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 full serviced Heuer 980.026 black PVD diver watch.
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. And the rest was literally history...
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 980.026 PVD diver comes with its original PVD bracelet, leather rally strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
Early 1980's Heuer 980.026 PVD Diver
DIAL: Beautifully original black dial. Date display at the 3 o’clock position works as designed. Matching “church” hour, minute, and second hands.
CASE: Black PVD-coated stainless-steel case measures 38mm (41/5mm w/crown) x 45mm, with matching Heuer caseback. Bezel insert is in remarkably good condition, despite age.
CRYSTAL: Crystal is blemish and scratch-free.
BAND: Original PVD-coated stainless-steel Heuer bracelet, which will fit an approx. seven inch wrist (or 7.5 inch if the diver's expansion clasp is expanded). As per usual with these, the PVD has worn off of high-contact areas of the bracelet. This Heuer also inclues a light brown rally strap.
MOVEMENT: Heuer ETA 536.121 quartz movement. We have performed a full service on this watch.
CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel screw-down crown. We have replaced the original with a NOS one.