Forums Latest Members
  1. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Hi everyone,
    I think this is my first post on Calibre11. The "history" on the left, under my avatar, will all be from OmegaForums up until today.

    I had big plans in my head for this post but unfortunately the current situation isn't helping my creativity [It also turns out that I'm too old to be using technology and getting it right by the tenth time!] and more importantly I only found out today just how difficult this watch is to photograph.
    Therefore my photos are very limited for today. Hopefully I can improve upon them if interest is there.

    I bought this watch last year from eBay, here in Australia. I think it had been listed a few times but the seller wasn't budging on his starting price. I eventually picked it up as the only bidder.

    The caseback shows the reference as 110.253
    IMG_22042020_173905_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg

    I've done my research here and at onthedash and the only officially archived watches of this reference appear to be the 110.253 B and 110.253 G, as per the 1978 catalogue (below).
    1978-13-960x1368.jpg

    I did however manage to find this post by Mark Moss from 2011 about the possibility of the 110.253 F (fume) being another possible iteration.
    http://chronocentric.com/forums/heuer/index.cgi?md=read;id=48148

    I'm hoping that the experts can take a look at my watch and consider whether the 110.253 CHN can now also be considered as another legitimate reference.

    My watch:
    IMG_22042020_174048_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg

    I can't find any contact details for Mark Moss but I do know that he has put in years of research on the Carrera. I've found this Calibre11 post about the Cotes de Geneve dials very helpful.
    https://www.calibre11.com/cotes-de-geneve/

    David, I'm hoping that maybe you could reach out to Mark for me?

    I also don't have access to the Richard Crosthwaite and Paul Gavin book on the Heuer Carrera so was wondering whether they could be contacted for their thoughts or if any other members here could check their copy of the book for me.

    My research, such that it is, has therefore mainly been reduced to Instagram (very limited numbers of B and ΔΆ tagged #110253) and Google image searches.
    This is where I start to get a bit scared as the only similar watch images I have found have been used by replica watch sites.
    IMG_22042020_174707_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg IMG_22042020_174646_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg
    The website in the above pictures has been shut down by Richemont but the cached images still currently exist. I had seen one other similar image used by another replica site but that definitely had a Chrono24 watermark over the image. As that site was 'apparently' selling replica 110.253's for circa US$210 I am hoping that it is just a case of stolen pictures and that no such fakes actually exist.

    I've been around watch forums for enough years to understand how desperate it can look when someone turns up with a "one off" or "prototype".
    I'm not trying to claim anything here. I honestly confess to having very limited knowledge on most watches and Heuers in particular.

    I hope you can understand why I shall (playfully) be calling this watch "Ronnie" :cool: whatever the opinions turn out to be.

    IMG_22042020_172912_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg
    Dial, hands and (oval) subdials/registers comparison pictures
    Top Left: my 110.253 - can I call it a 110.253 CHN ?
    Top Right: the 1158 given to Ronnie Peterson by Jack Heuer (with 110.515 CHN dial)
    Bottom Left: 110.515 CHN (credit Hoodinkee)
    Bottom Right: 2017 limited edition of 40 - Tag Heuer CBH2210 (credit Bukowskis)

    And the back of my buckle. Genuine?
    IMG_22042020_174204_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg
    Thank you all very much for your time. David, for such great forum and all of the members for your posts that have provided endless entertainment and inspiration for me.
    Hopefully I won't be run out of town and can continue to contribute (though I think this is the best Heuer that I'll have to offer!) :thumbsup:
     
    Edited Apr 22, 2020
    PhillipDB likes this.
  2. imagwai

    imagwai Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    4,854
    Likes
    5,469
    Welcome to Calibre 11 - a very interesting first post! I'm not claiming to be any real expert here, but is it possible that the case and chapter ring are from the 110.253B and it's simply had a gold dial and handset fitted from the 110.255? The dial and subdial hands look in much better condition than the case and main hands indicating they may not always have been together.

