Heuer and Tag Heuer 1000 Restoration Parts and Service

  1. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 17, 2017

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    New Website: www.TAG1000Diver.com

    Hi all,

    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:

    •case restoration
    •dial refinishing
    •polishing and lume application to hands
    •crown and crown tube replacement
    •Crystal replacement (also sapphire upgrades)
    •gasket replacement
    •pressure testing (dry testing, 10atm max)
    •bezel restoration (polishing, gold plating removal, reshaping)
    •bracelet refinishing
    •movement replacement
    •movement service
    •custom builds
    •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 jkbenn02@yahoo.com or visit my website at www.TAG1000Diver.com

    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.

    Thanks,

    Justin
    www.TAG1000Diver.com
    Jkbenn02@yahoo.com
    Instagram jkbenn02
    Ebay: mspeed5326
     
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    Edited May 22, 2017
    erich77, pr1973, wayneswe and 5 others like this.
  2. relaxer7

    relaxer7 Jan 18, 2017

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    Loving your work Justin :) Are you US based or UK/Europe?
     
  3. SteveP

    SteveP Jan 18, 2017

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    Quite an epic post J. That said, I don't know anyone else who has as much in-depth knowledge about the subject as you-so well done! :)
    Steve
     
  4. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jan 18, 2017

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    Thanks Justin for this intro and kudos to you for the painstaking effort you've gone to in order to make the replacement parts as close as possible to the original. I'm sure there will be Forum members here keen to get your help!
     
  5. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Jan 18, 2017

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    Welcome Justin, maybe we 've got to talk shop later but for now just saying hello to you and great you are onboard overhere at calibre11's forum!
     
  6. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 18, 2017

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    I'm US based but I work with customers all over the world.

    Thanks for the vote of support Steve (we have some pretty fun chats about watches and whatnot on an almost daily basis). Steve's the best!

    Thanks Automobila42! I looked you up on Instagram after you checked my meager collection of photos. I'll try to keep it interesting!
     
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  7. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 18, 2017

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    You are right...I just showed my wife my post and I haven't seen her roll her eyes that much in a long time (just scrolling quickly for her, and of course she would not be reading it either for fear of falling asleep).

    It may have been a little too in depth at second glance.
     
  8. relaxer7

    relaxer7 Jan 19, 2017

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    Hi Justin, I'm UK based and looking to buy an 980 variant (hopefully a .006) which will need a little fixing up – I’d love to send my purchase to you to carry out the work but how would we deal with customs/import tax? I’m guessing as the watch would be mine and you are servicing/refurbishing it taxes etc wouldn’t be due but how on earth do I explain that sufficiently to the customs when it arrives back in England? Don’t suppose you have any experience of this sort of thing?
     
  9. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 19, 2017

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    The process that I use for international service work is as follows:

    A. The owner retains proof of shipment and delivery (tracking number is usually enough)
    B. When I send it back I have an enclosed invoice for the work done and the tracking number from when it was sent to me. This paper trail is usually enough documentation to clear customs on the first try. You may have to pay taxes on the service work but not on the insured value of the watch.
    C. Even without an original tracking number sometimes we can provide rationale for why it was sent (parts are rare/hard to find/only one source), service times vary in length, etc.) I just had a 980.006 clear UK customs this way the other day without original proof of shipment. Again, this varies country to country but the UK is generally understanding.
     
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  10. relaxer7

    relaxer7 Jan 19, 2017

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    That sounds good :0
    I'll be in touch once I land one then!
     
  11. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 28, 2017

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    Super rare bird on the bench today...just some routine service. Vintage pvd doesn't get much better than this.
     
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  12. relaxer7

    relaxer7 Jan 28, 2017

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    Is that bad boy going up for sale Justin?
     
  13. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 28, 2017

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    Unfortunately it won't be going up for sale anytime soon.
     
  14. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jan 29, 2017

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    Now that's incredible! What's the story on this one..NOS? I always wonder the story of how a +30 year old watch that wasn't really collectible until a few years ago goes unsold for so long
     
  15. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 29, 2017

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    It wasn't a NOS watch but pretty darn close. I bought this a while back with a couple other watches if similar quality. It's the kind of buying opportunity that doesn't come up often but I suppose I was in the right place at the right time.

    It needed a new movement when I got it but otherwise it was almost like new. It has a couple minor scratches and storage marks on the bracelet.
     
  16. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 29, 2017

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    It had to be sitting in a box for a very long time for sure.

    I have looked up original prices and their adjusted value today and it probably would've been a pretty big expense (and huge fashion statement) to go with olive pvd with a full lume dial back in the early 80's. Obviously most buyers went for the safe bet of a stainless watch with a black dial hence the very few numbers of the olive versions around.

    One could look at Squale 1521 divers today with their tool watch heritage and multitude of colorway options. I've been eying a couple from their 1521 Professional models as a lot of the color options mirror the Heuer 1000 options from back in the day. I really like a few of the old ball colors but when it comes down to putting my $1k where my mouth is.....it's a little tough to go for the bold option that:

    A. Would not be very versatile outfit-wise
    B. Could take a long time to flip without a large discount or a long amount of time on the market.

    That was probably the same situation for the vast majority of buyers back in the day and the same thing with me today on the 1521.

    Cheers,

    Justin
     
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  17. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 30, 2017

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    Another jumbo in for some routine service!
     
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    erich77 likes this.
  18. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jan 30, 2017

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    Another well-preserved watch!
     
  19. Jkbenn02

    Jkbenn02 Jan 31, 2017

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    IMG_0050.JPG Three 1000s post-service from California.
     
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  20. dtf

    dtf Jan 31, 2017

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    Thanks for posting up, I've never really paid any attention to the 1000 before, but this has really brought them to my attention. That full-lume pvd looks very special and I'm now browsing eBay to see what else is around, they seem very reasonably priced too.