This is my introduction from my Calibre11 post:
I wanted to introduce myself after getting requests for information about myself and what work I do with Heuer and Tag Heuer 1000s.
I've been around on some of the other forums and message boards for many years (as well as ebay for 10+ years now: mspeed5326).
Intro: I've been working on watches for many years but in that time I kind of began steering myself towards the 1000 series. I have restored hundreds of these for myself, friends, customers, etc.
As most know these were some the purist and cleanest styles of the dive watches produced by Tag Heuer. I still prefer them (obviously) to ANY Tag Heuer dive watch since they went to the 1500 series.
More recently and due to the resurgence of vintage watches (specifically Heuers and Tag Heuers for me) it has been recommended that I offer my services in a more public way (hence this post).
Previously I performed restorations for those via word-of-mouth whether it be from other collectors, previous customers, enthusiasts, etc. Nowadays due to their increasing popularity and the fact that parts are very hard to find I have been expanding and getting the word out there.
I've personally owned and restored just about every model of 1000 made and it just kind of grew from there. I have recently invested significantly in producing my own parts as well as sourcing the hard-to-find parts from all over the world. I have sources in many countries that I order from on a regular basis too.
Restoration and parts:
Custom parts: Some of the parts I make are bezel inserts for the jumbo models (Monnins, 844, 980.006 and all the variants therein). These are painstakingly designed to be as close as possible to the original inserts which have not been available for sale at any time. In the past (but no longer an option) you had to send your whole watch in the Tag Heuer and could only get a new insert if you bought a new bezel (just like Omega does with their dive watches). I found this practice to be appalling and predatory. It's basically as if you needed an engine part for your car but you had to send your whole car back to have the engine replaced. It makes no sense to me and I for one wouldn't partake in that type of ripoff.
So I went out alone and created them myself. I don't make the cheap glossy inserts like those frequently sold on eBay for the full-size models. These are thick aluminum inserts with heavy anodization that are more durable than others. These are the only inserts for these types of Heuers and Tag Heuers available in the same style as the original. There is one sketchy ebay seller that sells junk inserts , with zero product knowledge, and designs are far from the originals.
I also make movement holders as well. The originals become brittle after many years and of course are not for sale nor have been without sending your watch in to Tag Heuer for a full service. This has been a long running project in which I started out rather primitively using a two part mold and casting them in resin. While they were functional the level of detail was just not there that I found to be acceptable. When various types of 3D printing came along I got in touch with some capable individuals and had these made using a laser sintering 3D printer (not the more common and less accurate filament style printers). No less than 5 iterations later I had a functional and highly detailed part that I was proud to put my name on.
I designed multiple variations and offer them for all of the versions produced from the very first Monnins to the very last 1000s made in the early 90's (jumbo and full size models).
Part sourcing: I have spent much time and money (a lot of times through trial and error) sourcing parts for the 1000 series watches. I can't tell you how many gaskets, hands, crystals, movements, etc I have bought to find correct replacements for these models only to not be able to use them but c'est la vie. A lot of times that is necessary as some of these parts were only found used (and worn), 30+ years old, and no database existed showing what worked and what didn't. I generally stock movements for all variations.
For example, on certain 844 projects I have to buy hands (hour/min/sec) from three different sources just to put together a correct style set of replacement hands. Most restorations I've seen just have whatever fit that movement not even considering the correct style for the particular watch (the same can be said for crowns as well, most just throw on the first crown they find again not taking into account what is correct).
I may have geeked out a bit on these topics but I feel that it shows my commitment of quality and sympathetic restoration for some of the best Heuer/Tag Heuer divers ever made.
I've seen some true basket-cases or extremely bad watches come into my shop and I see each one of these as personal challenges. I have the capability and know-how to bring them back from battered and neglected to near factory perfection.
Some of the services I perform include:
•polishing and lume application to hands
•crown and crown tube replacement
•Crystal replacement (also sapphire upgrades)
•pressure testing (dry testing, 10atm max)
•bezel restoration (polishing, gold plating removal, reshaping)
•sales and routine service
If you have questions I am always happy to help in any way I can.
For restoration work feel free to email me (PM's aren't the most reliable and I can respond to emails pretty quickly) at firstname.lastname@example.org
I also post pictures on Instagram as well, generally refinished watches for sale, personal watches, or custom builds (@Jkbenn02)
I am very flexible when it comes to restorations, we can do as much or as little work as you want. My general policy is to require no payment until the work is done and before and after pics have been provided. I always provide a quote prior to any work for the owner's authorization.
Turn around times vary most projects I can get done in a week or two. If overseas parts are necessary it can take longer but I try to always have a good selection of new and used parts in stock and ready to go.
If you just need parts I can help there too. I don't require service work just to obtain parts.
I have many references in the Heuer community and many satisfied customers that are always willing to vouch for my quality of work and business practices.
Again, I just wanted to say hi and let those that are looking to restore these pieces that I am here to help. As always feel free to email me if you need any help/tips/whatever.