The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch
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  1. #1
    Member Abhishek.b27's Avatar
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    The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    The Monnin case style dive watches are interesting and from a historical perspective did save Heuer during the quartz crisis. Being a James Bond fan, I have always fancied owning a Heuer 1000 series automatic watch (Heuer Night diver in the Living Daylights) but @ over 1k US$ for a watch in an average condition, it does seem like a distant dream for now.
    I have been hunting for one of these watches on the forum sales thread and did come across some examples of a Monnin case dive watch. I am looking for something with the following specs:

    1. Case size - 39 mm to 42 mm
    2. Movement – Auto or Quartz
    3. Budget – 500 US$

    The Monnin style case brands/watches I know - Heur/Tag Heuer, Zodiac, Technos, Felca/Geota, Aristo, CWC,

    A couple of questions:
    [1] Would it be possible to swap the hands/dial of a quartz 40mm Technos Sky Diver/Zodiac Red Dot with a replacement/compatible Heuer set ? (assuming the movements are the same)
    [2] What are the movement variants currently available for Monnin Cased dive watches ? (quartz & auto movement variants)

    I am ok with modern/current production examples having the Monnin Styled case. Please share your suggestions/recommendations.
    Last edited by Abhishek.b27; June 8th, 2019 at 14:02.
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  2. #2
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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    If I'm not mistaken, CWC adopted Monnin style cases and are still selling watches with that case style today in both automatic or quartz forms.
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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    And if a CWC is a bit out of budget (when new they appear to be, though I'd think you wouldn't have any trouble finding a used example), or you don't like the welded/fixed strap bars on the CWC, the Timefactors PRS-3 also uses that case design and can be had new in within a $500 budget fitted with an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement.
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    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    Also, check out the modern line up of Zodiac. Great value.

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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    Quote Originally Posted by TwentiethCenturyFox View Post
    Also, check out the modern line up of Zodiac. Great value.
    None of the current (post revival) Zodiacs are using the Monnin style cases. You'd have to go vintage.

    For those wonder, this is what a Monnin-style case is (using a vintage Zodiac, since we're talking about them):


    (not my photo)

    This case design was also used for the Chronosport SeaQuartz 30 made famous by Magnum PI.
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    Member Abhishek.b27's Avatar
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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    Quote Originally Posted by MX793 View Post
    None of the current (post revival) Zodiacs are using the Monnin style cases. You'd have to go vintage.

    For those wonder, this is what a Monnin-style case is (using a vintage Zodiac, since we're talking about them):


    (not my photo)

    This case design was also used for the Chronosport SeaQuartz 30 made famous by Magnum PI.
    Thanks again for the suggestion. Do the zodiac red dot divers come in 39-42mm?? I saw a few examples in 38 mm.

    I forgot about the chronosport.
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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Abhishek.b27 View Post
    Thanks again for the suggestion. Do the zodiac red dot divers come in 39-42mm?? I saw a few examples in 38 mm.

    I forgot about the chronosport.
    I'm honestly not that familiar with them. They may have only come in 38.

    If you want a more recent watch rather than vintage, I'd look for a Precista PRS-3. 42mm, ETA2824 movement, and you can get them new from Timefactors for around $450 (USD). Like the CWC, they are modeled after British military dive watches, but without the fixed bars of the CWC.
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    Re: The hunt for a Monnin case dive watch

    Regarding dial/hand swapping I would recommend against it unless swapping in a sterile dial. I would not want to wear a Heuer (or any) Frankenwatch. Besides, the cost of buying a decent Heuer dial and handset would probably be several hundred dollars anyway.

    Zeno made the PRS-3 for Timefactors and they also released some under the Zeno brand. They are identical to the TF watches except the dial, even the case backs are engraved PRS-3. They have a Ronda quartz movement in them. I bought the Zeno to swap in a yellow or orange dial but never could find one I liked so I sold it after a few years.

    The CWC is a better watch with tighter crown and bezel action and the modern luminova on the CWC is superior to that on the Zeno (which is still a very good watch). The CWC watches have ETA movements, the quartz has a 955.122 and the auto has a 2824-2. I don't find the fixed bars an issue since I rarely wear metal bracelets and prefer canvas or nylon straps on divers. You can use a leather pull through strap or a strap with open ends such as a Jurgen on a CWC.



    Canvas


    Nylon


    Kangaroo leather
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    Member Abhishek.b27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quartersawn View Post
    ---
    Thanks! That was extremely helpful!! So it's either a vintage example in decent condition or a zeno / time factors prs 3 that I should focus on.
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    As writers above note, many manufacturers offered this type of watch. I have the CWC auto and a viintage Bucherer quartz. I prefer the CWC for overall quality and the lume; Bucherer is a great beater and has non-fixed lugs for quick changes and broader band/strap collection. I have considered drilling out the CWC (please, no flames I am not a Brit MOD diver) for a shark or BOR. Each watch is a good option

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