Heuer Regatta (Lemania Cal. 1345)…
To say this Heuer Regatta had had a tough life would be an understatement.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
From the mid 1970’s until the mid 1980’s Heuer released a range of Regatta timers similar to the Aquastar models I’ve written about in the past. Heuer used the same calibre as Aquastar, the Lemania cal. 1345 which is a modified version of their cal. 1341 cam lever chronograph. A detailed description of how the calibre 1345 works can be found in a previous post, here.
The following picture is from a 1980 Heuer brochure which shows the Regatta models that were available at the time.
You will notice that some of the watch cases and bracelets in the picture above are dark in colour, rather than the steel or gold normally seen. The cases and bracelets on these models are PVD coated. PVD stands for “Physical Vapour Deposition” which is a process used to produce a metal vapour that can be deposited on any electrically conductive material. The resulting finish is well suited to watch cases and bracelets as it is very hard wearing, though not indestructible. For more details on the PVD process, see here.
At some time a previous owner of the watch in this post either got tired of the PVD coating, or it partially wore off and so he tried to sand it off…. with less than successful results.
Unfortunately, the movement hadn’t been treated with much respect either. Though the timekeeping part of the watch was working, the sailing timer showed no signs of life, and pressing the timer button did nothing at all.
With the hands, dial and timer disc removed it was not hard to see why, 90% of the parts for the sailing timer were missing, and the timing disc was just stuck onto the back of the dial with double sided tape!
Finding parts for these watches can be difficult these days, and often a second watch has to be sourced to use as a parts donor. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here as a watchmaker based in France was able to supply all the missing parts for the timer, as well as a new sweep second hand.
The movement still needed quite a bit of work as many of the existing parts had been bent, and even filed down in the past in an attempt to repair the timer mechanism, probably by a watchmaker who didn’t fully understand how it should work.
Cosmetically, little could be done to restore the PVD coating on the case apart from having it completely re-coated, but fortunately, the same watchmaker who supplied the parts also had a near NOS (new old stock) case and bracelet too. Here is the end result.
The owner of this watch, Mark Reichardt, has a keen interest in sailing timers. If you have any questions or information about them, especially the vintage mechanical models, I’m sure he’d like to hear from you. You can contact him at the following email address; firstname.lastname@example.org
** Many thanks to Mark for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **