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  1. Radu

    Radu Jan 15, 2024

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    Hello, I am trying to restore my father's Carrera (second picture). I had it repaired in Switzerland a year ago. My father bought it from Germany sometime in 1970. After many years he replaced the original stainless bracelet and I am trying to find one. It looked like the one in the first picture but silver (stainless) not gold. Can anybody help?
    Thank you.
     
    Gold Heuer bracelet.jpg Carrera.jpg
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  2. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jan 16, 2024

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    Are you certain it was on a Milanese Mesh bracelet like the gold 1158CHN that you pictured, but in stainless steel?

    Because the original bracelet for your father's ref. 73653 should be a Heuer signed Gay Freres Beads of Rice bracelet. Like these:
    Heuer Carrera 73653.jpg Heuer Carrera 73653S.jpg
     
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  3. Radu

    Radu Jan 16, 2024

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    I am sure. I have admired this watch my entire childhood, it’s “burned” in my memory. I used to try it on when my father was sleeping. My father is positive he bought it from Stuttgart. Is the bracelet PN 1158CHN?
    Thank you.
     
  4. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jan 16, 2024

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    No it's not the PN for the bracelet; it's the reference number for the gold Carrera model you pictured. If you look through the 1972 catalogue for example, you'll see most Carrera models are either pictured with a leather racing rally strap or the beads of rice style bracelet. The only one in the catalogue with the mesh is the gold 1158.

    You can find all of the Heuer & TAG Heuer catalogues here, have a look:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1nBIPuEXiNe43cLjvSM9r-jfvUeTHzDrk

    Your father's Carrera is shown in the catalogue as ref. 73653 S, pictured on a leather racing rally strap. Every picture I've seen of the 73653 on a bracelet is the beads of rice style. I've never seen a vintage OEM Heuer mesh in stainless steel shown in any of the Heuer catalogues from the 1970s.
     
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  5. Radu

    Radu Jan 16, 2024

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    I agree with you. It is possible that he may have had the Carrera fitted with a mesh bracelet. At 89 his memory may not be the best. One detail that I see, the mesh links on the 1974 catalogue are angled to the strap.
    IMG_1408.jpeg
    while on my picture they are parallel to the strap:
    IMG_1409.jpeg
    and I remember my father’s strap links were also parallel to the strap (I used to count them). Anyway, seeing that Heuer did make a gold strap, it is likely that they may have made a stainless steel too. I will check all those catalogues maybe I will find it there.
    Thank you.
     
  6. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Jan 18, 2024

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    Beautiful Carrera. Worst case you could buy a third party mesh bracelet to recreate the look and bring back those wonderful memories of your father and your childhood. It will not be as perfect as an original but I think it will still look pretty damn sweet.
     
  7. Radu

    Radu Jan 18, 2024

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    That's the idea. I will still be looking.
     
  8. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jan 19, 2024

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    Happy hunting, good luck. :)
    There are many modern Milanese Mesh bracelets that can probably replicate the look of your childhood memories. Also, here's an example of a '70s Carrera on a generic Shark Mesh style bracelet, looks pretty good too (IMHO).
    [​IMG]

    But I'm afraid your search for a Heuer signed vintage Milanese Mesh (in steel) might be like finding a unicorn. Even the gold version wasn't an official Swiss release. According to this On The Dash article, the gold mesh was made by Heuer's US branch and is very rare.
    http://www.onthedash.com/definitive-guide-18-karat-gold-carrera-ref-1158/
    --
    Jack Heuer reports that the company did not consider the 18 karat gold bracelets to be consistent with Heuer’s sports / racing theme, but they thought of these massive gold bracelets as being more “California” / flashy style. [Remember that many people call chronographs “tool watches”; we do not see many 18 karat gold tools, do we?] Accordingly, when the US manager (in Springfield. New Jersey) requested that these gold bracelets be offered by Heuer, the company (in Switzerland) did not pursue the design and production of these bracelets, but this project was undertaken by the US manager, with the company’s approval. Mr. Heuer indiactes that any of the gold bracelets offered throughout the world probably came through the US office. It is interesting that, though these bracelets were not “officially” included in the company’s line of products, Heuer still showed the 1158s on the bracelets in most of its catalogs.
    --
     
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  9. Radu

    Radu Jan 20, 2024

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    Thank you for the information, it is most valuable. There is a high chance that I can find the unicorn in my father’s house. The problem is that there is an ocean between us and the 2 times per year when I go to visit him I have to refrain from turning his house upside down.
    From the information you provided I can assume that it is likely that the mesh bracelet was made by a “bracelet” company and not by Heuer, possibly the Milanese people. So there is a chance…
     
  10. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Jan 20, 2024

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    The bracelet is made by Gay Freres for Heuer. The Beads of Rice style I mentioned before is also made by Gay Freres. If you want to find an authentic Gay Freres mesh, look for the "GF" logo on inside the clasp. Gay Freres is quite famous in the vintage world. They made bracelets not only for Heuer, but many other brands in the '60s and '70s. They were acquired by Rolex in the late '90s.

    This is the GF logo inside the gold Heuer mesh.
    Carrera_1158_CHN_Clasp_950.jpg

    Here's another example of the Gay Freres mesh, this one was made for a vintage Zenith watch.
    Zenith GF clasp.jpg
    Zenith GF.jpg

    But again, I've never seen one in steel with a signed Heuer clasp. Hope you can find your dad's, if you do, please post a pic.
     
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  11. SteveP

    SteveP Feb 27, 2024

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    A lot of these straps were dealer fitted and not from Heuer at all, I suspect that is where your father's bracelet came from. Good luck!