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Shortly before TAG's takeover of Heuer in the mid-1980s, it produced a line of legendary divers, first in Monin, France, with automatic movements, and subsequently in Switzerland with Swiss quartz movements - the example here is one of those latter divers, a quite rare full serviced Heuer 981.006 military olive PVD diver watch, nicknamed "jumbo" due to its large size for the time.


This quintessential no-nonsense Heuer tool watch was produced between circa 1981-4. For a brief history of these amazing Heuer divers, as noted in a fascinating Hodinkee article, “A Personal Note: Marking Time With A Humble Heuer” - “In 1980, Heuer decided it was time to build a proper dive watch.


Sure, years earlier, it had fitted its "Automotive-Aviation" Autavia chronograph with a diving bezel, but the brand was largely focused on motorsports watches, which is where it had built its reputation. But in the late '70s, as Jack Heuer tells it in his autobiography, Heuer was at a sporting goods trade show in Europe and was approached by a diving equipment company that was having trouble finding quality dive watches that could be co-branded, G. Monnin.


The Heuer diver would go on to become one of the company’s bestselling models ever, even lasting into the early '90s under the new TAG Heuer banner. After a year of outsourcing to Monnin, Heuer took over the manufacturing of the ref. 844, re-named the 980.XXX, and sold in a myriad of versions, with different case sizes in gold or steel (even two-tone), a PVD version (both black and camo green), and orange, black, and full-lume dials, all with bracelet or rubber strap.


Dive watches were immensely popular and coupled with the co-branding opportunities, Heuer sold thousands of what would become the 980 model, with both automatic and quartz movements.


This 981.006 jumbo comes with a leather rally strap, two nylon straps, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.

1983 Heuer Ref. 981.006 Military Olive PVD Dive Watch

Out of Stock
  • DIAL: Solid matte green PVD dial; crisp writing, with Heuer “church” hour, minute, and second hands. Date display at the 3 o’clock position works as designed.


    CASE: Stainless-steel matte olive PVD-coated case measures 42mm (45mm w/crown) x 46.5, with matching Heuer caseback – as with many examples, case has wear on the sides and underside; that said, most of the PVD coating remains intact on the case top. Matte green Heuer bezel insert is in quite well-preserved condition.


    CRYSTAL: Original crystal is blemish and deep scratch-free.


    BAND: Light brown leather rally strap; this Heuer also comes with two nylon straps – a military camo strap and floral strap.


    MOVEMENT: Heuer ETA 536.121 quartz movement; we have performed a full service on this movement.


    CROWN: Original unsigned stainless-steel screw-down crown, with some wear to the matte green PVD coating.

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