If you're a watch person, there is no doubt that you've watch in awe as Heuer watches have risen from their relative obscurity to their revered (and rightful) position among collectors as incredibly well-built and beautiful chronographs worthy of significant praise.
Baylor isn't a name that many collectors of vintage chronographs would know and it's certainly not likely to be the first name one would come to in a conversation about Heuer and the range of chronographs they produced throughout the 1960s and 70s for other brands. Referred to as "Poor Man's Heuers," these chronographs shared many of the same parts and all the same looks as the now popular and collectible Heuer counterparts.
Yes, it's true: during Heuer's heyday as the premier provider of chronographs for racing drivers under its own name, it manufactured watches for other brands and retailers as well. Brands like Zodiac, Tradition and Clebar are well known examples of Heuer's manufacturing efforts, but Baylor is one name that has largely escaped attention. Produced for the jeweler Zales (yes, that Zales), Baylor-branded watches used many of the same parts as the Heuer Autavias and Carreras of the late 1960s. It is even rumored that as Heuer began to shift its focus toward automatic chronographs with new cases and dials, Zales was able to snatch up parts for pennies on the dollar.
The result was a small array of watches that looked and felt just like Heuers.
Take this watch, for instance. Based on the earlier Heuer Autavia (ref. 2446), this watch has the same barrel-style 38mm steel case with screw case back and pump pushers. Aesthetically, all the hallmarks of the Autavia are there: the panda dial, the rotating MH (minutes/hours) bezel and inner tachymeter track. The pièce de résistance is the 'lollipop' sweep hand, a feature that give the watch a distinctively 1960s vibe.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm in diameter (excluding crown). Landeron 349 movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: The case is in good condition overall with minor signs of light use in keeping with its age. Beveled lugs are thick and show no signs of over-polishing. Reverse panda dial is in good condition. Baton hands have been restored. Case back shows traces of wear and tool marks; unsigned crown.
Includes one 20mm brown leather analog/shift strap and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.