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

Archive for the ‘TAG Heuer’ Category

Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary ‘McQueen’

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Monaco 40th McQueen

(TAG) Heuer Monaco 40th ‘McQueen’ LE of 1000, Model no. CAW211A, Modern Calibre 11. 2009.

This is one of those unexpected watches that half fell into my lap. I wasn’t actively hunting for one, but it just happened to pop up at the right time and place.

I’m sure that some may be wondering why I didn’t go for a vintage or ‘proper’ Monaco, as some might say.. well I was lucky enough to add a 1970’s 1133G to the collection last year, and as lovely as it was, I was a little uncomfortable wearing it. I always felt that it was a touch too delicate, something that is not based in fact, I’m sure it’s just as tough as any other vintage Heuer –  they were designed as ‘sports’ watches after all. It was more my feelings towards it, in short, I felt I needed to pamper it, be ultra careful when wearing it. Because of that, I eventually moved it on to another collector. The thought of getting a blue 1133B did cross my mind, but that’s a lot of coin to shell out, and I would feel even more protective about it.

So, how to fill that Monaco hole?.. well this is the ultimate choice for me.. it’s the most accurate Monaco, in terms of honoring the original that TAG Heuer have made. Released as a limited edition of 1000 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Monaco’s release in 1969 and Steve McQueen’s involvement as its original ambassador. At first glance, you may think it looks like every other TAG Heuer ‘McQueen’ Blue Monaco, but look a little longer, and they are very different. The similarities to the original are evident – the left hand Heuer signed crown,  the (hand) applied metal hour batons at right-angles, the black sub-dial pins. Even the ‘Swiss’ text above the date window, red inserts in the hour and minute hands.. and so on.. not forgetting  the lack of ‘TAG’ on the dial.

This example is by no means mint, it has clearly seen some life since it’s release in 2009, and that is just fine with me… it’s a ‘wear everyday’ watch that doesn’t need wrapping in cotton wool, and for that reason, I will enjoy it, probably more than I would a true vintage piece.

It has TAG Heuers modern take on the original Cal. 11 (and 12) movement.. called the ‘Caliber 11’ – the same movement that they fitted in the Autavia re-issue pieces.  It is a base ETA 2892 Calibre Dubois Depraz 2022,  with continuous seconds running on the right sub dial and a chrono minute counter on the left (different from the original Cal. 11, white had chrono hours on the left, and chrono minutes on the right – no continuous seconds).  The case is 38mm with anti-reflective curved sapphire crystal glass. It has a water resistance of 50m, and the blurb says that the hour batons are ‘hand applied’. A nice touch is the caseback, which features an engraved Heuer logo, Jack Heuer’s signature, the LE number X of 1000, and the message “In tribute to Steve McQueen 40th Anniversary – Limited Edition”. If you want that vintage look, but with everyday usage, this is probably the best you can get. In my opinion, TAG Heuer did a wonderful job, and to me, it is an honorary Heuer, and sits proudly next to its vintage brothers.

Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary

Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary

Written by Heuerville

May 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm

TAG Heuer Spirotechnique 180.023

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TAG Heuer Spirotechnique 180.023,  ETA 2824-2, 200m, c1986-89

Ahh.. the legendary Spirotechnique.. I’ve been putting off this post, as the Spiro has so much info surrounding it, I thought I’d do a big write up. Thing is, it would be a hefty amount of graft, and the job has already been done already – DC over at Calibre 11 has written a wonderful write up on the Spiro and it’s deep diver brothers.

The long and sort of it, is this..  the Spiro is legendary, there are other watch brands that are also co-branded with the famous ‘ships wheel & diver’ Spirotechnique logo – Doxa, Squale, Triton and Auricoste, so the TAG Heuer nestles amongst highly respected company.

La Spirotechnique is a French company specialising in the manufacture of professional scuba diving equipment. They became world renowned when they invented the first breathing regulator… In 1942 Jacques Yves Cousteau collaborated with engineer Emille Gagnan who was working for L’air Liquide, a company that produced industrial compressed gas systems (for trucks etc). Together they discussed the idea to create a diving regulator. The partnership was successful, and the diving regulator (GC 45) was born.