    Whatever the back story, the watch looks amazing and is certainly unique, so I would be inclined to just enjoy it, even if it's not as it left the factory. :)
     
    Emeister likes this.
  3. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Thanks @imagwai
    Can't believe I forgot to put that possibility as an option I have considered.*
    I really struggled with posting today.
    I certainly intend to enjoy this one. Whatever its history.
    I think it's stunning.
    Photos, or a video, to show the change of colours in the sunlight are going to be hard for me to achieve. Ones that do it justice anyway!

    The other thing that I haven't been able to find, and forgot to mention, is any list of serial numbers.
    I've seen comments about other watches being "in the right range" but have no idea where to check this one.

    * Further edit:
    I don't think the dial would have come from a 110.255 as those weren't CdG, had round registers and the Carrera wording was shorter than the Heuer shield.
    If it is a 'put together' piece then I'm pretty sure the dial would have to have come from the Barrel cased 110.515. Do the B and G dials have a tendency to degrade? Maybe that could have given a 'reason' for someone to change it. Then would they have sought out a CHN or was it just what became available?

    As for the Tachy and hands? This is where I really struggle to be able to spot a lot of the variances, without having them pointed out to me. I can see that Ronnie's and the CBH2210 both have 'tails on the minute and hour hands, but they're very different watches to mine.
    Also I'm finding it very hard on these to even identify colours in the few pictures i have found because they appear to change with the slightest of angle or light changes. That's part of the beauty of them.
     
    Edited Apr 22, 2020
  4. imagwai

    imagwai Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    4,854
    Likes
    5,469
    Have you had the back off to check the movement?
     
  5. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Not yet myself.
    I'll see if I can dig up the sellers pictures (for what that's worth). Pretty sure they showed it to be a Cal12, which I took to be right.
     
  6. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Doesn't look like I saved the eBay pictures.
    Found the seller on Instagram. His picture from 4+ years ago.
    IMG_22042020_183433_(600_x_600_pixel).jpg
    Didn't mention the reference or even Carrera.
    Just "Vintage Heuer" and no #'s, so I hadn't found this image before.
     
  7. SteveP

    SteveP Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    778
    Likes
    1,491
    Hi Emeister, interesting piece for sure. I have some thoughts but I'll wait until others with more practical knowledge of these weigh in.

    Mark has seen the post but isn't allowed to reply yet as he's only just registered on here! He said he'd reply when he's able...
    Best, Steve
     
    Emeister likes this.
  8. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Thanks @SteveP
    Appreciate that.
     
  9. Yago

    Yago Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    3,363
    Likes
    5,096
    The Peterson was a one off where Heuer simply put the CdG dial of the 110.515 CHN inside the case of the 1158. It wasn't a new dial. Seems to be the same deal with your watch. A donor 110.515 CHN dial inside the case of a 110.253. A Franken '110.253 CHN'.
    Just my five cents.
     
  10. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Thanks @Yago

    I could live with it being a Franken because to my eyes it has been thoughtfully put together.
    I don't think it was done maliciously or to deceive anyone.

    Just thinking aloud. Good and bad.
    The eBay seller had an Instagram post (above) on 25th January 2016. No mention of Peterson and none ever made whilst trying to sell it. So not trying to capitalise on anything.
    The Sotheby's auction was on 14th May 2016. When was the auction announced though?
    I've seen at least two other pictures of stainless cases with this CdG dial and black tachy ring. Though the "hotwatchs" one above appears to have gold hour and minute hands. Would three frankens all use the black tachy ring or would someone use the gold one from the sacrificial 110.515?
    Wouldn't any other owners have come forward by now though, here or at Chronocentric or instagram, since the exposure of the Sotheby's auction and Tag Heuer re-edition and possibly mentioned the same 'Peterson' 110.515 dial. I'm honestly not trying to build a link just thinking of what other terms than (heuer, carrera, 110.253, 110.515, Peterson) I could possibly use in Google searches.

    What would anyone do with a leftover gold plated barrel case, and presumably extra calibre 12 movement, if they did just re-appropriate the dial and hands. Are these kind of parts traded much?
    ::confused2::
     
  11. imagwai

    imagwai Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    4,854
    Likes
    5,469
    Could potentially have been done by a watchmaker who simply had access to the spare parts?
     
