top of page

It's been thirty-six years since we last met Tom Cruise's Lt. Pete Maverick in 1986's "Top Gun" and his black all PVD Porsche Design Orfina chronograph.  And lo and behold - just in time for the sequel to the movie that made Tom Cruise’s career - Maverick again adorns the PVD beauty in "Top Gun: Maverick."  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 - this is a matte black PVD 1980's LeJour "Poor Man's Orfina Top Gun" Valjoux 7750-powered chronograph (w/original manual and box), virtually identical to the Orfina Porsche Design and Heuer Pasadena.


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 was LeJour, a French brand known in the United States by its export name, Yema; regardless, LeJour at least didn’t stray far from the normal tried and true original chronograph formula.  During the 1970/80s, LeJour specialized in more affordable versions of watches nearly identical to Heuer and Porsche Design Orfina offerings of the era.


With the patina’d lume and a slender yet poignant bright orange 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.


These represent an interesting facet of Heuer’s history and provide a way for individuals to collect these chronographs on a more reasonable budget.  Heuer manufactured these LeJour chronographs under a private-label arrangement in the 1980's, and, under the terms of the arrangement Heuer manufactured an array of watches, which LeJour then distributed; some, like the Pasadena and LeJour used the exact same cases and dials.


This LeJour comes on its original PVD-coated stainless-steel bracelet, and with nylon strap, rigged travel case, and springbar tool.

1980’s LeJour “Poor Man’s Top Gun Orfina” PVD Chronograph Full Set

Out of Stock
  • DIAL: Black LeJour-signed three register dial, with matching hour, minute, and chronograph hands.  Subtle lume patina throughout.


    CASE: Lugless stainless-steel PVD-coated case measures 41mm (43 w/crown) x 42mm; this case is quite thick at 13.5mm.  PVD coating is uniform throughout the case, and with slight wear on chrono pushers and crown. 


    CRYSTAL: Mineral crystal, no cracks, blemishes, or scratches.


    BAND: This LeJour comes on its original PVD-coated stainless-steel bracelet; as usually seen on these watches, the bracelet shows PVD wear - bracelet clasp looks to be a replacement given lack of wear, and it will fit up to an approx. 7.5 inch wrist.  This chronograph also comes with a black nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Correct LeJour work-horse three register Valjoux 7750 automatic mechanical movement. 


    CROWN: Correct unsigned PVD crown.


    This LeJour comes with its original instructions manual and LeJour box.

bottom of page