For some strange reason, the desire struck me to buy an old watch. I own a TAG Heuer Aquaracer 2000 that my wife purchased for me around 2006. I love that watch’s blue dial and brushed and polished case and bracelet. But for just knocking about, I wanted a used watch that already had a mysterious history and a few scuffs.
Off I went to an online website to search for something that had the right balance between low cost and high quality. It is not an easy continuum on which to teeter. Based upon previous satisfaction, I settled on finding a watch by Heuer or TAG Heuer.
Swiss watchmaker Edouard Heuer (HOY’-er) founded Heuer Watchmaking, Inc. in 1860. The company made chronographs, pulsometers, dashboard timers, and watches. Heuer was bought by Techniques d’Avant Garde in 1985. Pre-1985 watches read Heuer on the dial, while post-1985 watches read TAG Heuer. I think they make great timepieces.
My horological hunt was not easy, because as the price drops, the condition of the watch does, too. I did not want to spend more than about $300.00. This really made things difficult. Buying any watch online is a gamble, but I was prepared for either pride of ownership or buyer’s remorse.
I found a pre-owned TAG Heuer 1000 Professional for just $299.00. The seller seemed legit, so I bought it. Then came the agonizing wait to see if I had won or lost at the game. The Priority Mail envelope eventually arrived with good luck and a good watch within.
Of prime importance, the watch was a functional timepiece. The hands, date, bezel, and bracelet operated as they should. I checked it against the U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock for several days and found the 1000 to be +/- about 5 seconds per solar cycle. I can live with that.
The TAG Heuer 1000 Professional is a mid-sized 200m dive watch with a 38mm case and 18mm bracelet. It was made from 1985 until around 1992, when the 1000 was discontinued. I acquired model 980.020N, which is a two-tone gold and silver colored variant. The 18K gold adorning certain of the band’s links has worn off this specimen, but the gold accents in the bezel, hands, and crown is still intact.
The TAG’s condition is fair. My crystal has a few scratches. The dial’s face has faded to a charcoal color from the original black. A few nicks grace the case and band. The lume is a tad dim. But I absolutely love it.
This watch is nearing its thirtieth birthday. In my mind, it has a history. Did it scuba dive in exotic locales? Or was it proudly worn in a boardroom under a silk shirt and expensive suit? Where did it travel? It did not stay in a drawer or watch box, since it evidences signs of moderate use.
I would never really want to know this 1000’s true story. I want to use my imagination. In this watch, I see all my own versions of its past life. Just wearing this worn TAG Heuer 1000 brings me a pleasant feeling of nostalgia and a smile.