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 1981-4, and inspired a few rather similar divers, usually in the same “jumbo” style case (due to the large case size, for the time) – the new-old stock, all original example here was produced by Mirexal, and represents a quality example of these so-called “Poor Man’s Heuers.”
Mirexal, a brand not so much lost to time as instead generally unknown to most of the world, was at one time the house brand for the large Swiss retail store chain Migros, which was the single largest employer in the country. While house brand watches from this time period aren't impossible to find, those retailed only in Switzerland were very much on a whole other level vis-à-vis those made outside Switzerland.
With its utilitarian ETA 2783 powering the Mirexal, 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 this with the rather unique orange diver – akin to Heuer’s much sought after 980.007 orange-dialed diver – pointed crown guards, and exceptional two-tone bezel, and you have a vintage watch that very much pops on the wrist and attracts attention. While Migros still exists in Switzerland, Mirexal is a ghost from the past; regardless, while we admit this is a quartz watch, we will always make for beautiful early 1980’s Heuer divers (and Poor Man’s Heuers!).
This Mirexal “980.007” jumbo comes with a two quality "seatbelt" NATOs, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
NOS 1980's Mirexal Orange Dial "980.007" "Poor Man's Heuer" Jumbo-Case Diver
DIAL: Beautiful original orange dial. Date display at the 3 o’clock position works as designed. Original “church” hour, minute, and second hands.
CASE: Original 42mm (45mm w/crown x 46.5) jumbo stainless steel case, with original caseback (which still has its sticker!). Two-tone bezel insert is original.
CRYSTAL: Original crystal is blemish and scratch-free.
BAND: New high quality black 20mm nylon "seatbelt" NATO strap, as well as a second orange 20mm seatbelt strap.
MOVEMENT: ETA 955.112 quartz movement.
CROWN: Original unsigned stainless-steel screw-down locking crown.