Zodiac "Poor Man's Carrera" Panda Dial Chronograph
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Zodiac "Poor Man's Carrera" Panda Dial Chronograph

For many wristwatch collectors, the name that is printed on the dial is where they begin assessing the value of a watch.  But at analog/shift, we believe that it is what is under the hood that counts.  Sure, the value of a brand name can be important, but the buck shouldn't stop there. 

Throughout the 60's and 70's, Heuer, the brand chosen by famous racers like Jo Siffert and Steve McQueen, was batch producing watches for a number of other brand.  This practice gave rise to a whole subset of Heuer-built timepieces - assembled from the same parts bins as the Carreras and Autavias - that were sold under a variety of other brand names. These watches have lovingly become known as "Poor Man's" Heuers (Thanks, Jeff!) because they were often much less expensive to buy than their Heuer-signed counterparts.  

In addition to providing watches for big retailers like Zales and Sears Roebuck, Heuer built watches for other brands as well, including Hamilton and Zodiac.

What's incredible about these Poor Man's Heuers were that they utilized some of the very same components that Heuer was using on their own timepieces.  While you won't find many with Calibre 11s or 12s, the PMHs almost always featured Valjoux manual-wind movements of the 773X series and had similar dials, hands crowns and pushers.  This made them every bit as mechanically robust as they were gorgeous.

This particular piece was signed by Zodiac, and features a Valjoux 7730 chronograph unit with a gorgeous 2-register "panda" dial.  Nearly indistinguishable to it's Carrera cousins, this wonderful, all-original Zodiac is a great way to get into vintage Heuer without spending an arm and a leg to do so.  

 

Details

Stainless Steel Case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Valjoux 7730 Chronograph Movement.

Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition over all, with only light wear marks throughout and a few light tool marks on the brushed case back. Original Zodiac "Panda" dial is very sharp and the luminous plots on the silver stick markers have taken on a lovely creamy patina. Original Zodiac handset matches and is evenly patinated. Original unsigned crown.

Includes two 19mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.

More pieces you may enjoy

Hamilton Chronomatic Panda
Caliber 11 Powered Panda Chronograph
$ 4,200.00
Heuer Autavia "Jo Siffert"
Ref 1163 - 1970's
$ 11,750.00
Omega Speedmaster
Ref. 145.022 - 1990s
$ 3,995.00
IWC Mark XVII Flieger Chronograph
Ref. 2777-04 - Box and Papers
$ 4,200.00
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