This TAG Heuer model is a bit of an enigma. Little is known about it’s production dates and numbers. I contacted TAG Heuer, and they got their heritage department to look into it. The problem is, that detailed records from this period are non-existant, due to the turmoil of Heuer being sold to TAG. Records are few and far between, so not much can be officially verified. Collectors seem to be the best source of info, and the best info around is that this watch was sold through specialised diving outlets. It isn’t featured in any Heuer/TAG Heuer catalogues. (this was normal for special editions like this). We (collectors) don’t know the manufacture numbers, but it is presumed to be low. Best guess is that it was available from c1985-90, so Heuer may have commissioned the concept of collaborating with La Spirotechnique, prior to TAG’s takeover.

I could go on for ever, but others have done a far better job at collating all the relevant information…

‘A little history on La Spirotechnique’

Excellent article on Calibre 11

Here is a pair of Spiros, the one on the right is more ‘wabi’d’, with a lovely patina on the dial, I’ll do a separate photoshoot for this watch sometime..

Written by Heuerville

June 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

TAG Heuer 980.023N Deep Dive 1000m

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TAG Heuer 980.023N Deep Dive 1000m (3300 ft), c1986-91

The fantastic Heuer 1000m tool watch was not canned when TAG acquired Heuer, they continued to build this stunning watch, pretty much identical to the earlier Heuer version right up to c1993. The ‘N’ at the end of the model code simply marks the fact that there are small differences between it and the Heuer version – most notable, and obvious, is the TAG Heuer shield on the dial. It most probably has a different ETA quartz movement too, but I haven’t opened up the caseback to verify this. (The suffix letters were never referred to in catalogues).

I’ve noted that early versions of this 1000m TAG Heuer version has a larger pre-TAG crown (seen in the early catalogues). This example has a crown with a  slightly different design and is signed TAG Heuer, so it is either a later model, when TAG finally ‘shed’ any cross-over parts, or a service crown fitted by TH.  These crowns can be seen on many other 980.023N’s.

Seen here in the 1987/8 Catalogue on Calibre 11’s fantastic catalogue archive. (Scan 38, 1/3 down the page)

This model was considered a top of the line tool watch by TAG Heuer, the catalogue describing it as…
“Super water-resistant – Model from the top of the TAG-Heuer’s range of professional diving watches. Water-resistance 1000 M (3300 ft), Quartz, date, stainless steel case, screw-in crown, uni-directional turning bezel 0-60 minute with ratchet. Mineral glass. Available with steel bracelet or rubber strap. Special: 1000m/quartz. Perfect perception of time to 1000m in depth”

The crystal glass is actually constructed in a ‘top hat’ shape and is held in place with a special design screw down ring.
The model actually survived into the early 1990’s. It can be seen with the same model code in the 1991 catalogue. However, in the 1992/3 catalogue, the model code changes to WB1111, a time when TAG Heuer overhauled their model codes to a new system. It is shown next to the rarely seen black PVD Super Professional, still clearly a tool watch to top the range.

Written by Heuerville

March 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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TAG Heuer 172.006 Auto Chrono / 2000 Series

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TAG Heuer 172.006 Automatic LWO 283 Chrono / 2000 Series c1986-1990

The grey dials in these chronographs have a wonderful quality to them, the way they catch the light resulting in varying shades of soft grey. Together with the grey, almost blue-grey, bezel inserts these all-grey 2000 chronos are a refreshing change from steel and black. This is another model that survived the coming together of TAG and Heuer, and the automatic model seen here is rarely seen, with the ‘hybrid quartz’ versions being en vogue at the time. The movement is a 39 Jewel LWO 283 –  constructed by mating a Dubois Depraz 2000 chronograph module to an ETA 2892 base.

You can read more about these wonderful movements and their development on the Cal. 11 website here.
View the German data cards showing the movement via the Chuck Maddox website. These cards also show the 172.006 with the other chronos from TAG Heuer.
The quartz version (lists the Auto version) can be seen in the 1990 catalogue on OTD.

I’ve said it before about these 2000 series chronographs, they have a very elegant but tough tool-like quality, these grey dialed versions have even more of a no-nonsense look and feel to them.

Written by Heuerville

January 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

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TAG Heuer 273.006-1 / 2000 Series

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TAG Heuer 273.006-1 Chrono / 2000 Series. c1986-90

Some of you might think I’m posting the same watch again, as this is the twin brother of the 273.306 Tachy I posted a few weeks ago. It’s essentially identical, but has a minute bezel instead of a tachy bezel. Nicely sized, at a width of 41mm, these 2000’s sit nicely on the wrist and have quiet a low profile. They are extremely well made too, with the factory beadblasted case, crown and pushers are very tool-like. Originally designed under Heuer, these black & silver dialed 2000 series chronographs are quite stunning when studied closely, especially when offset with creamy lume like this one. The ‘-1’ signifies that this was either a very early or very late version, most probably identical, but this is a common theme throughout the Heuer/TAG Heuer range when the model numbers were transitioned over from Heuer.

This model also featured the ‘super-quartz’ Calibre. 185 movement – it uses the Dubois Depraz 2000 chronograph module mated with a quartz engine.

It can be seen in the 1990 TAG Heuer catalogue on OTD. The model to the left in the catalogue (273.206) is identical but with a part polished case & bracelet.

Written by Heuerville

November 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm

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TAG Heuer 273.306 / 2000 Series

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TAG Heuer 273.306 Chrono Tachy / 2000 Series. c1986-90

Originally designed under Heuer, the 2000 series chronographs are great watches, personally I think they are stunning. The size and balance is spot on. This is a rarely seen model, which has a tachy scale bezel. These are more regularly seen with a Minute bezel, but is actually a different model number. As I mentioned, these were also sold as Heuers, and was marketed with the Pilot. Apart from in the catalogues, I’ve never seen a Heuer version , ever.. in fact, I’ve never seen another one of these in TAG guise. (Specifically with the Tachy bezel).

They are stunning in the flesh, with the silver subdials with concentric grooved circles. I particularly love the triangular hour markers, I’ve said it before about these early 2000 designs, they have a military/tool-ness to them, these have gone a delectable creamy colour too. The fluted pushes hints back to the early Heuers, and I know it sounds silly.. but you can see the DNA of the early Heuer Autavias in the design, with the charcoal/black dial and grooved sub dials. Again, this features the ‘super-quartz’ Calibre. 185 movement – it uses the Dubois Depraz 2000 chronograph module mated with a quartz engine.

A fellow collector (Thanks Rob) also pointed out that the dial is marked ‘Chronograph’ like on the earlier Heuer versions, TAG Heuer changed the lettering to ‘Professional’, so I can only deduct that this is a very early version from c1986.

I can’t actually find this in any TAG Heuer catalogue, primarily because they aren’t archived online or with collectors as much as the Heuer versions are. It is however seen in pre-TAG guise here on OTD. It’s brothers, with Minute bezels (273.206 & 273.006) can be seen in the 1990 TAG Heuer catalogue on OTD.

Written by Heuerville

October 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm

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TAG Heuer 844/5 Auto Diver

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TAG Heuer 844/5 1000 Series Diver. 200m. Automatic ETA 2872. c1985-90. Oversized 42mm case.

This model was one of first released under the TAG Heuer name in 1985 just after TAG acquired Heuer. It is essentially a Heuer 844 with an updated logo. This was the last of the famous 844 automatic series of models, and therefore the only TAG Heuer signed version. It was classed as being in the 1000 series, a numbering system that TAG Heuer inherited from Heuer. TH continued to use this system, with the 1500, 2000 etc series.

It’s a classic icon of the dive watch world, it is wonderfully proportioned with it’s 42mm case, 44 including the crown. It’s clean design allows it to sport different look, from the standard steel bracelet to the most colourful of NATO straps, it just look cool. It has that bulletproof’ go anywhere, do anything’ feel to it, driven by the tough and high performing 25 jewel ETA 2872. The only thing cooler is it’s earlier Heuer brothers.

Seen here in the 1990 TAG Heuer catalogue on OTD

Written by Heuerville

August 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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TAG Heuer Autavia ‘Siffert’ CY2110

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TAG Heuer Autavia ‘Siffert’ CY2110. ETA 2892 + Dubois Depraz chronograph module. 2006

This is the only modern re-issue I own, and for good reason. It is a stunner. I know many vintage lovers will baulk at it, but I think it is a beautiful watch that has superb build quality and wrist presence in it’s own right. I’m a vintage fan myself, so I try not to campare this with the original, it is fruitless!
It’s got a pleasing heft to it, the case is just under 43mm across, not including the pushers or crown and 48mm lug to lug. Still, it sits wonderfully on the wrist.The dial is astonishing, the way the stainless hour batons catch the light through the domed sapphire glass is just lovely. The dial isn’t actually flat white, it is almost pearlescent – well, sort of very slightly metallic.

Designed under the guidance of Jack Heuer, the first Autavia re-issue, the black with orange colourway was released in 2003 as a nod to the original ‘Orange Boy‘. The white/blue version seen here, often dubbed the ‘Siffert’ was introduced later, and is regarded as more desirable – who doesn’t like white dials with blue accents?! It is a nod to one of Heuers most famous watches, the Autavia 1163T white dial that racing driver Jo Siffert wore. Unfortunately, the re-issue didn’t sell in the numbers expected, which to a watch collector is sometimes a bonus, as there are fewer around. As part of the release, there were 150 limited edition sets available, which included the watch and an Autavia dash timer.. these sets were c$8k a pop!

It is driven by the same found in the 40th anniversary Monaco re-issue, an ETA 2892 paired with the Dubois Depraz chronograph module, this allowed the crown to be placed on opposite sides to the chrono buttons, giving the watch that ‘Cal. 11/12’ look.

Written by Heuerville

August 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

Ed. Heuer & Cie. Moonphase Ref. 188.505

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Ed. Heuer & Cie. Moonphase Chronograph Ref. 188.505. 125th Anniversary Edition from 1985. Lemania 1883 Movement

I’ve never been much of a Moonphase fan, until now. This is my first ‘complication’ and what a beautiful rare example it is. It is in stunning original condition, thanks to the previous Swiss collector who cared for it well, seemingly spending most of its life as a ‘safe queen’. It has the original strap and buckle. I even had to peel off the protection sticker from the caseback to take the photos.

The 188.505 was part of the specially designed Heuer 125th Anniversary collection, released in 1985.
Ironically Heuer had just merged with TAG, so some of the first, and finest watches to be sold under the new TAG Heuer name were designed by Heuer and signed Ed. Heuer & Cie. (Cie = Co.) The absence of the Heuer shield is a wonderful nod to the very first watches that founder Edouard Heuer crafted well over a century ago, a time before they wore the famous Heuer shield.

1985 125th Anniversary Catalogue on OTD (This model isn’t pictured)
Visit the TAG Heuer history page here

It’s a beautifully compact piece, being only 35mm across including the crown & 38mm lug to lug, gold filled and is driven by the world famous Lemania 1883, which is seen in many of the finest Moonphase watches out there. This added connection with Lemania is quite apt given Heuer long history with the movement maker.

Written by Heuerville

June 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm

TAG Heuer Super Professional 840.006

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TAG Heuer Super Professional 840.006, 1000m. Monocoque case. ETA 2892

This is my second SP, a rarely seen early version of this well respected tool watch. This variant replaced the Heuer (non-TAG) dialed version. It has a more rounded case than the later (840.006-2) model, but I can’t tell the difference! The dial chapter ring is polished (black in the later version) and the clasp has the trademark ‘vintage straight’ security clasp.

This watch came from Scotland and had obviously seen some use,  as the bezel lume had turned orange, most probably due to sea water. Nice to know it’s has been used in anger – maybe deep sea oil rig work, who knows! It has recently come back from Satintime, where Bry worked his magic and relumed the bezel and hands. He also kindly fitted a new crown and pressure tested it (to 100m I think).

Another difference from the later models… the tiny inner hour markers on the bezel were actually lume filled out of the factory. These are impossible to relume properly, you just can’t get the lume material & waterproof top layer in the small space. Bry advised against it, as the lume would simply deteriorate very quickly. This explains why it’s common to see examples with the lume missing or heavily deteriorated. No wonder they were black filled in later revisions. (I had this one black filled – it looks better anyway!)

I’ve mention before in an earlier post about my later edition Super Pro, these are such cool watches, well made and, IMHO a cut above many TH divers that followed it.

Written by Heuerville

March 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm