Heuer Montreal 750.503N Convex Case
Heuer Montreal 750.503N Convex, Valjoux 7750, c1977-81
I do like these old Heuer tool watches, they are both elegant and tough. They are often overlooked in the world of vintage Heuers, taking a back seat to its more glamorous cousins. This underdog-ness has an appeal all of it’s own. This convex barrel style case is not huge, being slightly smaller than the concave cased Montreal (and the very similar Pasadena). It has a very nice balance to it on the wrist, and on the aftermarket Hadley Roma oyster bracelet, it really wears well. The starburst finish on the upper surface adds a nice touch, adding a touch of elegance to the toolness. The dial is lovely, the lume markers showing their age with a beautiful patina, which is matched by the faded central chrono hand that had developed a khaki colour – many fade to a pinky-orange. It really does look fantastic.
As mentioned above, the Valjoux 7750 Montreal was available in two case designs, a convex and concave style case. The convex style seen here is the more rare variant, and until recently, only presumed to exist as a ‘non-named’ version, ie. without Montreal written on the dial. This presumption is based on the fact that there is (at the time of writing) no catalogue picture of the convex case with a named dial. So this watch seemed to be a slight mystery – of course I presumed it was possibly that it had been re-dialled, but then a fellow collector got in touch recently who has another example with the name on the dial, which was confirmed with a series of photos. Another little piece of the Heuer puzzle solved – the convex cases were available with the name on the dial.
The 7750 Montreal and Pasadena range can get a little confusing, and my research, together with some help from fellow OTDers, into these models is more clearly described here on OTD, where I shared my results.
Here is a short extract:
3) 750.503N Montreal
Black dial, Concave lip barrel case, Circular brush effect Stainless Steel.
(In OTD catalogues 1982 Speciality)
4) 750.503N Montreal (yes, same ref. no. as above but different case)
Black dial, Convex barrel case, Starburst Effect Stainless Steel.
(OTD catalogue 1977, 1978, 1981 Speciality)
(N= Noir (black) Dial) (later models didn’t have Montreal on the dial)
Genuine Heuer bracelets are hard to find in great condition, and when you do they can be very expensive. I bought a solid link 22mm Hadley Roma oyster style bracelet, and filed the end pieces down to 20mm, resulting in the same ‘cut-in’ look of the original. I have to say it looks the business, and dare I say it, far better than the folded original Heuer bracelet, not to mention it’s superior quality solid links. The weight of the bracelet works perfectly with the weight of the head, and is very comfortable to wear, yet you can still fell a nice weight to the whole package. If you do fancy a change, it works very well on a NATO, and of course a rally style strap always looks good, but the bracelet would be my choice.
Filing the bracelet end pieces was pretty straightforward; I didn’t use specialist tools, just a pocket tool file, some wet n dry, and a digital micrometer/vernier caliper. I protected the closest links with some cardboard (which needs to be checked often), and simply hand filed one side, making sure my file was square-on, and periodically checking the width with the caliper – when I hit (just under) 21mm, I did the other side. A bit of wet n dry to tidy the edges, and voila, 19.95mm endlinks.