Thought I’d show off my old Heuer Camaro 7743, a 1960’s classic if there ever was. Totally as bought, with it’s original and completely unscratched and un-stretched stainless bracelet fitting to the odd sized 19 mm lugs. Pleased about that, as so often these bracelets scratch up badly – this one however, is pristine.
In fact the entire watch, which is the Camaro 30, 2 register chronometer version, with running seconds and 30 minute sub-dials is in pretty decent condition. The stainless 37 mm diameter cushion case shows off it’s sunburst upper surface, which is still well detailed. It is of course a manual wind model with the Cal Valjoux 7733 movement (one of the nicer movements out there even today) and a Plexiglass crystal. The applied index markers with lumed batons are in perfect condition, as are the main luminescent infill hour and minute hands. A nicely configured black seconds chrono hand completes the dial assembly. The sub-dials are especially neat as they incorporate a circular background pattern. In short, this is a real classic watch dial set up and looks rather better balanced that many watches today.
The pushers are the castellated version, so slightly later in production, which only lasted 4 years. The centre crown winder manages on full wind around 45 hours power reserve, which is very impressive. The stainless steel screw back is plain with no markings, the model number being engraved on the case side between the lugs.
The solid cushion case, even at 37mm, which is perhaps considered small today, looks great on any wrist and sits so well, it is a delight to wear.
I have never removed the back, so the water resistance is unlikely to have been compromised and unless the watch has a movement problem, I’ll probably never break in to it, but I show here a stock image of a typical 7733 movement, though I fancy my one might look even better.
It is a fact that there are not many of these models around in really good condition, which surprises me, though sometimes with Plexiglass crystals, that particular material never seems to stand the test of time. Mine has not completely escaped glass damage either, as there are two particular scratches on the glass, but neither retract from the beauty of this watch.
I love it when a 50 year old watch gets my attention once again and springs to life from my display cabinet. This one is I think destined for my wrist for the rest of the year and long overdue. It’s great to wear, great to look at and it functions today as well as it did all those years ago. And it’s proved a decent investment too – not always the case when it comes to watches.
It is also the ONLY Heuer I own (a bit like my Rolex collection which comprises just 1 vintage model). OK, I admit it – I’m picky!