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I dunno! You got me!!! =P
In Response To: What Part Is Autavia? ()

Seller's copy in this style of text...

HARD TO FIND IN MINT CONDITION.HEUER AUTAVIA THIS IS AN AUTOMATIC 2 REGISTER 12 HOUR CHRONOGRAPH WITH BLACK DIAL AND SILVER REGISTERS

INTERIOR TACHYMETER

HEUER CALIBER 12 MOVEMENT

RUNS FINE AND CHRONGRAPH WORKS AS IT SHOULD

WE ACCEPT VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER, AMERICAN EXPRESS, PAYPAL, BILLPOINT, BIDPAY , BANK WIRES, CASH, PERSONAL CHECKS IN THE US ONLY, MONEY ORDERS AND BANK CHECKS DRAWN ON US BANKS, WESTERN UNION. WE WILL VERIFY ALL ADDRESSES AGAINST CREDIT CARDS AND WILL SHIP ONLY TO THE BILLING ADRESS. WE WILL SHIP TO INDONESIA OR OTHER HIGH RISK AREA'S ONLY WITH BANK WIRE, CASH OR WESTERN UNION.

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On Jan-06-04 at 10:45:11 PST, seller added the following information:

THIS WATCH IS HAS NEW OLD STOCK HEUER CASE AND DIAL WHICH WERE PURCHASE FROM A WATCH SUPPLIER WHO GOT THEM FROM HEUER A WHILE AGO. THE MOVMENT WAS ADDED AND IS A GENUINE HEUER CAL 12 WHICH HAD WHITE HANDS WITH IT. I BELEIVE THE CASE AND DIAL TO BE RARE ITEMS USED ON ONLY A FEW WATCH OR MADE ON CONTRACT. ANY INFORMATION WILL BE APPRECIATED AND SHARED. THANKS, RALPH

Bruce's post in this style of text...

hi emiel

the seller is describing the watch honestly and is not trying to pass off a watch made up from spares as anything more than that.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have done business with Rolex Ralph in the past, and he has struck me as an honest seller, and a decent sort. But I don't know him personally.

I agree with Bruce that Ralph is describing the watch honestly probably as best any of us know.

but the question is wheather the case and dial are genuine Heuer?

And this is a question I know that I do not know for certain... At least not yet.

there have been previous postings concerning these nos cases though i don't think anyone has covered the Autavia as seen in this auction.

I don't think anyone has to the depth Bruce is here.

previous postings have concentrated on the Montreals (particularly the blue dial version) and Calculator.

the story i have heard is that these cases and dials were seconds.

Or perhaps samples that Heuer solicited from case manufacturers and decided to go with a different supplier or style.

The Montreals and Calculators seem to be complete nos cases with correct bezels and pushers. however the dials are suspect. the dials are of a type never sold by Heuer as complete watches, with luminous markers that are the wrong shape and no frame arround the date. the first blue dials seen with Montreal cases were not even the right colour blue, to match the internal bezel, they were more purple. recently this failing seems to have been addressed and the colour now seems to match.

Yes, this is my understanding as well...

i have bought an nos Montreal case that was part of this batch. the case seems to be original, though it has no case reference or serial number. this may seem to be a problem but the case is parkerised so the black coating could have covered any numbers. a friend has a genuine original all black case Montreal that he bought in back 1988 for 85, from the first owner (i was there at the time of the sale so know it is genuine). i did ask, when helping compile the MOAT if he could dig it out so i can check if it has any numbers on the case or caseback (there's no entry in the MOAT for black cased Montreals) but he has yet to find it. the black coating on the finish on the case is less than perfect so the story holds water for this part at least.

I'm looking forward to updating the MOAT!

the case i bought had a genuine original dial with the correct markers and frame and is identical to the dial on my ss case Montreal (and shows a little age in the luminous) but it was the only one i thought was correct from the many i have seen for sale

I hope it is!

the defense for the other dials was that although they may never have been seen for sale as whole watches they were genuine, none the less, and were intended for a version that was never sold. (strange that the cases they were matched up to were seconds and correct for the model name applied to the dial) which brings us back to the 'Autavia' in question.

I have seen many brands with "metal" subdial's, I've never seen genuine Heuer's with them. I've seen entire dials with a metal finish, but not just subdial's. But, I'm certainly willing to be educated...

the same argument is applied to this case and dial combo, a never released version of the Autavia, what a rare find?

more like: What?!?!? A rare find?

on the plus side: the case back is signed, but many of the casebacks for Heuer's cal 12 watches are interchangeable, so if these cases were made by the same casemaker there's a fair chance a signed back would fit this case even if it were not Heuer.

on the minus side: the case seems to have no case reference; an important part of the Autavia model was the external bezel (according to Heuer) so why the internal bezel? all the cal 12 Heuers have fluted pushers, this has not; the details of the dial do not fit with any other cal 12 model (model name dirrectly below the Heuer shield, short squat luminous markers, sub dial markers that do not run to the edge of the sunken sub dial and no frame arround the date).

Lots of minues in my book.

here are 2 possible stories behind all this: a large stock of nos Heuer cases and dials were discovered including the first production run of an unreleased version of the Autavia; or it may be that a number of assorted cases were uncovered in the stock of a now defunct casemakers, after all who in their right mind, would bother making Calculator and Montreal cases complete with fluted pushers bezels etc, along with these 'Autavia' cases and a number of Heuer signed casebacks. what was realy missing however were dials, so these were remanufactured.

I'm sure there are other possible explanations behind this as well... I am not entirely convinced that these cases are necessarily Heuer. There were certainly enough Swiss firms making watches in the early 1970's that these cases could have been made for one (or more) of them, and the watchmaking firm went belly up (supposedly in 1969 there were 2,000 different watch firms "making" watches for retail sale in Switzerland, 10 years later only 500 were still in business) leaving the case manufacturer holding stocks of these cases. Perhaps they sat for many years in the manufacturer's warehouse or they found a buyer where they then sat. Who knows? Eventually they were bought by someone who had an idea to make a little money on them. A movement from here, some hands from this bin, a dial here, and voila... Something different.

comments please and any details of cases bought by forum members would be helpful?

I don't think that Ralph is misrepresenting anything with the sale of this watch. I believe it is pretty forthcomming on the watch and what it is. It's an usual watch that is pretty unique. Unlike a Rolex Sub, you won't bump into too many people wearing one or something similar. And I'm sure that looks appeals to some people (not necessarily me though).

It's a chronograph with a undocumentatable pedigree, it's a Mutt! Nothing inheritly wrong with that, just don't bid or buy if originality is your thing.

bruce

I wish I had more knowledge of this one's origin's, but perhaps that's ok too. It's always nice to have something to investigate at some point!

-- Chuck


Chuck Maddox

(Article index @ http://www.xnet.com/~cmaddox/cm3articles.html)

Non-Pasadena Pasadena Stainless 7750


Messages In This Thread

Frankenstein Autavia? *LINK*
What Part Is Autavia?
I dunno! You got me!!! =P
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