Wrong reference on the case. 73343NT / 73443?

  1. ADrmx

    ADrmx May 17, 2020

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    I came along this 73443 that was for sale.
    Everything on the watch seems correct and in very good condition.
    Now, strange to see that the number on the case says it is a 73343 and the serial number is 199XXX.

    The explanation of the seller was: "This is a transitional Camaro. It is the highest known serial number for a 73343. After some intense research and consulting with Camaro experts, we believe that it is a very early 73443 version with a very late 73343 production case. These are consecutive references following each in Heuer Camaro’s production line."

    This seems strange to me as I recall that the red sweep hands on the 73443 were only replaced by orange ones at the end of production. Is it possible that Heuer produced watches with the "wrong" reference on the case?

    I am very interested to hear your opinions :)
     
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  2. SteveP

    SteveP May 18, 2020

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    Hi, it sounds like you've done some good research! Everything you point out is correct. The description used by the seller (who I consider to be a very good seller incidentally) was at least in part passed on from the previous seller which I gave to him. If we're nit-picking a couple of points are slightly altered, this is the 2nd highest 73343 serial I have for example, not actually the highest.

    You are correct on the orange hand being apparently later in production for the 73443, so there is a little mystery surrounding it. It could well be the situation that Heuer were using up parts during the final phase of Camaro production and happened to grab a leftover 73343 case and fit it out as 73443. We will never know for sure but I am of the opinion this is how it left Heuer. (and is also a very nice condition Camaro!)
    Thanks, Steve
     
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  3. ADrmx

    ADrmx May 18, 2020

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    Thank you for the information Steve!

    That little “mystery factor” surrounding this watch and for Heuer as a whole makes Heuer very interesting to read about, hunt and collect!

    Thanks again!
     
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  4. ADrmx

    ADrmx May 20, 2020

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    Hi Steve,

    I had been looking for a Camaro for some time and I ended up buying this one.
    I just fell in love with the watch and its condition!

    I want to thank you for your website, it has been an amazing source of information for me!
    Could you tell me why you are of the opinion this is how the watch left Heuer?
     
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  5. SteveP

    SteveP May 20, 2020

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    Well congrats firstly-I knew at first sight it was in great condition so really glad it’s found an appreciating home! Thanks for the words too-pleased you found the website useful.

    There are a number of differing reasons I feel it’s original; the case IS a very late 73343 and the 73443 production followed after chronologically (even if the serials for the 2 models aren’t consecutive). Had it been an early case I may have had other thoughts. Condition seems uniform across the piece-used but very good overall.

    I also think it’s more logical that during production someone grabbed a 73343 case to use as a 73443. This was at the very end of overall Camaro production and Heuer are renowned for being economical with parts (even if not 100% correct in scrutiny) as well as their quality control not being particularly strict at the time. I also find it unlikely someone would have switched the case subsequently, unless they happened to have a 73443 with damaged case and, what, a 73343 with damaged parts but good case? Possible but a little far-fetched to me.

    So there are my thoughts out loud! Hope it helps a little?

    Best, Steve
     
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  6. imagwai

    imagwai May 20, 2020

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    Whatever the back story, it's a good looking watch! :)
     
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  7. ADrmx

    ADrmx May 20, 2020

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    Thanks again for the information!
    It is really appreciated!

    Have a nice evening!
     
  8. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member May 20, 2020

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    When reading Steve's response I'm reminded of a conversation that I had with someone who used to work at Alfa Romeo in the 1970s. I was curious why some 1750 GTVs had carburettors made by Weber, while others had Dell'Ortos or Solex. Maybe which parts you got depended on which market you were in? Could be a sneaky way of getting more power into some engines. Maybe it was a cost decision for certain markets?

    The guy I spoke to said that actually, it just depended on which part the guy on the line pulled out when he reached for a carburettor. It was totally random.

    I guess today we look to assign logic and reason to tracing parts, but in the 1970s, quality control wasn't like it is today and so we do get some anomalies that are genuine (left the factory that way) and other times its a sign of a put together watch.
     
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  9. SteveP

    SteveP May 21, 2020

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    I think that's a good comparison dc, from a similar time too.:thumbsup:
     
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