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Vintage Heuer Discussion Forum
The place for discussing 1930-1985 Heuer wristwatches, chronographs and dash-mounted timepieces. Online since May 2003.
: As always Mark a very good and well structured read, you
: really could do a Carrera book, I would support you with
: materials and watches if you wish, so first upfront also my
: sincere compliments for your posts and work here onthedash.
Thanks Arno. If I do a book, I'd like it to be at least semi-"official" so that would be a discussion I would have to have with TAG Heuer. The Carrera's 50th anniversary comes up in 3 short years, so that would be a nice timeframe in which to get it done.
: The world of vintage Heuers has changed a lot of the past three
: years, today we see only parts for sale and few original
: watches, recently on ebay you could buy Monaco cases, Carrera
: dials, boxes, tons of straps, hands, pushers for 180 e......, we
: did not have this few years ago....however that is a different
Yes. I remember parts being sold for a lot longer than that but I definitely remember when there weren't so many watches being recycled and fresh watches would come onto the market for the first time from collectors more frequently than now. Still happens, but much less often and they are often better informed now - I guess all the Heuer sites share the "blame" for that now, and we don't get the bargains very often at all. With the extra research and emphasis on the divers, even those are on the up now. I looked at the Camaros on Chrono24 after Julien posted his query on them and the prices being asked for fair to good Camaros on there is staggering.
: Back to the advertised and discussed Carrera dial, just a few
: questions I would have and I wonder if you or other readers
: could answer:
Some good questions Arno, let's see what we think. Maybe you have some ideas to pitch in too.
: Screenprinting techiques of the 70is: different logo and
: productname position on different dials, reason ?
: Different typos across A, C, M ?
That one's hard to tell. They showed prototypes at various shows building up to series production, but as Paolo stated in one of his replies, a number of each model was shown at each show, even as early as Basel in April. So there's no rhyme and reason to why the models should differ at all. But if we look at the press release announcing these in March 1969, we see something perhaps unexpected in the dials:
Yep. No model names at all, even though the other details are pretty much as per the final product. So we can assume that the dial designs were in flux during the process. Perhaps the designs were fixed at different times, which is about the only reason I can think of why the 1163 T should differ from the MH as much as it does. Though the printing has an impact on that too, we'll get to that next.
: Explain Heuer thin frame and R typo, thin print vs thicker print
: past and today ?
This one could be easy. Ever check out the printing on a 60s Carrera N versus S? They were able to get much finer printing on the silver/standard/white dials than they ever were on the black. It's something that dogged Heuer and plenty of other manufacturers (given they had the same dial suppliers) for years - check out a Montreal with black text against one with white text to see that it was still easier to print fine detail in black years later. It seems resolved now and manufacturers can print white lines/text just as fine as black ones, but it wasn't the case in the 60s and 70s.
: Is Carrera parallel to Chronomatic ?
This one is hard to tell, as the dial is skewed a bit in the frame. I drew some extrapolation lines on it though, and it is indeed parallel:
: Singer was on every Carrera dial or just on Chronomatics ?
: Who printed low volumes dials Singer or Heuer, who printed Logos
: and product names ?
Singer made the dials for all the second generation Carreras as far as I'm aware. I don't know if all the dial reverses are marked, as it's a side I don't get to see often! Perhaps Paul took a picture of the reverse of his Abercrombie & Fitch Chronomatic dial and could shed some light on that one? I don't know that Heuer had any capacity to print dials so I reckon Singer would have delivered the dials. Who applied the logo on company specials is unclear - Singer employed dial painters, so something like that A&F dial was probably handfinished at Singer but where it's a company logo it may well have depended on how controlling that company were over their logo. If they already had printers with the capability to print an existing logo on dials, then they may have gone to them for finishing - the dials with the Heuer text etc would still have come from Singer in that case, they wouldn't have been delivered as dial blanks. They can use the dial feet to locate the dial for printing, which Singer are obviously used to - a third party printer is less likely to have equipment to fit so I'd guess, and I stress guess, that most of the time the dial supplier was supplied with a printing template for the logo and passed the finished dial to Heuer.
: Where the dials foiled on top of the starburst ? Was there a
: lauqered finish put in top ?
The starburst dials seem to me to have a thin layer of lacquer to protect them, whereas the dark ones don't. They look to be genuinely metallic so it's probably to prevent or at least retard oxidation - seems pretty successful, we tend to see the darker or matte dials patinated more often than the silver metallics.
: Was a gold date frame used with gold inserts or were these mixed ?
I expected to find that it had a gold window surround, as that's what I'm used to on the 1158s, even when they've got an S dial. Looking at that other early watch though, I can't really tell if that has a silver surround too. It's an outstanding question mark over this dial really.
: Are marks on a dial a prove that a dial was mounted in a watch ?
Not always, but there are telltale marks you often see around the pinion hole and the registers that suggest that hands have been removed. It takes a very careful hand to remove watch hands without leaving any mark and from what I've seen, watchmakers are really quite careful enough unfortunately.
: How many Carrera Chronomatics do you know and in what case number
: frames are those ? Any S dials you know of ?
I believe we're up to 5 now, all in cases numbered 147xxx (which also accounts for the earliest "Automatic Chronograph" watches) and all with N dials. The 1153 S Chronomatic is one of my "known unknowns" - never seen one, but I believe they may exist until absolutely proven otherwise. The sample size of Carrera Chronomatics is so small compared to the other models (for whatever reason) that it's still within the realms of statistical probability that it's just coincidence we've only seen N dials so far. Or so I tell myself!