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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.
I purchased this watch several months back from a gentleman who has a network of estate sale buyers throughout the eastern United States. With his help and some research of my own, I learned a bit about the original owner, the widow of whom the watch was purchased from days before it was sold to me.
His name was Chester Mitchell Bourne, the son of Chester Wellington Bourne, a Mason who served on the Charleston, West Virginia City Council. The elder Bourne passed away in 1989, while his son passed away last October, according to public records. The younger was born around 1947 — two years before the first production of this watch — so it was quite possibly handed down from father to son.
I received it with a hazy, dirty, scratched-up crystal. It ran, but didn’t keep accurate time. The solunar register didn’t advance.
As you can see, the dial is signed Abercrombie & Fitch Co, in block lettering. It’s got a crisp Heuer shield and the SOLUNAR marking just above it, also in block lettering (not script, as is often seen). I have not seen this configuration before. Given the knowledge that this is a one-owner/family watch (now two), I'm wholly confident that it is authentic. I submit that it's either among the very first or very last of the Solunars.
The movement, which I didn’t have photographed by my watchmaker, is not a Valjoux, as most are known to be — it’s a Adolph Schild 1188. I know this because my watchmaker wanted to replace the mainspring and the V90 mainspring wouldn't fit. I ordered the appropriate AS1188 mainspring (from Sweden!) and alas, it fit.
Here is the watch today: