a passion for Vintage Heuer Watches
World's First Automatic Chronographs
Commencing in the mid-1960s, Heuer was part of a partnership (with Breitling and Hamilton) that sought to introduce the world's first automatic chronograph. Seiko (a Japanese watch manufacturer) and Zenith (a Swiss watch manufacturer) were also seeking to be the first to offer these chronographs. These projects were conducted in secret, as none of the competitors wanted the other companies to be aware of their efforts. Most agree that the Heuer-Breitling venture was first to introduce their new line of automatic chronographs, with Heuer-Breitling-Hamilton holding lavish press conferences in Geneva and New York, on March 3, 1969, to show their new lines of chronographs.
The Heuer Monaco 40th Anniversary re-edition with Calibre 11, is a limited edition contemporary replica of the original Monaco.Heuer's first automatic chronographs were the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco. These were powered by the Cal 11 and Cal 12 movements (12-hour chronograph); Cal 14 movement (12-hour chronograph and additional hand for GMT / second time-zone) and the Cal 15 movement (30-minute chronograph). Unusually, the winding crown was on the left, with the pushers for the chronograph on the right. The earliest of Heuer's Cal 11 chronographs (from 1969) were named "Chrono-Matic". In the early 1970s, Heuer expanded its line of automatic chronographs to include the Daytona, Montreal, Silverstone, Calculator, Monza and Jarama models, all of them powered by the Caliber 11 movement.
Several of the automatic Heuer chronographs powered by the Caliber 11 series of movements are associated with automobile racing and specific drivers. Steve McQueen wore a blue Monaco in the 1971 movie, Le Mans (with this model now referred to as the "McQueen Monaco") and Swiss Formula One star Jo Siffert customarily wore a white-dialed Autavia with black registers. In 1974, Heuer produced a special version of the black-dialed Autavia that was offered by the Viceroy cigarette company, in a special promotion for $88. The Viceroy advertisements for this promotion featured racer Parnelli Jones, this version of the Autavia got to be called the "Viceroy".
Chronographs of the 1970s and 1980s
In 1975, Heuer introduced the Chronosplit, a digital chronograph with dual LED and LCD displays. Later versions featured two LCD displays.
Heuer began using the Valjoux 7750 movement in its automatic chronographs, with the Kentucky and Pasadena models (both introduced in 1977). The Valjoux 7750 movement was a three-register chronograph (with seconds, minutes and hours), that also offered day / date windows. A model of the Montreal was also launched utilising the 7750 movement.
In the mid-1970s, Heuer introduced a series of chronographs powered by the Lemania 5100 movement. The Lemania 5100 movements have the minute hand for the chronograph on the center pinion (rather than on a smaller register), greatly improving legibility. The Lemania 5100 movement is considered very rugged and has been used in a variety of chronographs issued to military pilots. There are ten models of Heuer chronographs powered by the Lemania 5100—Reference 510.500 (stainless steel), 510.501 (black coated), 510.502 (olive drab coated), 510.503 (pewter coated), 510.511 (Carrera dialed acrylic crystal PVD finish), 510.523 (Carrera dialed acrylic crystal stainless steel), as well as models with the names Silverstone (steel case with black dial) and Cortina (steel case with blue dial); the Reference 510.543 was made for the A.M.I. (Italian Air Force) and a special edition (with no reference number marked on the case) was made for AudiSport.
TAG Heuer was formed in 1985 when TAG (Techniques d'Avant Garde), manufacturers of high-tech items such as ceramic turbochargers for Formula One cars, acquired Heuer.
Source - wikipedia
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