Heuer Monnin 844: A Brief History

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Heuer Monnin 844: A Brief History

Post by koimaster » December 12th 2019, 1:58pm

Heuer’s first dive watch — the Heuer Monnin Reference 844, has a special place in the rich history of Heuer. While Heuer did have a strong presence in the racing world, with famous Formula One drivers such as Mario Andretti and Jochen Rindt sporting the Heuer watches, the “quartz crisis” in the mid-70s led Heuer to be in financial difficulties. These emerging battery-powered watches had two major advantages compared to Heuer’s mechanical movements: they told time more accurately and they were cheaper. However, the emergence of the Monnin Reference 844 in 1979 brought unprecedented success, and is arguably the watch that saved the then-struggling Heuer.

The 844 emerged from numerous requests to Heuer during mid- to late-1970s for high quality private label watches for underwater sports with an affordable price. With this opportunity arising, Heuer decided to enter the diver watch market; with no previous experience of creating diver watches, as Heuer were far more accustomed to creating chronographs for timekeeping in racing. Cautious in their approach at the time, Heuer outsourced the production of their watches to a French company named Georges Monnin rather than investing new resources if they were to manufacture watches in-house in Switzerland.

Sales immediately took off once the 844 came out. So much so that Heuer decided to stop outsourcing the production of these watches and moved the production in-house to Switzerland.

The Heuer Monnin was first publicly marketed in the 1979 Heuer catalogue. The first two variants of the 844s are made in France. Production then moved to Switzerland for 844-2 through 844-5, with the 844-5 being the first to feature “TAG Heuer” on the dial. The 844 series were then succeeded by the 1000 series.



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