Saturday, July 12, 2014
Collecting vintage Heuer watches....
I started collecting vintage watches one year ago in July 2013. The first watch I bought was an Heuer 1163 pre-Viceroy with calibre 11-i. I bought it from a watch shop in Italy via the Internet, Cà Venneze. That could have gone wrong big time since I had zero expertise with the Heuer brand; I didn' know that a watch case can be completely ruined by an amateur polish, that dial and hands can be wrong, chrono functions not working properly, etc...
I chose that watch 100% on intuition; I just liked the look of it, didn't do any research on the watch or the seller and wired the money. So I made all the beginners mistakes in the book. When the watch arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the fantastic look and condition of it. It turned out the watch wasn't just the 1163 Viceroy calibre 12 version but the earlier pre-Viceroy with the calibre 11-i movement. It also came on a nice leather rally strap with an original "sun" buckle. The seller didn't even mention that on his site.
I remember that when one month later I tried to sell that watch on Chronotrader.com for 2,350 euros some community members e-mailed me that my price was way too high and that the value of a Viceroy was between 1,200 and 1,600 euros.
Since the day I bought that first 1163 I have had many other Heuer watches: Autavia 11630's, Autavia 2446 and 3646, Autavia 7863c, Montreal 110.503W and 110.503B, Monaco 1133G, Lemania 510.543, 844 Monnin, etc... I also bought some nice non-Heuer vintage watches like a Rolex Submariner 5513 and 16610, Tudor Submariner 94010 with snowflake hands, a Doxa searambler, a Tudor Oysterdate chronograph, an 844 Strato Monnin and others.
But the watch I am always returning to is the model 1163. If have said it before, the Autavia 1163 is the best model Heuer has ever made. And in that 1163 range the Viceroy and even more the pre-Viceroy has a special meaning to me. It's the Heuer that captures best the true Heuer spirit and it's still very affordable.
Off course the other 1163's are great too like the Derek Bell and even the Jo Siffert. I used to have a problem with the high price of the 1163 Siffert models but since I bought the mark6 1163 Siffert I am beginning to understand. That white dial with blue accents is very nice to be honest.
But I think my heart is still with my little pre-Viceroy I bought in Italy. So please be carefull with it Raymond.