  12. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Fairy nuff ;)
    I do have an overthinking problem :taunt:
     
  13. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Apr 22, 2020

    Posts
    7,150
    Likes
    14,934
    It does take a few hours for someone new to be able to post- @SteveP if Mark is having problems, please DM me the e-mail address that he has used to register and I'll take a look.

    Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. There are several possible ways that the watch came to be, but the most likely is as suggested by others- someone thought that the Gold CDG dial and hands would look good inside a steel case (and they were right!)

    Heuer tended to use either a white or gold inner flange with a gold dial, rather than the black/ anthracite one we see here (that was used on Silver dials)
     
    Emeister likes this.
  14. MarkMoss

    MarkMoss Apr 23, 2020

    Posts
    32
    Likes
    69
    I'm now convinced that the F was a factory production watch, alongside the B, having seen more than enough examples to convince me of that. It may have been a bit regional - I've seen more examples of the F coming out of Eastern Europe and Australia (funnily enough David) than from the usual suspects. Still not seen it in a catalogue or pricelist (which surprisingly often list models that didn't make it to the catalogues) but it's a common sense option for Heuer.

    Sales of the barrels had not really taken off and the second gen remained strong, so a factory parts bin special was created to move the remaining dials. Even at the best of times, Heuer had been something of an opportunist manufacturer, using up existing parts even with a new design ready to go - you can see this with the double markers and wide hands introduced as an update for the 1153, watches are hybrids of this and the earlier designs for hundreds of serial numbers. In fact, I reckon the B was the most successful of the 110.253s - we definitely see them more than the G or the .255 with their bespoke, newly designed dials. It, along with the F, also has a wider spread of serial numbers in the single batch of 110.253/5 cases produced than either the G or .255.

    So, with this and the Ronnie Peterson 1158 special (which may not have been a one-off - there are at least two other watches with that configuration with varying degrees of reliable provenance and 1158s were being made more or less to order at that point), it's clear that the factory was not above creating watches from parts already in the parts bin. The problem is, of course, that someone else is entirely capable of doing that after the event too and that's the crux of the matter here.

    So to your watch. It has the right handset for a 110.255, which isn't the easiest thing to find (and even the late 1158s had a different handset). It has a correct 110.253 case, with a serial towards the end of a large batch of Bs & Fs. We know for certain that Heuer used the CdG dials in this case as it's documented in catalogues.

    So far so good. But that handset is also correct for a .515 CHN, which is somewhat easier to find. The tachy scale is black, like a B's, rather than the champagne that was used pretty much universally with CHN and CH dials - I can't think of an example where a black scale was used with a champagne dial off the top of my head. They are used in gold or gold-plated cases too, rather than steel as here.

    On the balance of probability, I lean towards it being a later dial and handset swap, possibly with the movement too, rather than something that left the factory like that. Just a few too many deviations from usual Heuer practice, even from a time when we know they were happy to raid the parts bin. But it's a great looking watch and I'm sure you'll enjoy it for what it is. For years, I was planning to put an unmounted 110.573B dial in a spare 110.515 case I had - I sold both before the project came to fruition (and do I regret selling that dial) but that would have made a great looking watch too. And I'd have been happy with what it was, something that I had put together rather than a factory model. Approach your watch the same way would be my advice :)
     
  15. Emeister

    Emeister Donut-eatin desk-divin wannabe-astronaut fat dude Apr 23, 2020

    Posts
    638
    Likes
    1,206
    Thank you very much Mark and David.
    I really appreciate the time and effort taken to respond.

    More than happy to accept the watch for what it is.

    I'll also admit to having previously thought that the Blue CdG dial and orange hands in one of these cases would be an incredible watch.
    Probably best that I don't have access to those parts.

    I'm just grateful that this one fell into my lap.

    I think it probably deserves an atelierromane strap once world and personal situations sort themselves out.
    If that happens I'll try and slip a picture back into this thread but I'll refrain from posting elsewhere so as not to muddy the waters.
    I'll just enjoy it for myself.

    Thanks again to all the contributors to this thread.
    Thanks also to anyone else who read this and thought "he's dreaming" but held off from shooting me down :thumbsup: