I've moved

Hi, thanks for dropping by - I've moved over to wordpress and I'm no longer maintaining this one.
Please head over to http://24heuer.com cheers, Andy...

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Thursday 8 December 2011

Heuer Cal 12, '20'?

Strange one...clearly stamped '20' on the baseplateNoticed this on the C12 I removed from the Montreal I picked up a few weeks back.
My main camera's being serviced so the photo was taken using my Iphone with a loupe attached - so, maybe not the best quality :-(
Also visible is the standard 'SX' and 2 bars on the edge just below and left of the '20'.
I mentioned it over @ OTD here
Arno replied saying he'd seen one also in an Autavia 1163 MH with a much better photo in his book, pages 66/67.
First thought was maybe a high beat prototype, however I clocked it @ 21,600 vph using the iphone app Kello.
So, another Heuer mystery :-)

Thursday 24 November 2011

Breitling Auto-Time 1651

Something a bit different.
The vintage Heuer motor racing timers are getting so expensive now I was delighted to stumble across this beauty over the weekend.
Love the strong colours.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Heuer Montreal, work in progress

I picked up this Cal12 Montreal on eBay last week.
Not working and in need of a tiny bit of TLC.
Anyway, turns out it needs nothing more than some case clamps to secure the movement, correct sweep hand, fix the chrono reset and a case tidy up.
As you can see the case was a bit beat up.
Here's the work so far...

Tidies up pretty well though with a few hours work :-)

Tuesday 1 November 2011

TAG Heuer Monaco CS2110 - the watch that sparked an obsession!

Back in 1998 I was into Breitlings and not even vintage ones!
A job move to Amsterdam saw me passing through Heathrow Airport on a fairly regular basis.
One day I was on my way to the aircraft, drifting by the tax-free shops, when something stopped me dead in my tracks!
It was the new re-edition Monaco ref CS2110.
There were pictures of Steve McQueen and Jo Siffert on the back of a motorcycle looking like the coolest guys on the planet, ever!
I had to have one.
Subconsciously I must've seen Monacos before because it just seemed the perfect watch and felt 'right'.
This is the watch that led me down the vintage Heuer path to where I am today.
Anyway, this week I got a new arrival, and it looks and feels superb.
I've had re-editions before and haven't really been that keen to be honest but the CS2110 is different and I love it :-)
Looks even better on a vintage corfam.
The series was limited to 5000 pieces and recent demand has seen prices rise steadily so my advice is to buy one now before they go too high.

Friday 26 August 2011

That is just SO wrong!

How could anyone do that to a Monaco case?
I gotta get myself some of that 'STANILESS STEEL' :-)

Thursday 25 August 2011

Cool iPhone image app

RetroCamera from CLBITZ for iPhone.
The paid for version lets you save larger files and has all of the effects.
Might look naff in 6 months time but today for me they're pretty cool :-)
These images are in their original form elsewhere on this blog.

Monaco for the beach?

A few years back a friend of mine was sporting what looked like a plastic Rolex Submariner.
Story goes that a smart beach hotel in Italy was getting fed up of guests being robbed and so was handing out plastic Rolex's while the originals went into the hotel safe - could be true, who knows.
These now seem to be all over the place and are quite fashionable.
Anyway a quick google turned up a plastic Monaco.
Not advertised as a fake Monaco at all and actually being sold via Amazon.com I thought I'd give it a go.
It's basically as you'd expect for the money :-)

Friday 15 July 2011

Helmet Alarm clock malfunction

So, here's an interesting problem.
The clock runs fine and is highly accurate - just one tiny problem.
It only works upside down or on it's back :-)
If you run it upright it stops after a couple of minutes.
More investigation required!

Thursday 7 July 2011

124 Spider - Progress at last!

Finally received the replacement fender at the end of last week.
Much more what I was expecting.
Finishing etc is 100% better than the previous 2 - this one also had the light fitting in place.
So, next stage is to get them on the car!

Sunday 26 June 2011

Siffert Autavia 1163t, v1.2?

