Shortly before TAG's takeover of Heuer in the mid-1980s, it produced a line of legendary divers – first in Monin, France, with the 844 model with an automatic movement, and subsequently in Switzerland with the 980 model with Swiss quartz.
This quintessential no-nonsense Heuer tool watch was produced between circa 1981-84, and inspired a few rather similar divers, usually in the same “jumbo” style case (so-called due to the large case size, for the time) – the new-old stock, all original example here was produced by Nautilus, and represents a quality example of these so-called “Poor Man’s Heuers.”
Highly unique to this Nautilus is its full PVD stainless-steel ceramic-like case – divers like these were highly adapted to diving purposes in dark water, and the full-lume dial shows this off nicely. With its utilitarian hacking ETA powering this Nautilus, this diver has all the hallmarks of a purpose-built 1960’s diver desired by the vintage watch community today - a large cushion case with crisp beveling and unidirectional rotation, steel bezel, screw-down locking crown, and bright, luminescent hands.
Couple above with the rather unique full lume dial – akin to Heuer’s much sought after full-lume dial on its 980.032 diver – blacked out "church" hands, pointed crown guards, and exceptional bezel, and you have a vintage watch that very much pops on the wrist and attracts attention.
This Nautilus “980.032” jumbo comes with a leather strap, premium "seatbelt" NATO, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1980's Nautilus Full Lume Dial "980.032" "Poor Man's Heuer" Jumbo Diver
DIAL: Beautiful original full-lume dial. Date display at the 3 o’clock position works as designed. Original blacked-out “church” hour, minute, and second hands.
CASE: Original 43mm (46mm w/crown) x 47mm jumbo stainless-steel, ceramic-like case, with original caseback; black coating is uniform throughout case on top, sides, and bottom. Original bezel and bezel insert, both in excellent condition.
CRYSTAL: Crystal is blemish and scratch-free.
BAND: Brown leather strap, with stainless-steel hardware. Second premium black 20mm nylon "seatbelt" NATO strap.
MOVEMENT: Original Swiss ETA quartz hacking movement.
CROWN: Original unsigned stainless-steel screw-down locking crown.