Thursday, 27 October 2016

LeJour ref. 7000 made by Heuer

This is my LeJour chronograph. This ref. number is often called a poor mans Pasadena as it's almost identical to the Heuer Pasadena chronograph. Heuer manufactured LeJour chronographs under a private-label arrangement.

This one came to as a full set with original box and some papers. The original instructions for how to set the date/day whitout damaging the movement is still in the box. Very nice!

The last owner did clearly not read the instructions as the watch had some serious issues with the day mechanism.
Never ever change the date between 8 PM and 3AM it will damage the mechanism and the day will not shift as it should.

The only solution is to remove hands and dial to get access to the problem. If you know what to do this is a easy fix. The running second hand was also missing. Happily I had a spare in my part box.

All back together again and I have a lovely tool watch made by my favorite brand Heuer.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Heuer 844 Monnin restoration

I love the big size Heuer divers like 844, 980.006 and the other versions. They look cool and the size is quite big even by todays standard.

I have been looking for a 844 Monnin for a while. I wanted to find one that needed some work. The prices of these first generation Heuer diver has gone crazy.

In Germany I found a a very sad looking 844 quartz. It was just what I was looking for with totally wrong bezel, and a movement in pieces. The important cathedral hands was painted all white and looked awful.

But the watch had potensial to be nice again, and it had the very rare original oyster bracelet.

The cathedral hands had to be stripped down to bare metal before reluming. This kind of hands is very important for a correct 844 Monnin.

The movement had to be replaced it was totally damaged and in parts. A NOS movement (ESA 536.121) was found on Ebay from Egypt. 
A bezel was located in USA from a fellow Heuer collector and friend. New screw in crown was bougth from England.
Put together again this turned out to be a very nice early 844 Monnin with quartz movement.
There's at least two versions of the quartz Monnin. The 844 and the 8440. The last one has a French quartz movement, and the first has ESA 536.121.

Monday, 3 August 2015

WW2 Heuer pilot chronograph

This is a Heuer chronograph with history. This watch was used by a Swedish war pilot during WW 2.

In May i got a email from Bo Lindbom from Sweden. He was seeking information information about an old Heuer he inhereted from his late father in law.
Bo wrote: "In the cellar after I found an old watch which after some search on the internet showed to be a Heuer military watch. The movement I supposed to be a Valjoux 22. I  had it serviced becuse it was not running when I found it due to corrosion inside the case".

Lindbom had found a 1940's Heuer chronograph ref. 349. His father in law, Gösta Nordin, used the watch during the World War 2 when he was a fighter pilot for the Swedish Air Force.

Gösta Nordin was born in 1918, and died in 1998. He was drafted to the Air Force, and got his pilot training in the south of Sweden in a town called Skåne. Later he was put in service in the "Johan Blå" wing in the same town.

A military portrait of Gösta and his Silverwings. Picture is dated 24. october 1941.

As a drafted pilot he had "Silverwings" on his uniform. The other pilots had "Goldwings" on their uniforms.

Two Swedish pilots from the same wing as Nordin was a part of.

Gösta Nordin was a fighter pilot and flew Glouster Gladiator and Reggiane Falco.
He was a fighter pilot from 1940 to 1942. Later he was a policeman in a town called Norrköping.

He always kept his old Heuer chronograph.

Gösta after a running contest 1. September 1940. The Heuer is visible on his wrist.

Thanks to Bo Lindbom for the story. Watches like this is the reason why I prefer a vintage watch and not a brand new one.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Heuer 1930s chronograph ref. 351 C/T

I have a soft spot for the Heuers that is not as popular as Monacos, Autavias and Carreras. 
I really like the early ones from the 1930s.

This winter I found a Ref. 351 C/T big (40mm) chronograph with wonderful porcelain dial and blued steel hands. 

The one pusher movement is Valjoux GH.
The watch is serviced and runs perfect. Not bad for a 80 year old watch!

The watch matches my other 1930s Heuer Chronograph perfectly. They share the same case and movement.

Here it is together with my 351 C/B. Catalogue is from a offer from Heuer to the Romanian Airforce in 1936. To the right is the more famous Heuer flieger chronograph. Some of them was issued to Luftwaffe. For more info see:

For more info about Heuer ref 351 C/B see:  

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Camaro restoration

I have been loooking for a sad Camaro in need for some TLC for a while and I was pleased to get hold of a rather sad looking ref. 73343 NT.

The crystal was smashed in and cracked. The dial was dirty but unharmed and did clean up nice.

This is how it arrived. It did not look good. If you look behind the faults there's still a lovely little Heuer that want to shine again.

I dismantled the watch and gave the dial and the case a proper clean. The case was full of old gunk and human dna...

Next I installed a NOS pusher, a new crystal and repainted the red minute register hand. It should be orange like the big chronograph hand. that hand is missing at the picture, but it was included in the deal.

This is how it looks after a few days at my work bench. There's only one thing left, and that is reluming the minute and hour hands to a color that match the lume dots on the dial. The present relume job is way to green in color.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A beautiful ref. 404

This is a great looking vintage Heuer from the late 1950s or early 1960s. This is the ref. 404 with a red tachymeter scale on the dial.

This watch belongs to a Norwegian watch collector that wrote to me after reading the Classic Heuers blog. He tells a interesting story about this Heuer.

He bought it in Sweden and the seller claimed that this watch has been owned by the well known German football player and coach, Berti Vogts. There's no proof of this ownership but it's a fun story anyway. Berti Vogts won the World Championships in 1974 with the German national team.

A 1974 picture of Formula 1 driver Ronnie Peterson (L) and Berti Vogts inside the Lotus F1 car.

This chronograph was one of the last with no name on the dial. In 1964 the Carrera legend was born. The ref. 404 is often referred as a pre-Carrera chronograph.

The movement is a Valjoux 23 correct signed Ed. Heuer on the bridge. After 1964, and the merge with Leonidas, the brigde would have been signed Heuer - Leonidas.

This watch is waterproof and has a screw in case back and watertight pushers.

Thanks to Marius Goberg Pedersen for the pictures of his nice Heuer.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A vintage Tag Heuer diver

Heuer became Tag Heuer around 1984/85. This mean that some Tag Heuer is sort of vintage by now. This lovely diver ref. 980.013N is a fine example of this. It's a Tag, but it look and feel much like vintage.

The dial and hands have a nice patina. The hands has a lovely creamy color. This gives the watch a nice vintage look.

If you are looking for a nice diver, but don't want to pay big money for a vintage Heuer 844 this is a nice alternative. It's a classic, looks good, and can be picked up cheap. Recommended!