Two Fantastic Vintage Tag Heuer Chronographs

It’s Friday, and our tradition is back: our vintage replica watch expert, Louis Westphalen and Bring a Loupe. Another Friday tradition is on hiatus this week: Friday Live is taking a long weekend as the H. Team is traveling far and wide, but we’ll be back next week.
Vintage Tag Heuer replicas got some headlines this week, including a fake Heuer Autavia at Christie’s. This example had a very coveted feature: an Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo on its dial; this is the very same logo found on the Heuer Carrera “Dato 45” highlighted in this article. And we show some more love to Heuer today, with a first execution Autavia model, and its characteristically large sub-registers. Modern watches are always remembered.
This fake watch presents those characteristics, and its serial numbers – found on the case and the Valjoux 72 movement, and both indicating a production in late 1962 – match those characteristics. It comes with dauphine hands, the second execution after the full lume handset. Note that the seller indicates that the hands have been relumed, as was the lume triangle on the original bezel, but that the dial displays the proper radium lume. The case is described as unpolished; the lugs are indeed thick and well preserved. Lastly, the watch comes with the period-correct buckle, with the correct Sun stamp.
In general, original double-signed dials trade at a premium, as they make the watch rarer than the “standard” version, and give it even more historical cachet by indicating where it was originally sold. And with vintage Heuer watch, the rule definitely applies with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, among the rarest fake tag Heuer, as they were only sold through the local gift shop at the Indianapolis track.  tag Heuer
The present watch is the Tag Heuer Carrera watch, which is often called the “Dato 45” after the unusual placement of its date window at 9 o’clock (this corresponds to the second execution of the replica watch, the first having the date at 12 o’clock). Only a handful of the black executions have been unearthed, and this one might be the very best one judging from its outstanding condition, with unpolished case and almost flawless dial. The watch even bears the original bracelet and replica Tag Heuer signed buckle. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo is beyond any doubt the sweetest part of this Heuer, placed just below the single chronograph counter.

All Four Fake Rolex Factories in Switzerland

In March of 2015, that is almost two years ago, something happened that we had always dreamed of but never really expected: we were given access to all four of the replica Rolex’s main manufacturing centers. Les Acacias Plan-Les-Ouates, Chene-Bourg, and actually, Bienne, where Rolex movements are made, were all on the itinerary and while we went there with a lot of assumptions about what does and doesn’t go on during the innovation of Rolex watches, many of those assumptions were overturned and as well, we were exposed to an incredible wealth of new information. rolex
All in all, what we have discovered was the fact that much more hand-work goes into making the fake Rolex watches than we’d realized and that indeed, Rolex is one of the most thoroughly vertically integrated watch manufacturers on the planet, a situation which is partly responsible for the amazing degree of uniform top quality of manufacturing and performance on which the fake Rolex’s reputation has been built, and which has made it what it is today.
Besides, we weren’t just wowed by all the new information we got; we saw the proof that the Rolex replica is doing things its own way and doing them extremely well. An independent watchmaker – not a Rolex employee or associate – whom we consulted for the story in order to get another perspective, told us in part: 
“Setting Dufour and Voutilainen level movement finishing aside, from a pure engineering perspective, the best fake Rolex’s 3130 based calibers have resigned supreme for close to 30 years now. No mass-produced movement outside of Rolex comes close to matching their quality, durability, and reliability. They have come terribly close to defining the epitome of what a perfectly conceived mechanical watch movement should be.”
Therefore, if you missed the story when we first ran it, or if you’re a new reader here and community member, or if you just want to step back into one of the most thoroughly interesting and genuinely revelatory factory visits we’ve ever done, check out Ben’s take on what we discovered when we went Inside All Four Rolex Manufacturing Facilities, in 2015.