LeJour Chronograph

LeJour Chronograph

In the 1960’s and 70’s, sporty chronographs were all the rage and there's no doubt Heuer was the brand to beat. In addition to their own efforts, Heuer also manufactured pieces to be sold at a more affordable prices under other brands.  With exceptional components and bearing a striking resemblance to their Heuer-branded cousins at a fraction of the price, these so-called "Poor Man's Heuers" present an exceptional value to the vintage chronograph enthusiast. 

When you think of these “Poor Man’s Heuers”, your mind likely jumps to Carrera-like executions produced for brands like Zodiac and Tradition.  But every once in a while a less common expression surfaces that reminds us how fun and interesting these off-branded Heuers were.  

This one comes to us by way of France and a watchmaking operation known as Georges Monnin.  Better known for developing and manufacturing early Heuer dive watches, Georges Monnin also turned out some chronograph designs that were used by Heuer and a handful of other brands, including LeJour.

This rarely seen variant dates to the late 1970’s/early 1980’s and is packed with cool touches; the pristine 36mm case wraps around a reverse panda dial with square registers at 9:00 and 12:00, a quickset roulette date wheel at 3:00, and a bold orange chronograph seconds hand. 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 7765, signed by Georges Monnin.

Interesting variations on iconic designs can be hit or miss, but we can't help but be charmed by this fun and rare execution. 

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