evenly worn, giving it a wonderful gunmetal grey patina.
See the Pasadena here in the 1982 Speciality Catalogue.
I often see discussions around the watch forums that ask ‘Why do you bond with a particular watch?’.. to which there is no straight answer… some watches disappoint, others can surprise you completely. This Pasadena falls firmly in the second category.
I’ll be honest, I bought it as a punt.. I’m a sucker for Heuers that need rescuing. It was on ebay, one US owner from new (the sellers father), poor photos, cracked & dirty glass. I reckoned I’d replace the cracked glass and most probably end up sell it on.
When I got my hands on it, the one thing that struck me was the wear on the PVD case, it is perfect.. this watch has seen a lot or use, but clearly cared for.. the case is evenly worn with a beautiful titanium/gun metal sheen to the case edges, no scratches, the perfect patina.
Then I tried to get the case back off.
I’ve basic tools which wouldn’t budge it, all I ended up doing was badly scratching the mint case back. Bugger. So I sent it off to a good watchmaker I know. Not good news.. his pro case back tool couldn’t shift it. Months later, I was determined to get it open, so I superglued a meter long metal ruler to the caseback, clamped it up and wrenched. Nothing.. I tried Plus Gas, the ice cube trick, another couple of attempts with the metal ruler/glue. Nothing. More months passed, it went to a friend of mine who reckoned he could sort it. He couldn’t, so he asked his mate to make a custom tool for it.. several of these broke, but eventually… success, it was off! Not even cross threaded.
So.. nearly one year later.. after a new glass (several attempts at that too), expertly repainted main chrono hand, it looks unbelievably beautiful. The dial is stunning, in perfect condition with just a creamy patina to the lumed hour markers and main hands.
This is a keeper, it’s been through a lot & I love it all the more for that. It just goes to show what can be done with some care, attention, perseverance, and of course, knowing the right people!
I had planned to spend a day polishing out the gouges on the case back.. but I think they should stay.. it’s testament to this watches journey.
A BIG BIG thanks to James & Mel at DB10 Straps for sorting it for me. Cheers fellas.