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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.
: Firstly, can I ask if you agree that this Heuer badged dial in a
: Lemania 9801-72 case with a cal.2341 movement is a franken; but,
: if you feel or know different please let me know?! I am truly
: still trying to work out what I have here.
: This brings me to my problem trying to understand the Heuer signed
: dial. Either it is a franken by dint of the dial being fake or
: it is not.
: Second, can we also agree that the Lemania 9801-72 case with its
: accompanying cal1341 were only produced from c. 1970-75 until
: the cal. 5100 was introduced?
: If so, and the dial is genuine, from what production model did it
: come from? Or if deemed original and no known production was it
: a prototype for a minutes Chrono created by Heuer and placed in
: whatever Lemania case that suited the project on the day -
: highly speculative I know. I have been speculating (because I
: want it to be true) that it might be a grab bag of parts put
: together by Heuer during the 1980-85 years especially during the
: "quartz Crisis" but reality draws me back and asks
: "but why?"
: This movement serial is 3507xxx according to the rotor stamp and I
: believe this dates the movement to the early 70s?
: I am certain it is pretty well accepted that Heuer never used a
: Lemania chronograph movement in their watches until they were
: owned by Lemania.
: What do you think? You can be as brutal as you need to be :-)
: After hands painted and replaced tacky dial:
Thank you for your last reply, Fabrizio.
And as an update:
I managed to contact Mr Nicholas Biebuyck the Heritage Director at Tag Heuer for his opinion on this "oddball".
Mr Biebuyck wrote back stating:
"... I have taken a closer look at the watch and should advise that it is similar to a number of piece that have surfaced in the market over the years.
The first point that it is worth noting is Heuer did not start using Lemania movements until after Jack had been pushed out of the business in 1982. The reason for this is that the new owners were Piaget group who also owned Lemania and part of their motivation for acquiring the brand was that they saw an opportunity to use their own movements.
As you may know, Heuer had used the Calibre 11 and 12 automatic chronograph movement from 1969, but in the late 1970s they had also started to use the Valjoux 7750, which Piaget replaced with the 5100 after the take over, hence why Jack had no comment when I saw him for dinner last week.
The other point to note at this time was the chaotic nature of the Swiss watch industry and the supply chain. During and following the quartz crisis suppliers would often be changed quickly, and under Piaget many elements of product creation and assembly was outsourced to save costs, so many things were produced with the Heuer name on they, but probably outside the strict control of the brand.
With these elements in mind, for me I would consider the watch to be a composite of components that were assembled some time around 1982 to 1985, perhaps by a supplier or a watchmaker. While it is an interest watch with interesting parts as you mentioned, I would not consider it to be a serially produced watch or a prototype commissioned by the brand.
…. For the dial, the design seems to use elements from other brands, my guess it is Singer or someone similar (there is probably a stamp on the back which would explain more) and the Heuer stamp has been added (quite a few original stamps will have been with dial suppliers)."
I am so grateful for Mr Biebuyck"s thoughtful response and taking time out of his busy schedule to reply. Many thanks to Marco Gabello of Watchonista who has been a fantastic resource in helping me try and pin something down on this.
I guess for me this confirms that it was not serially produced (which I had assumed) but raises the question was it produced by someone wanting a bespoke central chrono minutes hand or by someone in the early 1980s trying to create a Franken? If Singer did produce the dial what does the mean, if, as I believe, they are a quality dial maker (used by Rolex and Omega). Surely a faker wouldn’t go that far and why try and fake a Heuer in the early 1980s?
Anyway, if anyone has any further thoughts on this please let me know as my curiosity is definitely piqued. What do I have when I have a correct Lemania case and movement 1041 with what appears to be a genuine Heuer stamped dial but no confirmation it was commissioned by Heuer? Can it be a Franken if the dial stamp is indistinguishable from other genuine Heuer stamped dials - ?