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You have an answer for everything, don’t you? Heuer certainly did, and whether you were a racecar driver, SCUBA diver, engineer, fisherman or sailor, there was a watch to help you do your job.
Most watch collectors are familiar with Heuer’s three main watch lines built for the race track, the Monaco, the Autavia and the Carrera, but the brand also built a wide variety of watches during the 50s, 60s and 70s for other types of sportsmen. The Skipper, the Mareograph, the Solunagraph, the Skippererra, and the Solunar were sold at various points over that three-decade span, the 1970s Solunar today one of the most uncommon of the group.
To explain how the watch works, we need to have a brief science lesson. The tide is caused by the gravitation pull of the moon, which makes one orbit around the Earth every 28 days. The Earth rotates about its axis once every 24 hours, so with these facts, some algebra and a calculator, you can figure out that the time of high tide moves by 51.5 minutes each day. The inner bezel displays 14 days, and some more math tells us that the spacing between each day is 51.43 minutes between each dash (close enough!). Once it’s high tide, simply line up the day of the week on the inner bezel and high tide mark on the outer bezel with the hour hand, and the watch will display the time of high tide and low tide each day for the next two weeks.
Reminiscent of another vintage Heuer, the Calculator, the Soluar features a 45mm cushion and large outer bezel, though its low profile keeps it light and comfortable. The blue dial hints at its ties to the water, and the dual crowns bear a classic sporty look. The Solunar definitely has a unique look, but we’re suckers for these oddball watches built with a real purpose in mind. The watch is a good reminder of Heuer’s history as a tool watch company, building watches for a wide variety of professionals instead of mere horological jewelry.
The Solunar is quite the rare bird, especially in mint condition. Since it was built for sailors and fisherman, most were used as tools and put through hard use. We were lucky to source one that spent most of its life safely tucked away in a drawer. If you’re looking for a watch with a great story and modern size from one of the coolest brands, the Soluar should be right up your alley.
Steel case is approximately 45mm (excluding the crown). Heuer reference 279.603. Swiss ETA movement.
Overall condition: Original case and bezel in excellent condition with minimal wear. Orignal dial, hands, crowns and crystal in excellent condition.
Includes vintage JB Champion bracelet and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.