Siffert 1163t, v1.2?So here's my latest arrival, a Siffert Autavia, so-named after Swiss racing driver Jo Siffert, Seppi, who favoured the 1st 'CHRONOMATIC' version.
Let's see what we've got -
1st thing that strikes you is the 3-6-9-12 subdial - just like the chronomatic - must be early then?
Then there are the polished hands.
But wait a minute - these have a black stripe down the centre.
Hmmm, that's interesting...
Hey look again at the markers - these aren't the chronomatic style with horizontal ribs - these ones are long, polished and with a stripe down the centre.
'AUTAVIA' has a flat bottomed 'V' which is generally associated with the early versions.
Looking inside reveals a nice calibre 11 movement.
Between the lugs of the relatively unchuncky Piquarez case, at 12 we have an engraved, not stamped, '1163', another early feature?
At 6 the serial number, again engraved, beginning 22...
Oops, hang on a minute, 22 isn't early, or is it?
I've seen 14* 3-6-9-12 Sifferts and 25* 1,2,3,4...Sifferts but never a 22* Autavia of any flavour.
It's widely acknowledged through anecdotal evidence etc that the white dial with blue accent 'Sifferts' were made in very small numbers between 1969 and 1972, shortly after the death of Jo Siffert who was sadly killed in his BRM during the world championship race @ Brands Hatch in October 1971.
This is pretty much backed up by the quantity that come up for sale these days in relation to other Autavias etc.
Strange then that there seem to be so many versions.
Working forwards from the chronomatic - if we call that v0.1.
These chronomatic versions are regarded as prototypes, extremely rare and as such command a very high premium.
Then there is the v1.1 - same dial configuration, markers and hands as the chronomatic but without the $20000 'CHRONOMATIC' text - a true production model.
The word 'AUTAVIA' moves to the top, the vacated space
above the date now contains 'AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH'.
I've seen both Piquarez and Schmitz cased models of this version but that's another story :-)

So, I guess this one could be considered the v1.2 to indicate the minor changes of the hands and hour markers?
Next up could be the 1,2,3,4...subdial version with blue striped/tipped hands and pointed 'V', v2.1?
Interestingly there's another identical model for sale just now, even down to the striped hands and 22* serial number.
So, absolutely genuine and probably a transitional model - in fact as there appear to be up to 5 incarnations of the Siffert in such a short timespan, maybe they're all transitionals :-)

Sunday 5 June 2011

Don't try this @ home! Rolex faded bezel insert.

Fun with bleach...
I enjoy the benefits of the 16800 but still yearned for the retro look of the 1680.
Maybe this could partly be achieved by adding a faded bezel?
So, after much googling I discovered there's a lot of differing opinion out there about replacing the original bezel insert with a faded one.
Hmmmm, this sort of moral highground only makes me more determined :-)
So after sourcing a genuine original insert in a rough state, with matching scrapes and scratches etc.,
relatively cheaply, I decided to have a go at fading it myself.
I'm pretty pleased with the results and it gives a much more casual, washed out look for me.
It's actually turned out a kind of blue/grey colour.
This is how I did it in around an hour start to finish -
(note, sorry but I accept no responsibility if you're mad enough to copy me and it goes badly wrong for you :-))
Firstly I submerged the bezel insert completely in a small amount of household bleach and rough sea salt (no scientific reason why - just made me think of the sun and the sea :-)) for around 10 minutes.
After rinsing completely under a running tap I then wiped it gently with some kitchen paper, removing the lacquered/gloss finish.
It was then dropped into some fresh bleach/salt mix, face down, twice for around 10-15 minutes each time, rinsing again in between.
The only reason I did it twice was to check the results out of the solution - I had it face down, remember...
There's lots of info out there on youtube etc for swapping a bezel insert over so I won't bore you with that but it's a 2 minute job, best performed with the bracelet removed as I discovered last night.
The object of this excerise wasn't to trick anyone into believing it was a tool watch that had worked for nearly 30 years in the sun drenched Indian Ocean, merely to change the look for my own personal taste :-)
I actually don't think the sun and sea could naturally have done the same job on this particular insert in 100 years or more anyway!
Any good? Or, have I commited the ultimate faux-pas?
To be honest I don't care as it's just for fun and no good condition bezels were harmed in the making of this modification :-)

Friday 27 May 2011

Heuer Monaco 1133B Transitional

New arrival from Sweden. Lovely condition.
The top pusher was non-original round type so I swapped it over and while I had it open replaced the cracked glass and gave the case a small tidy - really pleased with the results and especially glad it came with the original hands!

Thursday 5 May 2011

124 Spider - Fender update.

The much anticipated fenders arrived but unfortunately 1 was extremely badly damaged in transit and basically not repairable.
So, Guy has already started preparing a new one which should be here shortly.
Seeing the fenders for real highlighted what a job this is going to be and I'm tempted to get it done by a pro.
More updates soon.

Friday 29 April 2011

Breitling Chronospace Red Arrows

Breitling Chronospace Red Arrows Limited Edition, 20x/1000
Complete with all boxes, papers and manuals. Steel bracelet and rubber divers pro strap.
Purchased new by me back in 1994.
The Anti-reflective glass is great and still has people wondering if there is in fact any glass there at all :-)
Movement replaced free of charge by Breitling with the upgraded module due to known bugs in the original.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

2446c GMT old bezel back on again!

So, it was getting ridiculous.
I just couldn't wear it with the new bezel for fear of damaging it, so the old faded one's back on and you know what? I think I prefer it :-)