Heuer Diver 980.021 ‘Black Bay’ (Custom)
Heuer Diver 980.021 Black Bay Auto (Custom), 200m, 42mm, c1982
I know some purists will be screaming at there screen right now, but even they have to admit.. it does look pretty damn cool.
So, I better explain myself.. as a collector of many Heuer divers, I can tell you that parts are extremely hard to come by, and as a last resort I relieved this 980.021 two-tone diver of its handset, in order to restore a more important diver. This oversized 42mm Heuer diver was in a bad way. The bezel was in a mess, most of the gold plate was missing and the insert was battered, as was the crown. The quartz movement wasn’t working either, the lume had fallen off the hands. It sat in a drawer feeling sorry for itself.
Then I saw the stunning Tudor Black Bay, like many watch nuts, fell in love with it, and I had a brainwave…
The crown was replaced with a stainless steel version (original was gold plated), the bezel had the remaining gold bead-blasted away. Then the inner ring of the bezel was sanded down to accommodate the aftermarket Rolex insert, which also needed to be carefully sanded to fit. The handset is an aftermarket ‘snowflake’ set, and finally the broken quartz movement was replaced with a ETA 2836-2 (if I remember correctly). A ‘tropic weave’ NATO strap topped it off to give it the proper Black Bay look. The way I see it, is that the watch has been saved from being sold off as a parts watch, and now has a new colourful lease of life.