basic buyers guide for Heuer

Grading :

Please note the collectibility grading aims to give an indication of the relative desirability of each reference within the collecting community. It ranges between A+++ to grade D, although it should be noted that overall condition, patina (good and bad) and originality plays an important part in values too. The very best examples likely fall outside of the guide grades.

60s Autavia :

Check the bevelled lug edges, many are smoothed from polishing over the years, a crisp unpolished case is unusual and worth paying for. This is even more desirable on early 1st execution non compression (C) cases. Early cases can be devoid of reference/and or serial numbers in some rare circumstances (but this is not the norm). Bezel condition is often used and abused on these and overall value is linked to the condition and originality of this item, especialy so on GMT variants. The lume piece bezel is more desirable than the slightly later non lume bezel. However these early watches are so rare and now so old, that some tolerance of overall condition grading should be made. 1st execution should have ED Heuer signed movements (numbered movement on the very earliest 2446 Valjoux 72) and back cases stamped likewise. All lume hands are VERY rare and are worth more, also note several different types of dauphine hands were fitted, with larger or smaller lume areas (The thin type are worth less and are less desirable). Watches with relumed dials are naturally not worth the same as ones with original lume nor are they as collectible.

70s / 80s Autavia :

As with all watches that incorporate a bezel, it is important to check condition and originality. Ebay is a source for repro inserts, prices quoted for Mint & Good assume original bezel/insert. Also check that the model has the correct reference, sometimes bezels are attached from another variant or another brand entirely! Early 1st execution and Chronomatics have a case design that is different from later executions, serial numbers should be in the 141xxx range for Chronomatic and 142xxx to 144xxx (approx) for early Exec. Note that 1163T Siffert should not be housed in a "V for Viceroy" case and should be in a case with a serial no later than 24xxxx. It pays to do the research or buy the Autavia 1962-85 book, to make sure the serials are correct for the dial execution, there are so many variations of dial and many "fit" into specific tight serial number ranges. Having said that some small tolerance should be given as we do not currently know all the answers to all the questions, so if a serial number range suggests 204xxx or 270xxx then it should follow that 203xxx and 269/271xxx is not a problem. It is very rare to find watches with original red Heuer case back stickers, but a premium should be applied on all Heuer' that have them.

60s Carrera :

Early Carreras do not have reference numbers stamped between the case lugs until the end of the 1960s (circa 1968). As with all vintage watches check for case/dial condition and correct and original handsets. The case lug edges are often polished (like the early Autavias) and tend to lose the crisp original finish. Note very early examples have polygonal case backs Ed Heuer signed movements and unsigned crowns. Dial markers & handsets should match (ie plain steel hands go with plain steel markers, black stripe hands with black insert markers etc)

70s/80s Carrera :

Check that early Chronomatic variants have the correct serial range (147xxx) and that all 18ct gold models have the correct "hallmark" inside the caseback (the side case hallmark is often polished away, but values are mower in such instances). Model & serial numbers are present on all models, although on later 80s models this data transferred to the case back not between the lugs.

Monaco :

Pay particular attention to the overall case condition, the top case polishes well, the back case is extremely difficult to finish to a high standard and often "distresses" the original unique back case features. Guide prices assume original "thick" lume hands, not "thin" lume service type. Dial edge damage from the melting seal/gasket is commonplace, on matt blue dials this leaves a stain and on metallic dials it corrodes the paint back to the dial brass. Early executions should be in the correct serial number range (see, approx maximum outer range is 1574xx for Chronomatic and 1584xx for Transitional. Note movements were changed at service due to cal11 to 12 improvements and it is not uncommon to see cal12's in std production matt dial 1133 (cal11 is expected to be in transitional or chronomatic variants however for authenticity). Dials are often refinished due to the seal issues, so check details are correct, with regards to alignment of text and the style of script. Re PVD cased 74033N are worth approx 50% less.

Silverstone :

Movement should be cal12, and it is not uncommon to find issues with blue dials, the paint finish was far weaker than the metallic fume dial and succumbed to degradation. Also note it is very difficult or impossible to satisfactorily relume the outer flange, if the lume is not intact and pieces are missing, this impacts on value. Note it is easy to polish these watches back to mint condition and so be wary of watches advertised as new old stock, most are not...but as ever a premium should be applied for ones that are.

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