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It's been thirty-six years since we last met Tom Cruise's Lt. Pete Maverick in 1986s "Top Gun" and his black all PVD Porsche Design Orfina chronograph. 

 

And lo and behold - just in time for the 2022 release of the sequel to a movie that made Tom Cruise’s career - Maverick again adorns the PVD beauty in the sequel.  To quote The New Yorker, "Like many historical artefacts of the 1980s, the old 'Top Gun' is fondly remembered [and] widely worshipped" - much like the PD Orfina PVD chronograph.

 

But this isn't a PD Orfina here - the 1970’s were a legit transition point for the Swiss watchmaking industry, which attempted to survive the quartz onslaught (brought on, ironically, by Seiko) by contracting with other brands to do whatever it took, even if it meant putting their names on watches that weren’t, well, obviously Swiss.

 

One of these notable brands was Heuer - which brings us to this full serviced matte black PVD late 1970's Heuer Ref. 750.510 here.  With the patina’d lume and a slender yet poignant red central chronograph hand, there’s more than enough visual contrast going on here to make the watch visually engaging.  Couple this with an angled inner tachymeter bezel, and it all adds up to 1970/80’s Porsche gauges and later German watches.

 

That said, just a glance at the Heuer Pasadena tells you it was “strongly inspired” by the Porsche Design Chronograph 1, a revolutionary watch designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, better known as the designer of the iconic Porsche 911. 

 

In 1972 Porsche AG became a public company and implemented a policy that removed the family from management of the company, and so Ferdinand branched out on his own and established an industrial design business called Porsche Design.  And one of the first products by Porsche Design was a new all-black Chronograph - the Heuer version here would subsequently follow.

 

As a fun aside, these PVD watches also featured prominently in a few other 1980s films - Sean Connery wore an Orfina Military Mark II as James Bond in “Never Say Never Again,” Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin both wear Orfina watches in “Delta Force,” and Brigitte Nielsen wore an Orfina watch during the robbery scenes in “Beverly Hills Cop II.”

 

This Heuer chronograph comes with a black painted steel bracelet, nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1970’s Heuer Pasadena Ref. 750.501 PVD Automatic Chronograph

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Out of Stock
  • DIAL: Detailed black Heuer-signed three register dial.  Matching hour, minute, and chronograph minute/second hands are in good condition.  Writing remains crisp and legible, with nicely uniform lume patina throughout the dial and hands.

     

    CASE: 41.5mm (43.5 w/crown) x 45.5mm lugless PVD-coated stainless-steel case, this case is quite thick at 14.5mm.  PVD coating is uniform throughout the case, pushers, and crown  

     

    CRYSTAL: Flawless mineral crystal, no imperfections.

     

    BAND: This Orfina comes with its original steel bracelet - it appears a previous owner applied black cerakote to it; it retains its tight links.  To balance this out, we include a black and red nlyon strap. 

     

    MOVEMENT: Heuer-signed three register Valjoux 7750 automatic mechanical movement.  We have performed a full service on this watch.

     

    CROWN: Unsigned PVD crown.

     

    PUSHERS: PVD-coated pushers snap all chronograph hands back to zero with no issue.

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