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Heuer Mystery- Identical Serial Numbers/ Different Watches

  1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Sep 21, 2015

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    Very interesting e-mail from a reader who owns a pair of Titanium quartz chronographs- Ref. 225.206 as shown below.
    129.jpg

    His story is as follows:
    "In April 2014 I sold my Heuer titanium chronograph model 225.206, truly regretting it every day after. After some extensive searching and through word of mouth, I found/bought another in like condition. Recently (2 weeks ago) I purchased another on eBay to be a daily wearer, while the other is locked away"

    heuer titanium duplicates 011.JPG

    "I was logging the model/serial in my "TAG list", and could not believe it, the newly received watch has the same serial number as my other one."
    heuer titanium duplicates 003.JPG

    Yes, the two watches have the same serial number

    So what explains this? It's not one caseback for both the quartz and automatic versions (automatic is Ref. 125.206). And it's not the reference number of any other Heuer- so it must be the reference number.

    You sometimes see this on modern replicas- but these are both original watches...so in short, I'm out of ideas! Any thoughts?
     
    heuer titanium duplicates 009.JPG
    Edited Sep 21, 2015
    Albert-AMG likes this.
  2. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Sep 21, 2015

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    To add to the mystery- here are two other case backs from various Titanium models found on the net
    IMG_2340.jpg

    armbanduhr_heuer_titanium_quartz_chronograph_4_lgw.jpg

    So of the three models here we have the following serials:
    122053
    122054
    122117

    Yes, just at random we have apparently found consecutive serial numbers and a third watch that is within ~60 units.

    And here is a fourth watch found on eBayPurchases made through these links may earn this site a commission from the eBay Partner Network...perhaps the one bought by the collector who e-mailed me...except this watch was auctioned in January 2014
    Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.10.43 pm.png
    Yes, you guessed it. Same serial number. I don't believe the watch above is the same one owned by the collector. Note the plastic sticker on the case back coming away near the word "Titanium". Now check the photo of the watch belonging to the collector
    [​IMG]

    No sign the plastic sticker has been damaged or raised. Plus, the caseback on the eBay watch has more damage that the photo above...
     
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  3. TTRIDER

    TTRIDER Feb 2, 2021

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    I now have two of these titanium 225.206 chronographs as well--and both have the same serial number: 122053. I purchased one new from a Washington D.C. dealer on 11 August 1986 and the second via eBay last week (it has yet to arrive). It's possible I have purchased the same watch the collector had in 2014. It seems to me that unless this duplication of serial numbers was a known phenomenon during the chaotic last days of the Heuer family ownership, due either to distracted or sloppy manufacturing (or malfunctioning stamping/engraving machines), the likelihood of one being a real Heuer and the other a fake has to be considered. More investigation will be done with my watches and if anything surfaces to suggest the creation of a fake, I'll post the results.

     
  4. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Feb 2, 2021

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    I think there are two possibilities:
    - What we think is a serial number is not a serial number. Could be a code for the case or similar
    - Manufacturing error

    The first option is the most likely, as we don't see duplicated serial numbers with other models from the same era.

    The chance of these being fakes for such a niche model is very, very slim
     
    Albert-AMG likes this.
  5. TTRIDER

    TTRIDER Feb 2, 2021

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    Makes sense; checking movements and inside casebacks is next step.
     
  6. Albert-AMG

    Albert-AMG TAG Heuer Forums Moderator Staff Member Feb 3, 2021

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    Yes, I guess is more like an internal code (defining model, version, materials, or whatever)
    than a serial number. Some have 225206, others 125206... it seems that first digit starting with 1 or 2 means something different, but not as a whole figure, because the other numers are the same. The same happens in the second line of the number.

    For instance, with the straps for the Connected Modular 45, there is the white rubber strap 1FT6103 (to match the titanium buckle) and the white rubber strap 2FT6103 (to match the black buckle). Same strap in both cases, just with a different link for the buckle.
     
  7. TTRIDER

    TTRIDER Feb 3, 2021

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    If I remember correctly, the first digit of this model identifies the automatic or quartz movement; but I think you’re right about the significance of the numbering overall. What we need is someone from the manufacturing side of the company to weigh in on the history of these titanium watches.
     
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  8. TTRIDER

    TTRIDER Feb 3, 2021

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    Actually, we seem to be confronted here with three of these “122053” serial-number 225.206 watches, not two. If they’re all genuine, surely a quality-control manufacturing problem is behind the situation. Reminds me of the mis-minted coins and mis-printed stamps so highly valued by the numismatics and philatelists, though it’s hard to see how anyone but those of us who have owned and used Heuers would care very much. Somewhere in the TAG Heuer files lies our answer but we won’t know it until someone does the tedious research there what the real answer is. Meanwhile, the best we can do is shrug and say something like, “Hmmm....”
     
  9. SteveP

    SteveP Feb 3, 2021

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    I'm quite glad this subject has been reopened-I saw it some time ago and always like to make sense of things. My initial thought was similar to dc's first idea-it is a case or movement code, for example.

    I can say there are a large number of examples all with the 122053 code, not just a few so maybe we do need to look closer at comparing the features of these, including the internals as you say.....
     
  10. TTRIDER

    TTRIDER Feb 3, 2021

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    In support of the case-ID suggestion, I note that the 122053 models have case-back cutaways for the pushers, as does the -054 item, whereas the 122117 does not. A running change in case manufacturing, perhaps.
     
  11. TTRIDER

    TTRIDER Feb 3, 2021

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    Evidence for the "122053" being a case design ref. number; I just found a couple of automatic 125.206 titanium chronos with the subsidiary number "122117"--the same as the quartz version noted above. This can't be due to counterfeiting or manufacturing errors, but surely reflects, as suggested by several, that the 122053/-054/-117/-417 numbers refer to case or other non-movement-related changes as the watches were developed. Here is one website, for example, advertising a 125.206 with a 122117 case number--and the case back looks identical to the quartz version, Just an idea.
    https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/...omatic-lemania-mint-condition-reduced.746409/
     
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