Heuerville

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

Posts Tagged ‘Valjoux 7750

Heuer Montreal 750.503N Convex Case

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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)

Catalogue links via On The Dash 1977 Catalogue | 1978 Catalogue | 1981 Speciality catalogue

(N= Noir (black) Dial) (later models didn’t have Montreal on the dial)

 

The Bracelet
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.

Written by Heuerville

May 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

JAC Chronograph 7750 (Cuanillon & Cie)

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JAC Chronograph, Valjoux 7750 (Cuanillon & Cie), c1983/5

JAC was a sub-brand of Cuanillon & Cie, who were Heuers Swiss distributor. This makes sense, as this JAC’s design is very similar to the Heuers of the time, like the Valjoux 7750 driven Pasadena & Montreals. The design was very popular in the 80’s, with many brands building similar watches with a 7750 heart – like the Le Jour and Porsche Design variations.

I’ve never seen another JAC branded watch, and identifying this one took some time, with nothing showing up after hours of Googling. Thanks to the guys over on TZ-UK, a match was eventually found… JAC and it’s connection to Cuanillon & Cie can be found here and here.

This is a very cool looking watch, with white on black day/date and blasted finish case sitting on the original unsigned bracelet. It’s a big ol’ hefty piece too, being 44mm across (including the crown). It has a real solid tool feel about it, it’s big monotone dial only highlighted by the crisp orange chrono hand. Even the logo is kinda cool looking – in that bold solid font. Plus it is unknown to most, so the watch projects no assumptions about the piece, or wearer, but still looks like it means business. It still looks fresh and modern, but with a vintage twist – right up my street.

More reading on the history of the Val. 7750 here.

Below is a shot of the (date only) Heuer Pasadena 750.501, you can clearly see the similarities..

Written by Heuerville

February 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

Posted in Non-Heuer

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Pasadena 750.501 (No name dial)

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Heuer Pasadena 750.501 ‘no name’ Valjoux 7750 c1982

This is the later Pasadena, which is commonly referred to as the ‘Non-Pasadena’ by collectors as it doesn’t have Pasadena written on the dial. All Pasadenas were available with day/date or day only like this version. These were also available in brushed & polished stainless steel. A while back I delved deep into the 7750 series of Heuers.. my research is here on OTD.

I love these big Valjoux 7750 driven Heuers. They have massive 43mm cases (inc. the crown). The dials on these are amazing, they are so clean and simple, a real accomplishment given the amount of info going on. The sub dials are just lovely. They are slightly sunken, with chamfered edges that catch the light. Sometimes you can see them, sometimes not. This dial is in a stunning condition with beautifully creamy aged lume. The case is evenly worn, giving it a wonderful gunmetal grey patina.

See the Pasadena here in the 1982 Speciality Catalogue.

I often see discussions around the watch forums that ask ‘Why do you bond with a particular watch?’.. to which there is no straight answer… some watches disappoint, others can surprise you completely. This Pasadena falls firmly in the second category.

I’ll be honest, I bought it as a punt.. I’m a sucker for Heuers that need rescuing. It was on ebay, one US owner from new (the sellers father), poor photos, cracked & dirty glass. I reckoned I’d replace the cracked glass and most probably end up sell it on.

When I got my hands on it, the one thing that struck me was the wear on the PVD case, it is perfect.. this watch has seen a lot or use, but clearly cared for.. the case is evenly worn with a beautiful titanium/gun metal sheen to the case edges, no scratches, the perfect patina.

Then I tried to get the case back off.

I’ve basic tools which wouldn’t budge it, all I ended up doing was badly scratching the mint case back. Bugger. So I sent it off to a good watchmaker I know. Not good news.. his pro case back tool couldn’t shift it. Months later, I was determined to get it open, so I superglued a meter long  metal ruler to the caseback, clamped it up and wrenched. Nothing.. I tried Plus Gas, the ice cube trick, another couple of attempts with the metal ruler/glue. Nothing. More months passed, it went to a friend of mine who reckoned he could sort it. He couldn’t, so he asked his mate to make a custom tool for it.. several of these broke, but eventually… success, it was off! Not even cross threaded.

So.. nearly one year later.. after a new glass (several attempts at that too), expertly repainted main chrono hand,  it looks unbelievably beautiful. The dial is stunning, in perfect condition with just a creamy patina to the lumed hour markers and main hands.

This is a keeper, it’s been through a lot & I love it all the more for that. It just goes to show what can be done with some care, attention, perseverance, and of course, knowing the right people!

I had planned to spend a day polishing out the gouges on the case back.. but I think they should stay.. it’s testament to this watches journey.

A BIG BIG thanks to James & Mel at DB10 Straps for sorting it for me. Cheers fellas.

For more reading on the 7750, see Chuck Maddox’s Article – The 7750 Engine.
Also, see ETA’s detailed step through guide of how to Disassemble/Assemble the 7750 here.

 

Written by Heuerville

September 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm