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Ultimate Guide to the Heuer/ TAG Heuer 1000 Professional

The Heuer 1000 series came at a pivotal time for Heuer. By the late 1970s, the majority of the brand’s successful mechanical Chronomatic chronographs had been discontinued as the quartz crisis took hold. In fact, it had been Heuer’s stopwatch and timing business that kept the company afloat for as long as it had, so the company needed a sales hit. Badly.

The answer came in the form of a diving watch, but its launch was low-key. Heuer experimented with several quartz diving watches in the late 1970s, some of which only lasted a few months or years in production. but of these one stood out- Reference 844.

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Photo by Abel Court

The 844 formed the basis for what would become the Heuer and then TAG Heuer 1000 Professional series- and from the 1000 came the 1500, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 6000 series. For almost 20 years, these watches would dominate the Heuer and TAG Heuer catalogues and came to define the brand’s look. But none of that would have happened without the success of the 1000 series.

A few years ago, Jack Heuer told us the story of how he designed the 1000 series, a story he later expanded on in his autobiography:

“ISPO is Europe’s leading international trade fair for sporting goods and sports fashions, and for several years Heuer had taken a stand at the fair in Munich where we often found ourselves next to manufacturers of skin-diving products. They were mostly American firms and while chatting with their representatives at the 1979 fair I heard about the difficulties that they had buying private-label watches for underwater sports. They had had some bad experiences with watches bought from an importer in New York – in next to no time the watches let in water and they had had to deal with many angry customers.

That gave me the idea of trying to enter this market with a range of sturdy, Rolex-style diving watches with quartz movements, which would avoid overusing the winding crown as was inevitable with mechanical movements. To our great surprise our new diving watches were very well received by the market. We could not imagine then that this model – we called them the 1000 Series would be the very watch that was to help the company recover and get back into the black following the takeover by Piaget in 1982.

The following year, we extended the series to four sizes: two large ones for gentlemen’s watches and two small sizes for ladies. We also added a special piece to the metal bracelet so it could be stretched to fit over the sleeve of a wetsuit. All four models had a rotating bezel and extra-luminous dials, both features that TAG was to include a few years later in the full TAG Heuer range of sports watches.”

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Photo by Abel Court

The Early Days- 844/ 8440

Monnin 844 Heuer

Photo by Stewart Morley

The reference 844 (automatic movement) and its quartz counterpart, reference 8440, first appeared in the 1979 Heuer Catalogue. These early watches were made in France by G. Monnin, a contract manufacturer who made watches for other brands, including Forbel and Bessa. Monnin was based in Charquemont, close to the Swiss border and only 25 kms from La Chaux-de-Fonds, the home of TAG Heuer today.

The movement on these early models were also French made, with the automatic FE 4611A being made by France Ebauches, at the time the largest French manufacturer of ebauche movements. FE was formed in 1965 and at one stage owned Glashütte Original. FE tried to survive by manufacturing movements in East Germany using low-cost labour, but sold Glashütte Original in the early 1980s.

Heuer Monnin 844

Photo by Stewart Morley

The earliest models featured a 24-hour dial (like the example above), as well as Cathedral hands, which were quickly replaced by the Mercedes hand design used on TAG Heuer’s  range throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

By 1980, the 8440 was renamed as the 980.006 (below left) and the design of both the 844 and 980.006 updated to remove the 24-hour markers on the dial. It also heralded the switch of production from France back to Switzerland, which is why these later watches carry the familiar “Swiss Made” text on the dial.

1983 Heuer Catalogue_1You can see above the distinctive case design of the 844/ 980.0XX watches- indeed, it’s very different to later 1000 series watches and comes only in a 42mm case. The two distinguishing features of the case are the shape of the crown guards and the soft, round lugs.

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Photo by Abel Court

The 844/ 980.0XX continued all the way through to the end of the 1000 series in 1990, with both automatic and quartz options being available throughout the model’s life. And speaking of quartz, there was also this Analogue/ Digital model that used the same case as the 844.

Heuer ChronographThere are different variations of the 844, the most notable being the 844/4, which offers a day/ date feature.

Heuer 844/4

Photo by Sandra Silva Galindo

Under New Ownership- The range expands

1983 Heuer CatalogueThe Heuer 1000 (although not yet called by this name) collection really took of under the ownership of Piaget/ Nouvelle Lemania, who acquired Heuer in 1982. It’s likely that at this point all 1000 series watches were made by Roventa-Henex, a Swiss contract manufacturer who continued to be a major producer of watches today.

New sizes were introduced, with the family now taking the following dimensions:

  • Full size (844)- 42mm
  • Men’s size- 38mm
  • Boys size- 32mm
  • Lady’s size- 28mm

Each of the three smaller sizes share the same case design- sharper/ more pointed case lugs and less pronounced crown guards.

1984- The 1000 Series

Heuer 1000 seriesIn 1984 the collection was formally named the 1000 series, with “1000” appearing just below the Heuer shield.

The range now consisted of over 30 different models in stainless steel, two-tone, PVD (black, pewter and green), gold-plated and black and gold finishes.

Heuer 1000 980.032L

Photo by Stewart Morley/ Heuerville

Heuer 1000 980.032L

Photo by Stewart Morley/ Heuerville

While the early Heuer cases are thick steel, later Heuer models gained the “L” suffix and a thinner case.

1986-1992: The TAG Heuer 1000

TAG Heuer 1000 JapanThe 1000 made a seamless transition to life as a TAG Heuer with only a few small changes. Apart from the obvious new “TAG Heuer” logo on the dial, the “1000” and “Professional” text moved to the lower part of the dial, while the “quartz” text was deleted.

Later TAG Heuer-branded watches have a “N” suffix, which are the same cases as the “L” cases. The last series have “B” suffix cases, although it’s not clear what the differences are between the N and the B models.

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Photo by Abel Court

The 844 Automatic was discontinued in 1990, while the rest of the quartz 1000 series lasted until 1992.

Movements

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  • Early 844-FE 4611A
  • Early Quartz- ESA 536.121
  • Later 844- ETA 2872
  • Later 1000- 964.114 or ETA 955.114/ 112

Price Highs and Lows

1985-76 (1)While the key to the success of the 1000 series was its reasonable prices, there was a luxury version of the watch- the solid gold models that you see above. These models- easily identified by their “nipple” hour-markers are 18k Gold and have a unique bezel.

At the other end of the scale is this watch, the 980.043, which has a distinctive 24-hour dial. This is what was called an “economy” model, and is only water-resistant to 30m thanks to its crown which doesn’t screw-down like the rest of the 1000 range.

Heuer 980.043

Photo by Soultimer

The Legacy of the 1000 Professional

IMG_0191Many people have a special love for the TAG Heuer 1000 as it was an affordable way of getting into the world of quality Swiss watches- for many, it was their first “proper” watch and offers great value for money.

And today it’s still affordable, with prices typically below $1000 for all-bar the early Monnin watches which command a handsome premium. These are pretty tough watches that generally can take a fair beating and still look good- it’s really only the bezel condition that gives away what sort of life a watch has led. Sadly, these are also very difficult to replace with correct TAG Heuer parts, although there are several aftermarket options available.

WAN2110And as you can see above, the look of the 1000 continues to influence more modern TAG Heuer’s. The watch above is the 2010 Aquaracer 300 Calibre 5, which has several clear links with the 1000 series- the black bezel is back,  as are the circular hour markers. The watch still has the crown guard and has a very similar overall case design to the original Heuer 844.

The TAG Heuer 1000 still offers a lot of watch for your money and make a great choice as a Heuer/ TAG Heuer to wear as a daily wearer where you won’t be continually worried about scratches or scrapes. It’s the perfect watch to wear with a NATO strap, or the original jubilee and is one of the very best modern TAG Heuers.

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Thanks

  • Paul Gavin, who has researched these watches for years and drove the 1000-series reference table at On The Dash
  • Stewart Morley from Heuerville with perhaps the most comprehensive cataloguing of the 1000 series with some outstanding photos
  • john87300 from Watchuseek, who researched the origins of Monnin
  • Dave Edelman

    I have a 1984 Tag Heuer Black Coral II dive the small one and I need a band for it can anybody help me?

    • Poseidon-Jim

      Hi Dave,

      I'm sure other will weigh in here to help you when they visit the site, so hang in there and you'll have some advice & help added to your question.

      I would suggest checking on eBay's auction sites, as well as checking some of the Heuer/Tag Heuer watch forum sales corners, as well as adding a WTB post on some of them such as Chronocentric.com, ect.

      Best regards,
      Poseidon-Jim

      • Poseidon-Jim

        Hi Dave,

        Well I found this partial group of bracelet links, and while I have no idea if you have the series 1000 black coral Tag of which these links are for I think, they just might help you, or at least give you other places to look around in to see if they may have parts for you.
        Hope this may be helpful to you:
        http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-TAG-Heuer-Black

        Cheers,
        Jim

  • Don raphael

    844/1 for salep

  • Glen Killing

    “Created a design”…? Is this model not a rip off of Rolex Submariner? (I have a Heuer 1000 “gold” and I love it!)

    • calibre11

      Hi Glen. The full text says:

      “By the time the TAG Heuer 1000 Professional was finally retired in 1992/3, it had not only proved to be one of the most successful TAG Heuer watches, but had created a design template the survives today through the latest TAG Heuer Aquaracer”

      … Which I still think is true- i.e. There were a series of TAG Heuer designs that followed the template of the 1000. I didn’t mean that this design was an original Heuer creation.

      No question that the dial and hands are heavily based on the Rolex original, even if the case is different.

      • Glen Killing

        Thank you for sharing, I did not know that! Well, poor Rolex must have had a lot tidni then, since there must have been, and still are, hundreds of brands that glanced at the Sub. And it’s true, the case differs. Didn’t know that. 🙂

  • Bob

    Bob

  • Bob

    New Sapphire crystal- $37.50
    New Bezel retain wire-$6.00
    New Caseback gasket- $ 3.00
    New Stem – $2.50
    NC- for generic crown gasket, cannot get the proper one so lets see how this one does.
    Battery $10
    New springbars pins for case and bracelet to attach to$2.50

    Cleaned case, bracelet, etc labor is $15

    • Joe

      Bob, I have a Tag Heuer 1000 watch, and the springs or wire that hold the bezel have worn off and can’t seem to find them. do you sell them or have a place to find them? Thanks, Joe

    • John Pearson

      Bob, I have a decent 980.007 orange face Heuer diver I bought around 1981. The entire bezel, insert & spring are long gone. Do you have any of those parts?

    • Alvaro

      Hi Bob,
      I have a tag heuer 1000 (980.013) and I would really appreciate if you can tell me if you found the correct generic crown gasket size. If you found the correct size, can you share it please.
      Tnx

    • Eduardo

      Hello bob… I need a Sapphire crystal for my 980.023L… Been looking for a while now. Can you help? 9563466044 Ed

  • adrian

    Looking for TAG HEUER 1000 SUBMARINER blue face

  • Remko

    Looking for a TAG Heuer 1000 Middle size 32mm

  • Wesley Jones

    I recently got a 980.023N. It has an aftermarket strap on it. I am looking for a 1980s original bracelet. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance

  • Tejota

    Were can I get my TH restore?

    • calibre11

      Not an easy one to restore, as the steel case has both Gold plate and PVD coating. There’s a fairly standard quartz movement inside these watches, so a service is easy, but you’ll find it easier to watch eBay for parts (e.g. the bracelet) than you will restoring what you currently have.

      dc

  • Soren

    I have a 1000 series 980.113 and are trying to find out when this was first from (1984 or?). There are no L og B on the back. I hope you can help me. I have been all over the web to find a answer. The closes I have comed is in the ref. tabel OnTheDash. Thank you in advance.
    /SJ

  • As a note, this article was substantially re-written on 26 March 2016

  • David Daniel Trevino

    My old 1000 2 tone just stopped running. What specific kind of movement does it take and where can I get one?

    • Hi David. Depends which model you have. What is the reference number? I

  • OldCop

    Great article! I recently purchased a Tag Heuer 1000 Quartz watch to go with my 1500 and my 2000 diver’s watches. So now I have Tag Heuer dive watches from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s which I think is kind of cool. I didn’t put much money into the 1000, and the seller told me right up front that he had refurbished the watch and re-lumed the hands. From the article, this looks like a late-80’s production watch. It has an extremely dark blue bezel and dial which almost appear black. It came on a rubber strap which I have replaced with the original Jubilee Tag Heuer bracelet.

    Everything on the watch looks great, except the case back. It clearly is a replacement, bearing the proper Tag Heuer logo, but aside from that, only the word “Chronometer”. No model number or serial number, just blank. From photos it looks like the back plate off of a Kirium. So, here is my question. What are my chances of finding a case back from a Tag Heuer 1000 or similar dive watch from the proper period? I realize the model number won’t be right, but it should be close. Or should I just enjoy the watch as-is? Opinions please.

  • Mike

    Hello. So did the the 980.033 come with a push down or screw down crown.

    The article says the 980.043 was the only non screw down crown. Is that correct?

    I assume a watch rated at 200 meters would be a screw down crown.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Hi Mike,
      Yes, I believe that’s right- push down. Here are both watches

      http://www.calibre11.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Heuer-1984-25.jpg

      • Alvaro

        Hello Calibre 11,
        Can you please clarify with your own words the specification for the watch 980.033. So I understand that the 980.033 is 200 meters and it come with push-down crown and (NOT screw-down crown). Please do not answer “yes you are right” or yes.
        Please I would really appreciate if you can re-write with your own words.
        thanks
        Alvaro

  • simon gregory

    I have a Heuer model number 980.023L 1000 meters but the date/time adjuster is at around the 4 o clock position & not at 3 o clock which module is it ?

  • John Cacavas

    Hi fellow Heuer enthusiasts, I have a Heuer Black Coral 980.026 watch which I have owned since new in the early eighties. I recently opened the back to change the battery, but was thinking that it would be a good time to also change the case back o-ring. Does anyone know what size o-ring it requires? I see several o-ring kits on eBay, but would rather not buy 950 seals just to find the one I need. Also, can anyone recommend any other seals which are advisable to replace? Degree of difficulty? I took the watch skiing a couple of years ago, and it fogged up after a while, indicating that is no longer well sealed. All suggestions appreciated, and thanks to all.

    • Hi John- sorry, don’t know on this one. There are a couple of knowledgeable 1000 owners at forums.calibre11.com Perhaps try there?

    • Justin Bennett

      Contact me at jkbenn02@yahoo.com for parts for these models. I restore them all.rhe time and even have custom made bezel inserts for the jumbo 844 and 980.006 variants. I can.them.to like new condition or supply parts. I stock gaskets, crowns, crown tubes, crystals (including sapphire upgrades), movements, custom made movement holder rings, etc.

  • Stefano Ruffino

    Hi all, great article.

    Does anybody know if 844/5 has the Tag heuer logo on the crown?

    Thanks regards from italy
    Stefano

    • Hi Stefano,

      Yes, most of the ones that I’ve seen do…but there isn’t a lot of consistency during this period

      dc

      • Walt Labacher

        I have an 844/3 and the crown doesn’t have a logo on it either. I assume, like previously stated they came in both variations.

    • Riccardo Bernocco

      Hi Stefano, I have a 844/5 Professional 200 meters automatic and it is also without Tag Heuer logo on the crown.
      Riccardo

  • John Moane

    Hi, If you guys are interested in Heuer and Tag Heuer watches you should check my ebay site I’m Australian and have been collecting Tag for over 15 years and live here in Japan. I come across some quite rare ones and sell them on ebay at pretty reasonably priced. Here is my ebay name. orientalblue2

    • WatchBuyer

      Lol, i just bought the blue 1000 Pro form you on Ebay.

    • Hi John- feel free to post over at forums.calibre11.com

    • M&m

      Hi I Have owned my 980-13n since 1988 and have worn it almost everyday since.I remember seeing a selection of 1000 series watches on display at selfidges on Oxford street the same year,red,pearl yellow and pearl green.I have seen the red one around and for sale,but never the green or yellow.has anyone else ?

      • Interesting- no, haven’t see those dials…sounds like you mean a different yellow/ green to the lume dial shown in this article. Would love to see more on these!

  • Maxim Zeitler

    Hey there,
    I recently got myself a 980.013 heuer and am currently looking for an original bracelet. Can anyone help me out? And was also wondering if the crown was signed cause mine is plain

    • Harold Langham

      Maxim,
      I have a 980.013 for which I recently obtained a new bracelet. The company is Michlmayr in Norwich, UK. The crown on mine is signed TAG arrow logo. I have owned this watch since new and the crown is original.

      • Yes, the earlier models were unsigned but the later ones signed

  • Mike Hoover

    Can anyone tell me what my options are for replacing the plexi crystal on a 980.043? I’d prefer upgrading it with mineral or sapphire crystal but I’m not at all sure what model crystal (if any) would fit correctly.

  • Colin

    Can anyone help.My much loved 844/5 automatic crown will no longer screw down.I can only assume the thread has gone.Does anybody know where I can get hold of a replacement?

  • SWIMDOC

    All. Thank you for this site and the great references/photos. I am the original owner of an 844 with date window. Made in France, 24 hour dial (in red numerals). “Professionel and Made in France on watch face. I purchased it in 1979 or 1980 at the Navy Exchange in San Diego. The original rubber strap soon broke from the rigors of dive service in the USN. I wore the watch for several years thereafter on a regular basis, so I guess what I am saying is that it has some wear visible on the bezel. However, it is an “automatic” and continues to this day to run like the day I purchased it. For those Heuer geeks, the number on the back case is 13069. I still pull it out every now and then to sport it around on a black NATO. By the way, I think I paid about $40 at the Navy Exchange for this. (Grinning like a Cheshire cat….) Cheers to all

    • Thanks for your story Swimdoc- do you have any photos? Drop by forums.calibre11.com if you have some photos to share!