For years, Heuer collectors have stared at the image – its shows three Heuer chronographs, each bearing only the Heuer shield at the top of the dial and the word “Chronomatic” at the bottom of the dial. There are no model names on the dials, but the Heuer enthusiasts know exactly what they are – the Carrera, the Monaco and the Autavia that Heuer introduced in 1969, as the world’s first automatic chronographs.
Advertisement from March 1969, showing Heuer’s three automatic chronographs (Chronomatics)
This was the first image that Heuer used to market its first automatic chronographs – the Chronomatics. The images of these three watches appeared in the March 3, 1969 press release in which Heuer introduced its first automatic chronographs and in industry publications that first presented these watches to the world, including the Swiss Watch and Jewelry Journal, the official publication of the March 1969 Basel Fair.
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Today, we saw two “live” auctions of interesting vintage Heuer chronographs, a black PVD-coated Heuer Monaco, Reference 74033, and an Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer, Reference 2443. In this posting, we’ll take a quick look at these two watches and the results of the sales. We will also take a look at a Heuer Carrera, Reference 2447S that achieved a strong price in one of these auctions
Heuer Monaco, in Black PVD, Reference 74033
The Black PVD Monaco is one of the icons of the Heuer world. There has been some debate about the origins of this model — prototype versus production — but there is no debate about the scarcity and value of these watches. Over the last decade, we have seen fewer than 20 of these watches, and this model holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a vintage Heuer, with one selling in December 2010, for approximately $75,000. If we are lucky, in a given year, we might expect to see one of these watches offered in a public sale. It’s December 10, and I believe that this was the first Black PVD Monaco that we saw on the auction block in 2014.
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“A Notable Watch” will be a series of postings in which we take a quick look at an interesting watch. We will start this series by republishing a message that Jeff Simon posted on our discussion forum a few weeks ago, My A&F Heuer Solunar, a Little Family History.
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.
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