Heuer Orange Diver 980.005 Auto
Heuer 980.005 Auto Orange Diver. Oversized 42mm case. 200m, ETA 2872. c1982
Another legend finds itself in front of my camera, the beautiful orange dialed 980.005, the automatic version of the orange 42mm divers. The ‘005’ is found in a several variations, the early models shown in the 1979 catalogue as having cathedral hands and a non-tramlined bezel (ie. No metal ring between glass & insert). The next iteration saw the iconic Mercedes hands introduced, the last was like what we see here – with Mercedes hands and a traditional Heuer tramline bezel. They are seen in catalogues 1979-82, and the quartz version featured on the front cover of the Heuer 1981 Speciality ‘Winter Olympics’ catalogue.
One thing to note, is that the regular black dialled Heuer divers have lume that ages to pale slate green, whereas the orange divers age to a very pale warm peach-ish hue, which looks wonderful with the orange dial. It’s nice to see that level of care and attention taken by Heuer when these were produced. The date wheels also tend to go a similar colour, which I can’t quite explain, but it was the same on my quartz version..
I sold on my 980.007 quartz variation, over a year later, I regretted that decision, so when this came along I had to grab it.. but it wasn’t so straight forward… It arrived in my care as a bit of a basket case. The bezel insert was OK – a bit knocked about, the case a bit filthy, an incorrect crown, and the hour & minute hands were not original and the glass in poor condition. The dial also has had a tough time, with a few marks on it, but thankfully they are indentation marks, and not scratches, which aren’t really noticeable most of the time.
As a bit of a long time Heuer diver nut, I had a few spares kicking around, so had the crown replaced and I treated it to a mint bezel. The hands were a problem, thankfully the seconds hand was original, and in decent condition.. so I relieved a two-tone Heuer diver of it’s hour and minute hands, and had them lightly sanded and sprayed gloss black. They were then relumed to match the seconds hand. Once again, a big thank you goes to James for his superb work – cheers bud.
So, here it is, with a new crystal, a light upper case polish and finished with a Heuer oyster bracelet. I need to give the caseback a bit of a polish, it shouldn’t be brush finished, but that aside, I think it has scrubbed up well and now looks fantastic.