Heuerville

Vintage Heuer / TAG Heuer watches, and a few others. Plus Handmade straps..

Heuer Audi Sport 510.533 Lemania 5100

with 5 comments

HEuer Audi Sport

Heuer Audi Sport 510.533 Lemania 5100, c1983-4

Fire up the Quattro…
When two motorsport legends came together in the early 80’s to celebrate their successes, this was the result. Heuer’s motorsport heritage combined with Audi’s equally illustrious achievements, specifically their remarkable foundation-shaking turbocharged dominance of rallying in the early 80’s, makes this timepiece very special indeed.

Given that motorsport runs deep in Heuer’s blood, it’s surprising there aren’t more examples donning various petrol fueled logos, in fact the opposite is true, they are pretty much nonexistent. Sure, we have the super-rare “MG” and “Indianapolis Motor Speedway” co-branded early Carreras that starred at the Haslinger Bonhams auction in Dec 2010, and a Volvo branded Carrera has been spotted, but this Audi Sport (as far as I’m aware) is the only mechanical Heuer Chronograph co-branded directly with a motorsport division or team.

Solving the Audi Sport Mystery…
There was a lot of mystery surrounding this model.. especially as it is so rare, with only an armful known amongst Heuer collectors, and never seen in any Heuer catalogue. Exact numbers amongst collectors is unknown, but guessed at 10-20 max over the years). Actual manufacture numbers must have been higher, 150, maybe 200, no one really knows.  Until recently, there were many ‘best educational guesses’ that offered up its origins. The most common is that this watch was Audi Sport team issue only, and that a limited numbers were offered as an optional extra if you bought the very expensive road going version of the Group B Audi rally car. There certainly was some supporting information to back this, I even managed to speak to someone who was gifted one in the 80’s from a Scottish Audi dealer for buying many company cars from them. Various experts have debated the possible history and distribution of this watch, and I have kept my ear to the ground for two and a half years picking up bits of info and collating the ‘ultimate write up’.. then all of this hearsay was blown out the water by the definitive truth…

A friend of mine and fellow Heuer enthusiast, Dave Black, hit the jackpot. He too had an Audi Sport, and we were both trying to piece together its history.. and rather ironically, the answer was a stones-throw from his front door in the North of England. A local jeweller/watch shop turned out to be the sole UK importer for the Audi Sport… Dave was contacted by Nigel, an Audi & Heuer enthusiast, after seeing Dave’s watch photos on an Audi forum.. Turns out that Nigel was a long-time Audi nut and had bought a Heuer Audi Sport from Prestons of Bolton in ’83. Nigel and his family knew the family who owned Prestons, and  his sister even worked there on the Heuer stand.

Turns out that the watch was commissioned via Audi Sport U.K. VAG U.K. Ltd & David Sutton Motorsport Ltd., and Prestons of Bolton were UK Heuer importers and were the sole importers of the Audi Sport. They distributed to Audi dealers but retained a stock for their shop. Nigel’s sister recalls that they were only on sale for about 2 months, and the window display consisted of the watch on a red display with an Audi Quattro behind it. Nigel also enlightened Dave about the original advert that was placed in a popular book amongst rallying enthusiasts; ‘Audi Sport, World of Rallying No.6 by Martin Holmes’. Dave and myself have managed to track down a couple of copies online.
Nigel also recalled that it originally came in a blue box  (not a red rally box, as some thought) together with an Audi Sport branded outer sleeve. He also noted that Hannu Mikkola has one and also David Sutton of David Sutton Motorsport & Museum fame. He also thinks that all the drivers from that year were given these watches. (See Dave’s post over on TZ-UK)

I’ve had the pleasure of swapping a few emails with Nigel, and it just goes to show that new information on these old Heuers still keeps coming to light!

There were two variants…
Not many people know that there are actually two variants of the Audi Sport.. the difference is minimal, with just a slight change to the hour subdial markers.. there is more information here on TZ-UK by Lemania expert ‘Pascal S’ – about halfway down the page.

Movement confusion…
Even the great Chuck Maddox wrote that the Audi Sport was powered by a Lemania 5012, a mistake that Calibre 11 cleared up on a thread over at Watchuseek:

“The Audi Sport uses the Lemania 5100… Where it gets confusing is that the 5100 usually has the 24 hour register, but take a look at the Heuer Silverstone Lemania and the Heuer Audi Sport –  it’s missing. Apparently Heuer/ Lemania modified the 5100 to remove the function on some watches. All this despite having the 5012 movement on the shelf, which had already lost the 24-hour function. Seems strange, but there are many things that don’t make sense about Swiss watches in the early 1980s.”

The Heuer Lemania’s were admired enormously by the great Chuck Maddox, and  if you want some in-depth reading regarding the Lemania movements and the watches they sat in, have a read of his well penned site:

Watch Legends: The Calibre Lemania 5100 “Not beautiful but Rare”
http://www.chronomaddox.com/nouvelle_lemania_5100.html

Further reading about Audi in the 80’s…

Audi History/Motorsport PDF Link

Audi Motorsport Official webpage info

Interesting Website on Audi

Heuer Audi Sport

Heuer Audi Sport

Heuer Audi Sport

Heuer Audi Sport and Advert

Below…
1. Hertz and Mikkola, Hannu Mikkola wearing (allegedly) his Audi Sport.
2. The mighty 80’s Audi Quattro gettin’ some air.
3 & 4. TAG Heuer still have an ongoing partnership with Audi Sport, but instead of rallying, Audi Sport have been a dominant force at Le Mans.
Hertz and Mikkola

Audi Quattro

TAG Heuer Audi at Le Mans

Audi at Le Mans

Written by Heuerville

April 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. nice write up, Stewart, i enjoyed it very much.

    George C

    April 28, 2013 at 1:04 am

  2. Great article Stewart- very interesting.

    dc

    calibre11

    April 28, 2013 at 4:47 am

  3. Great article, great watch…

    Bram

    April 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  4. It is correct that the calibre 5100 has a 24h register at the 12 o’ clock position but not every watch uses this. The 5100 also has a day of the week indicator.
    AFAIK the movements were not modified to remove the function, watchmakers could just choose to use it or not.

    I have a Lemania chronograph with myself which has no 24 hr or day of the week function. Layout of the dial is exactly as the Audi Sport watch. Inside is the cal. 5100 movement.

    Anyway, nice article, lovely pictures too.

    Andre

    June 1, 2013 at 7:10 am

    • Andre,
      I’ll admit to not knowing every detail about the movements on these, but yes, I believe you are right. I don’t know if the 24hr mechanism is still ‘there’ on those without it – but I did I asked the same thing about the day wheel to a L5100 expert on tz-uk, this is the conversation..

      Me: The standard L5100 comes in day/date and just date.
      Is the ‘date only’ model the same as the day/date with the day wheel removed, or is it completely modified.
      I guess a simple way of asking the same question is this: Can a day disk be added to a date only movement to make it a day/date (presuming a suitable dial is available)?

      Answer from Dave, resident L5100 expert..
      Yes
      Yes, no.
      No.

      What I mean is that all the parts on a date version are exactly the same as the day-date. However, more is required than just the day disc to add the feature. I am not familiar with the terms exactly, but at minimum a “day dial guard is also required. Possibly other parts too.
      My only current reference is to a 5270 (which is also stripped of auto-winding) which I happen to have lying around for a project. The dial guard is definitely absent from this movement.
      I would have to get a watchmaker to look at it properly to be certain though.

      Heuerville

      June 1, 2013 at 8:45 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: