Zodiac Panda Cushion Case Chronograph
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Zodiac Panda Cushion Case Chronograph

In the 1960s and 70s, sporty chronographs were all the rage, and there's no doubt Heuer was the brand to beat. In addition to their "named" lines like the Autavia and Carrera, Heuer also manufactured more affordable pieces that they dubbed the "Economy" models. While they often contained the same movements, dials, and handsets as their big brothers, these models had simpler cases that were less expensive to produce, lacked the fancy name on the dial, and were known only by their reference numbers.

These Economy models were also often sold under other brands, giving rise to what have been dubbed the "Poor Man's Heuers." Thanks to their exceptional components and resemblance to the exponentially more expensive Heuers, these "Poor Man's Heuers" present an exceptional value to the vintage chronograph enthusiast.

When thinking of these watches, your mind likely jumps to Carrera-like executions commonly associated with brands like Zodiac, Tradition, and Clebar. But every once in a while a less common expression surfaces that reminds us how fun and interesting these off-branded Heuers are.

This rarely seen variant dates to the early 1970s and is a dead ringer for its Heuer branded cousin, the Reference 73473S--it even has that reference number on the case! Rather than the more common barrel case, this example features a decidedly retro cushion case measuring 40mm, with a prominent bevel edge. The dial features a Panda-like configuration with gray sub-dials and tachymeter scale. Like any good Poor Man’s Heuer, it’s powered by a robust, hand-wound Valjoux drivetrain, but in this case it’s the seldom-seen Calibre 7732--a derivative of the 7730 with the date at 6:00.

While much attention is given to other variants, we can't help but be charmed by this fun and rare execution.

Details

Stainless steel cushion case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown and pushers). Valjoux Caliber 7732 Manually-wound Chronograph movement. Circa 1970s.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with factory brush finishing and only minimal signs of use and wear, including some slight scratches and tool marks on the front and the back of the case. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and only some slight discoloration along the edge of the dial. Unsigned crown; unsigned case back has some light scratches and tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 18mm mesh metal bracelet and two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle

SKU: TT01053.

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