Author Topic: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch  (Read 3761 times)

Offline Cobber

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Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« on: September 01, 2014, 02:00:55 PM »
Item Number:
111339104569

Thought I would go out on a limb here (hopefully Butch will make an exception here. If not, my apologies). Given the military background of some of the members here I thought this would be of interest.
Not sure how well this would have worked but the execution is stunning.

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 07:11:16 PM »
I have seen those before, but not in chrono version, early in my collecting career.  I am always interested in military history and collectibles but I have never had anyone that would definitively tell me if they were legitimately military used/intended or not.  I think the ones I saw were prices around $300-$400 back then, but I do not know what a true value may be.

Offline jon p

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 09:04:37 AM »
very interesting, i wonder what would happen to the spy if someone asked "do you have the time"! ?   :sici :rofl

Offline Cobber

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 10:03:44 AM »
Ha, don't know. I was thinking about that. Seller says non-functioning but I don't know if that's by design or just in need of repair.

Offline jon p

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 12:17:14 PM »
i get the impression it is a fake watch. remember,  electronics were bigger back then and a chrono movement was large also,probably not enough room in the case for BOTH!! even a mic would have been bigger than whats available now.

Offline jmh86325

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2014, 03:45:13 PM »
Rumor is that it was made by Heuer...just saying.... :what

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 04:47:00 PM »
Rumor is that it was made by Heuer...just saying.... :what

:agreei

Offline Cobber

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 08:59:11 PM »
Not to be a wise ass, but,...in Jack Heuer's book he does talk about being attached to a Swiss military intelligence unit. It was a post he sought out after being marginalized in his previous attachment. He even provided intel regarding some U.S. special military force.
A U.S. purchasing agent placed an order for an airborne unit that needed to be able to time night time free-falls. They were able to estimate the size of the unit based upon the number of pieces ordered.
Funnily enough, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities.

Offline incountry

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2014, 04:03:15 PM »
Not to be a wise ass, but,...in Jack Heuer's book he does talk about being attached to a Swiss military intelligence unit. It was a post he sought out after being marginalized in his previous attachment. He even provided intel regarding some U.S. special military force.
A U.S. purchasing agent placed an order for an airborne unit that needed to be able to time night time free-falls. They were able to estimate the size of the unit based upon the number of pieces ordered.
Funnily enough, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities.

I read that in Heuer's book also and what struck me was the fact that the Swiss, being a neutral country, would even bother having a military intelligence section.  By the way, I have not yet reached the part where he says that Heuer made everybody else's watches for them.     ;)   

Offline Cobber

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 01:04:55 AM »

I read that in Heuer's book also and what struck me was the fact that the Swiss, being a neutral country, would even bother having a military intelligence section.  By the way, I have not yet reached the part where he says that Heuer made everybody else's watches for them.     ;)
[/quote]

I skimmed through, really just read the stuff that I found interesting. That being said, the only company I could find mention of that they built watches for was Abercrombie and I believe the one he discussed was some sort of tidal watch. Jack was thoroughly preoccupied with stopwatches and odd specialized timing instruments. I don't think he spent more than a page talking about the Carrera. In fact now that I'm thinking about it, he didn't even remember what year it first came out. Some collectors figured that bit out by tracing the serial numbers. To me he seemed more fond of the name than the actual watch. Not a knock on Heuer just an observation.
How tiny their market share in the US was late fifties early sixties is pretty eye opening. He really grew the company through the sixties but seemed to do it by pushing stopwatches.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 01:25:55 AM by Cobber »

Offline incountry

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2014, 09:15:58 PM »
How tiny their market share in the US was late fifties early sixties is pretty eye opening. He really grew the company through the sixties but seemed to do it by pushing stopwatches.

In addition to pushing the sports timers and dashboard timers for auto racing Heuer did a pretty good job of coercing a lot of celebrities to wear their watches coupled with key product placement in movies and print material.  In his book, Jack Heuer stated that they once ran a contest that was designed for Robert Kennedy to win so they would have an opportunity to present him with a Heuer watch for him to wear.  Of course Kennedy won the sham contest and he wore the watch until he was assassinated several months later.  For those interested, the book is available as a free download at
http://www.calibre11.com/download-jack-heuer-biography-times-of-my-life/

 


Offline Cobber

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2014, 12:12:39 PM »
yeah, he was somewhat of a pioneer in product placement.  Learned it from an executive at Rolex.  Once he was familiar with the idea he wasted no "time" getting his watches into movies by paying off set property managers.  Probably one of his greatest coups in that it took very little effort on his part.
I remember reading that part about RFK.  Makes for some pretty interesting stuff.  I never got the sense his watches were flying off the shelves but maybe they were.  When ever he worried about lagging sales he seems to go into detail about stopwatches.  I don't know if this was because there was less competition for the stopwatches or he had no problem moving wrist watches.  In any case, he seems to have embraced the idea that the future of the company was hinged on timers and their development. 

Online Butch

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2014, 03:20:33 PM »
So does this mean that they made all the timers you see in the Clebar catalogs too?

<GD&R>

 :dh

BTW, Clebar was really known for their stop watches, especially their affordability.
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Offline Cobber

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2014, 11:46:49 PM »
According to Jack Heuer, Heuer was the exclusive supplier of stopwatches to Clebar when Clebar declared bankruptcy in the seventies. Apparently they picked up Clebar as a customer when Heuer merged with Leonidas. This actually was one of the reasons Heuer grew so quickly in the US. Previous to the merger Heuer was really struggling to gain traction in the US compared to the business they were doing else where.

Online Butch

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Re: Not a Zodiac,...not really a watch
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2014, 08:53:25 AM »
According to Jack Heuer, Heuer was the exclusive supplier of stopwatches to Clebar when Clebar declared bankruptcy in the seventies. Apparently they picked up Clebar as a customer when Heuer merged with Leonidas.

I have shared the story behind Clebar a million times here. While anything is certainly possible, knowing the history, I am just not going down this road.

How easy it is to be the purveyor of truth when you are the only one left alive to tell it.
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