Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

Thread: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

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  1. #1
    Member Mpire's Avatar
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    Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    My great-grandfather was big into watch collecting and repair. After retiring he got into it heavily and pretty much had a full watchmaker's shop in his garage. He passed away in 1981 and no one in the family knew anything about, or had any interest in, watches. So his watch-workshop was pretty much just packed up.

    I have recently started going through one of his work benches and found a couple of watches that caught my eye. Neither are running, and having found them in his work bench, I assume he was working on them or had intended to. My question is, are these worth having repaired/restored? And, how do I go about getting his done? Just drop them off at a jewelry store/watchmaker?


    The watches:

    A box with a partially disassembled Heuer Autavia with a case reference of 2446. The container was marked Valjoux #72.




    In an unmarked container with this Universal Geneve watch in it. All but 1 of the lugs are broken from the case. The watch does not run.


  2. #2
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    I think it would be worth to get them restored. However a restoration will burn holes into your pockets. The Valjoux 72, encased in the Heuer Autavia (app. from 1968 to 1972) is rare and expensive (check google). Hard to get the original parts missing (hands, crown, tube).


    Pic by Onthedash.com

    It may do harm to you because of the sentimental value but I'd sell them as parts.
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; December 1st, 2010 at 17:13.
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  3. #3
    Member Mpire's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    I don't really have the desire to sell either watch, I think they should stay in the family. Both are something I could see myself wearing.

    How would I go about getting one restored? Should I visit a TAG Heuer AD for the Heuer? I assume whoever it would be that would repair one would give a quote. Forgive my ignorance.

    I noticed that the movement in my Heuer is marked ED. HEUER & CO SA as opposed to the Heuer-Leonidas SA as shown your picture. Is this of any significance?

    Thanks!

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  5. #4
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    Quote Originally Posted by Mpire View Post
    I don't really have the desire to sell either watch, I think they should stay in the family. Both are something I could see myself wearing.

    How would I go about getting one restored? Should I visit a TAG Heuer AD for the Heuer? I assume whoever it would be that would repair one would give a quote. Forgive my ignorance.
    Usually they do not have the parts and the knowledge to restore a Heuer out of those times. Yoiu need to look for someone who has the skills, the knowledge and access to time identical spare parts. E-mail TAG Heuer and ask if they are willing to do the job.

    I noticed that the movement in my Heuer is marked ED. HEUER & CO SA as opposed to the Heuer-Leonidas SA as shown your picture. Is this of any significance?
    A bit of significance: In the early years they were marked as ED. HEUER & CO SA, later it was changed into HEUER LEONIDAS SA.
    Kind regards
    Mike


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  6. #5
    Member jobryan's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    those are some really cool pieces! you should get them professionally restored though.
    vs
    This is why I don't buy quartz.

  7. #6
    Member Mpire's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    Would the TAG Heuer Customer Service Center in New Jersey be the appropriate place to contact?

    https://csec.tagheuer.com/customer-s...ex.lbl?lang=en

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    There are several good watchmakers used by members here that could do a really good job - I would have no faith in TAG. Parts can always be made id not sourced otherwise, I figure 5 to 6 bills would net you a nice chrono with a vintage dial - only you can decide how far to carry ypur "restoration".

    The UG is nice but replacing lugs is hard to do right and I have to wonder what sort of torture the poor watch endured to break 3! If the movement is good you mmay find another case of the 'bay with a shot movement.

    I do wonder about the sentimental value - nobody in the family seems to have cared about them for 29 years! And your grandad may not even have worn them. I'd sell the UG for parts, fix the Heuer. You could also learn some watch repair techniques - you already have a bench and some tools!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #8
    Member Mpire's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    Ugh. I typed out a response then accidentally deleted it all. Here goes again...

    Could anyone reply to or PM me a watch maker recommendation? Is the AWCI a good source for this?

    When you mention that only I can decide how far to carry my restoration, what do you mean? Are there different levels of restored? I suppose vintage dial vs a restored dial, etc?

    So far the Heuer is the one that I am the most interested in. The sentimental value is all held by myself. I will be the one keeping the watches and passing them on...especially if I have them restored. I doubt my great-grandfather wore these watches, but having the story to tell about finding them in his work bench and having them restored is priceless, IMO.


    Thanks for all the replies and advice!

  10. #9
    Member JohnnyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    I'd definately get the Heuer restored, and get whoever does the job on that to give you an opinion on restoring the UG.

    Hopefully, some members in your area will be along with good recomendations as to who to take it to!!

  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage Heuer Autavia and Universal Geneve

    Aren't there a ton of restored Heuers out there with unoriginal hands/dials? I see them on eBay all the time, although I just checked and of course, couldn't find one. If you care more for having an awesome wearable Autavia than a cash-cow with originality and provenance, you can definitely get aftermarket stuff.

    Have you checked in with our vintage Heuer friends at On The Dash or Calibre 11?

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