I have always preferred vintage Heuer watches over Tag Heuer. Unfortunately, they are becoming increasingly rare. Few years ago, I came across a Heuer CS3110, a 90s reissue of one of their very popular Carrera Chronographs from the 60's. I found this version very faithful to the watches I was originally interested in.
I liked the case size of 36mm and the fact that it reads 'Heuer' rather than 'Tag Heuer' on its dial. I’d tried on the black dial version as well (ref. CS3111) which was the same size as this, but somehow the darker colour made it appear to wear smaller on my wrist. It ended up looking like a mini-speedmaster, and I already had the Speedy in my collection. Anyhow, the white dial was what I was looking for. It would be ideal if I could get a 'panda dial' or a ‘reverse panda dial’, but those are nearly impossible to come by.
This version of the Heuer Carrera has certain interesting characteristics, like the blue markers around the circumference of the dial that separates the 60 seconds into 100 parts. I believe this is called a decimeter - although I'm not really sure what it does.
My Neo-Vintage journey began with this 1995 model. The watch also comes with a Heuer-signed buckle that is nicely finished. The crown, too, is signed. As you can see, the plexiglass is a little domed and has a slight raise to it. The hour hand seems to have a few spots on it due to aging, because of course these things do happen with time. The watch comes on our popular 'Caramel Vintage-Stitched' strap that has also over time become darker - nice complementary to the watch's aging as well.
In summary, this beautiful Heuer Carrera Chronograph has a very old-school and romantic appeal. I like watches like this because they are quite elegant and design oriented. Personally, I think that Heuer has the best looking vintage chronographs. Not just vintage chronographs, but their watches, in general, always seem to look better when the dial just says ‘Heuer’ rather than ‘Tag Heuer’.
When it comes to watch designs, the 1950s and 1960s were the golden era. This period seems to have produced so many beautiful, well-designed, and perfectly proportioned watches. A true marriage of form, function, and elegance. Here, of course, I am talking about a watch from the 90s, but this particular model is an exception, being a like-for-like reissue, it captures the essence of watchmaking from a few decades before its time. Its movement is relatively newer (still 27 years old) but does not cause me to worry when wearing it, unlike if it was a watch from the 1960s. At the same time, it also gives me a sense of enjoyment to be wearing a watch with such a classic design and elegance that is so distinctly 60s.
Heuer did a great job making a faithful reissue of the original, something that I wish more brands would do; Omega did it with the Trilogy watches, and I applaud them for it, because that is how a reissue should be done. If brands try to incorporate too many modern elements into an older watch design, we often get neither. A better choice would be to recreate something they already have from the past that was an icon in its own right. Although it might seem like a lazy way to do things, because they didn't design anything new and simply selected from their archived catalogs, but if the archives are so rich with history, design, and horological significance, then why not?