Historical Perspectives: Why The Heuer Diver Professional Deserves A Lot More Credit Than It Gets
A 1983 Heuer inventory showing the main quartz Heuer Diver in 42mm. (Photograph: Courtesy Heuerville)
This story begins in 1979, when Heuer was not doing so exceptionally well as a company. Its circumstance had begun breaking down as ahead of schedule as late 1974, as the whole Swiss watchmaking industry was gravely hit by the quartz emergency. Quartz watches were without a doubt more in fact progressed than mechanical watches, and now they had arrived at a lower value point as well, making them wild competitors for the conventional Swiss companies to go head to head with. This isn’t to imply that that those stalwarts didn’t attempt to enter the market as well however. A combination of 21 of the most esteemed fabricates (Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, IWC, and so on… ) was assembled and built up their own quartz development, the Beta-21 . It was nonetheless a bunch of modern abilities that was totally different from customary craftsmanship, and the viewpoint didn’t look so sure for the Swiss at the time.
A later inventory shows the four accessible sizes of the jumper. (Photograph: Courtesy Caliber11)
It is in that terrible setting that Jack Heuer saw a chance during an industry career expo in 1979. Everything began from an intermittent complaint that it was elusive solid private name looks for submerged games. This portion wasn’t a thing near Heuer’s meat and potatoes business of making hustling chronographs, however it shared the necessities of exactness, durability, and reasonableness. Heuer took the test, believed a French provider called Monnin , and Jack Heuer saw the mind boggling occur. “To our extraordinary astonishment our new plunging watches were very generally welcomed by the market,” he said. To such an extent, truth be told, that the next year Heuer started offering the Diver Professional in four unique sizes and a large number of dial configurations.
Early Heuer jumper with church hands. (Photograph: Courtesy MontresMecaniques)
There’s something we need to address head-on: the Rolex Submariner likeness. There is no concealing that the Heuer acquired a great deal its plan from the unbelievable jumper, from the Mercedes hands (albeit early models additionally had basilica hands) to the case’s crown monitors. Heuer wasn’t attempt to conceal this by any means. The thought wasn’t to make a phony Sub, but instead to offer a decent plunging watch and the stylish advocated by the Rolex at an alternate value point. It ought to be recollected however that in the last part of the 1970s the Submariner was selling all around ok, yet its completely notable extravagance status were not even close to the level it’s at today.
A 1983 inventory from Heuer offering diverse tone and material decisions for the jumper. (Photograph: Courtesy Caliber11.com)
The value purpose of the Heuer jumper was in reality one of its most compelling contentions, coming in for simply a portion of the cost of the contemporary Rolex Submariner. In 1980, a treated steel Heuer Diver was without a doubt sold in the $200 territory, while a comparable Rolex Submariner date was offered for simply above $1,000. The majority of the Heuer jumpers were fueled by quartz developments (initially from ESA, afterwards on from ETA), however it ought to be noticed that the first 1979 Diver Professional could be had with either a quartz development or a programmed development (found in reference 844 and 8440). It is really mistaken to talk about the Diver Professional is if it’s one watch, as a huge number of assorted models populated the collection.
To improve on things, there were four unique sizes (28mm, 32mm, 38mm, and 42mm, unexpectedly none at the 40mm case size of the contemporary Rolex Submariner), with various completions, (for example, dark PVD, olive-green, two-tone, and brushed hardened steel) and a wide range of dial tones (dark, blue, orange, white glowing) accessible throughout the long term. On the off chance that you figure it out, you understand the sheer size of the reach, quite a bit of which has been indexed by On The Dash .
This steel and red model dispatched in 1992. (Photograph: Courtesy Chronocentric)
The Diver Professional promptly sold very well for Heuer, and kept on doing so even after Heuer became TAG Heuer in 1985. After the consolidation, the line was kept with no guarantees, and immediately extended, for example with a red rendition in 1992. The Heuer Professional arrangement in the long run turned into the Aquaracer in 2004 (which actually exists today). Taking a gander at the set of experiences, the genuine effect of the Heuer Professional is striking: In some structure or another, these jump watches have been a blockbuster for (TAG) Heuer since 1979! And all that occurred with no stylish brand envoys or monster advertising efforts. There was no proper support, in spite of the fact that it was as of late found that Timothy Dalton wore two models in the James Bond film The Living Daylights. In the event that you have perused Jack Heuer’s memoir you may likewise recollect the entertainer Bo Derek wearing a women’s piece, exposed on a sea shore (you will not discover the image here, however it is page 258 of Jack’s account, The Times Of My Life).
A completely lumed dial glances genuinely typical in daylight.
The same dial appears to be completely unique with the lights off.
Let’s presently talk about collectibility. Frankly, these Heuer jumpers are neither uncommon nor profoundly pined for (aside from a couple of extremely unique designs, for example, the PVD lume dial model that James Bond donned). With a touch of burrowing on Ebay and the gatherings, more normal models can be found for around $300-500. As frequently occurs with vintage watches, the prior models with the single Heuer identification command a premium over the 1000/2000 arrangement dispatched in late 1983 (the contrasts between the 2 assortments are restricted to the lists, bezel, and arm band), and the later TAG Heuer variants are the most economical. A Heuer authority audited a lot of various models on his site, appropriately named Heuerville , which you can peruse for more details.
A few full lume dial models from a 1986 list. (Photograph: Courtesy Heuerville)
Knowing how significant this line of watches was to TAG Heuer as a company, it’s intriguing to consider why they were such a triumph. On one hand, these watches got mainstream, and remained thus, since they offered an exceptionally characterized incentive: a device watch from a decent brand that you can wear with certainty, at a decent cost. The achievement however was likewise a prize for Heuer’s ability to accept the changing tide and ride the quartz wave on its own terms when a large part of the watch business attempted to adjust. Figuring out the real story, it’s not difficult to contemplate whether a similar will ultimately be said about a few yet-to-be-delivered item in years and years as smartwatches consume the space quartz watches involved during the 70s and 80s. We’ll simply need to pause and see.