“Poor Man’s Heuer” is a term often utilized in the vintage authority’s reality. It alludes to a game or instrument watch that was made during the 1960s and 1970s, with plan or style prompts from hustling Heuer watches, yet with another brand stepped on the dial. Whether it’s the brilliant tones to highlight the dial and hands, the huge oversize cases with outspread brushed completes or dashing vehicle references, these were includes initially utilized by Heuer, perhaps the most productive chronograph makers of the only remaining century, which likewise created watches under other names. The idea of “Poor Man’s Heuer” started in the online Heuer community as “a joke”, something to call a watch, that while not having been made by Heuer, has the look and feel of a vintage Heuer. Furthermore, today, we’ll take a gander at one of these watches, the Dugena Siffert Chronograph – which absolutely has something to do with the Heuer Autavia.
This circumstance happened path before the brands began drawing in with memorable pieces. What is presently concurred by authorities was that Heuer did really make watches for other companies dependent on their own plans. Whether it was on the grounds that their plans were so new and conspicuous that other producers looked to copy them or that they went into co-marking courses of action to push deals, nobody is certain. Heuer unquestionably made watches for showcasing purposes, going into an advancement with Viceroy Cigarettes , a well known yet striving American brand. General society was urged to gather tabs from the bundling of containers and afterward send them together with just USD 88 to guarantee their Autavia Viceroy Chronograph. Models were additionally made for Zodiac and Primato, both utilizing Heuer plans, as were watches sold at Sears & Roebuck under the name “Tradition” and “Sears”.
Why did Heuer do this?
Producing watches with comparable plans yet with an alternate name on the dial appears, to a large number of us, a definite method to weaken the brand. Maybe Heuer was by one way or another looking to make another school of plan for watches and needed to be viewed as unmistakable pioneers. Is fascinating that Heuer made watches not simply in the style of its own assortments, yet sometimes, we are talking about precisely the same watch, just with an accomplice’s name imprinted on the dial.
Such was the situation of the 12-hour, hand-wound chronograph made by Heuer for a famous German brand in those days, Dugena. This particular watch has Dugena imprinted on its dial however, indeed, it is a Heuer Autavia ref. 73663 from 1971, with the particular blue chronograph hand, a white dial with dark sub-counters and a hand-wound Valjoux 7736… A watch that a large portion of us know as the Autavia “Siffert”. This particular model was named after Jo Siffert, a Swiss dashing driver supported by Heuer in the last part of the 1960s. The style of this Autavia some way or another began the pattern for enormous watches in the mid 1970s, with its normal pilots’ case. At 41mm in measurement, it was simply marginally more extensive than contemporary watches, however because of its shape with incorporated carries, there was a ton of additional steel working on this issue. An enormous scored bezel and a tallness of 13mm guaranteed that it truly stood apart on the wrist.
Dugena was a gathering of watch producers situated in Germany, with over 100 years of history. Back in 1917, various more modest organizations were gathered as a group of companies under the name Deutsche Uhrmacher-Genossenschaft Alpina-Dugena. They provided watches under the brand name Alpina to the German military during WWII – like the field watch beneath, which met with the Wehrmacht wartime details. This watch highlighted a chromed metal case, fixed carries, a 15 gem development by Marc Favre and a treated steel screw-on caseback stepped DH “Dienstuhr Heer” – which could be interpreted as Army Service Watch.
In the second 50% of the twentieth century, Dugena appreciated incredible achievement riding the influx of the German post-war monetary supernatural occurrence. The brand figured out how to endure the inconveniences of the quartz emergency by expanding and building up early top notch quartz assortments, which by the mid 1970s made it an exceptional maker in Germany.
Not being also known as Heuer outside of Germany, the Dugena actually made some incredible energetic chronographs for dashing, cruising and sports watch markets. Albeit for the most part furnished with Valjoux hand-twisted developments for its chronographs, and even miniature rotor developments for a portion of its watches, it is uncertain whether Dugena at any point made any of its own developments essentially.
Taking other plan signs from Heuer dashing roused watches, Dugena put forth some amazing defense plans like the two-piece case Dugena ‘Carrera’ above, with a focal compartment embedded into an outer case – sort of like a pocket watch for the wrist.
The 1970s were a period of ‘time to move on to better things’. Watches were not, at this point only a round case, as they had been since the main pocket watch was lashed on the wrist. I think Dugena accepted this innovation, making completely new styles of watch cases, in some cases twofold the size of a standard watch, which shows that the company was healthy and could bear to face challenges and buck the market a bit. The pattern for bigger watches began by Heuer, Omega, Doxa (and more brands) pushed lesser mass-market brands to follow.
Above is a Dugena Subic, a mid 1970s chronograph that highlights probably the flattest instance of any chronograph delivered during that time – this shape was made to constrict the important tallness for the chronograph development. At 40mm with 22mm drags and a crown that vanishes into the case side, this case may have been completely new at that point and unquestionably thought to be entirely in vogue. Barely any watch brands utilized this method for their situation creation, as it was simpler to construct an awry case to give shoulder insurance to the crown. The outcome is an exceptionally advanced watch. However, despite the fact that Dugena was set up to face challenges with its cases, it played protected with the hands, which are taken from the sub-registers of the 1974 Heuer Silverstone, a watch worn by celebrated F1 drivers like Clay Regazzoni.
Dugena appears to have been very astute as far as broadening. By contacting Heuer the brand had the option to make a particular wearing look, which would connect its watches with the limited time work Heuer was doing at the time with Formula One Racing. While making an effective quartz line at a lower value point for the overall population, which was a lot bigger market than the particular chronographs, it actually kept on making customary round watches with energy. The Landeron-fueled 1960s Dive Chronograph above, for example, follows the well known Aquastar Deepstar jump chronograph, with the turning jewel seconds hand.
This article began with me clarifying what the term ‘Helpless Man’s Heuer’ signifies, yet during research in my own chronicles, I appear to have recounted the account of a manufacturer’s expansion and endurance technique during the intense financial occasions suffered by most watch companies, as quartz watches were hitting the market. During the 1970s some stayed outdoors on their position while the quartz unrest was on its way… Some others changed their plan of action. By accepting change and enhancing early enough with quartz to withstand the helpless market returns, Dugena decided to cover more market zones and utilized outside providers to decrease expenses… And it demonstrated rather proficient, as it keeps on exchanging today, yet in an alternate guise.
Meanwhile, as a greater amount of these watches are found, the circumstance will keep on befuddling gatherers, whether it is those popping hands and utilization of crisis orange paint, or on the off chance that they are far and away sheep in wolf’s garments like this Dugena Siffert Chronograph.