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Project Heuer "James Bond" Luminous PVD Monnin 844.

  1. TyJoSimo43

    TyJoSimo43 Nov 10, 2018

    This project began several months ago and has taken months to complete. When I first discovered Calibre11, I quickly found the section that had all of the catalogues. I flipped through them for hours and essentially made a wish list of all the Heuers and Tag's that caught my eye the most including watches such as the 980.913, the Heuer Autavia GMT, the Monnin case watches, and the "Super Professional". However there was one watch that really caught my eye, the 980.031. I knew when I saw this I was looking at my first grail watch. It beautiful black finish and the creamy luminous dial was a stunning combination. The project began soon after.

    I began my search on eBay, I noticed immediately how much more these versions costed than the "standard" 980.013. Perfect examples of theses watches demanded prices that seemed way too high to me, over 1000 dollars. So I went back to the drawing board. Perhaps I could create a watch that combined all of my favorite Heuers into one for less.
    I came up with a watch in my head soon after. I wanted to create a PVD Heuer 1000 with a Monnin case. Heuer never made one of these watches but the parts that they used to build the entire 1000 series used industry standard sizing meaning I could find a slew of "donor cases" that fit the original dial perfectly (Ex: Zeno SBS PVD). So I came up with a shopping list for my build and a rough budget of less than $750.
    - Heuer 1000 Luminous Dial in great condition est.$200
    - A like new Zeno Watch Basel SBS PVD Quartz est.$300
    - A PVD Black 20mm jubilee band est. $30
    - Black Mercedes hands (hopefully OEM) $30
    total est: 560$
    Finding the Heuer Dial turned out to be the hardest part of sourcing parts for this build. In fact, I ended up having to buy an entire watch in order to build it. After searching for weeks, a 980.031L popes up on eBay in Japan for 550usd. I bought it immediately as it was claimed to be still in perfect working condition, however the case was not, and it didn't have a screw down crown. So this watch fit the bill quite well.

    The watch arrived about a month later and the movement was not working as claimed. This wasn't a huge deal for the project itself but the plan was to sell all the parts that I didn't need as they are very expensive and could reduce the cost of the build. I asked the seller if he could send a partial refund for it not working as promised and to my complete surprise he offered 100$ off meaning I just got a great parts watch for $450 dollars. Plus, I quickly sold all of the parts on eBay for another $250 dollars so my $200 dollar dial goal was met. Check.
    Next was the Zeno Watch Basel SBS, this one was easy, I was hoping to be able to buy direct but the sales department didn't seem to want to take me seriously so I ended up buying one from a seller in Germany for a bit more than I hoped, $320 dollars, putting me a bit over budget for this part.
    Then to finish off my checklist I bought some aftermarket hands and a jubilee bracelet for a total of $30 dollars which was less than expected and actually compensated perfectly for my over priced Zeno. I was perfectly on budget.
    Once everything arrived, (three months later), assembly was quick. Only a few modifications had to be made to make things fit. I had to switch to curved lug pins, bend the end links to fit correctly, and repair the bezel ratcheting system on the Zeno case. And of course assemble the dial and set the hands properly, of course though, this was the easy part. This was the final product (I actually have recently upgraded to OEM tag hands that match PERFECTLY but that isn't shown here). I was absolutely thrilled. I was everything I hoped.

    Model:["PVD Monnin Luminous"]
    Material:[Stainless Steel]
    Lume:[Yes, Full dial]
    Movement:[Ronda TI (10 Year battery)]
    Bracelet/Strap:[20mm PVD 2 tone Jubilee]
    Lug Width:[20]
    My Net Material Cost: $560
    So that is the story behind my Luminous PVD Monnin! My first grail watch has been built! It has been a fun build and as always, I am looking forward to the next!

    -Tyler Simon (