On December 8, 2022, in New York City, TAG Heuer hosted a dinner / get-together for the community of vintage collectors. Held at Veronika Restaurant, this was the first gathering of U. S. collectors in over four years. It was a wonderful evening for all those who attended, as collectors renewed acquaintances, met some new members of the community and – of course – shared some outstanding vintage Heuer chronographs.
This posting will serve as an informal “scrapbook” of photos covering the evening. We include images from a variety of sources, primarily social media postings and photos from several collectors who participated in the event. If any participant sends additional photos, I will be happy to add them to this posting.
Approximately 20 collectors attended the dinner, which was hosted by Nicholas Biebuyck, Heritage Director at TAG Heuer. [Here’s a good interview of Nick on Watches by SJX.] This was the first time that Nick had met many of the collectors who attended the event, and it was interesting to watch as some collectors scrolled through photos of their watches. Yes, Nick, there are serious collectors here in the United States, as well!!
Morgan King attended the dinner, and it was a real treat for many of our collectors to have their photos taken with the undisputed king of the celebrity selfie. Thanks to Morgan for sending everyone home with these fantastic souvenirs! [Check the Gallery at the bottom of this posting for the complete set of Morgan’s selfies.]
With the event being held in a restaurant that was open to the public, most of the collectors who attended showed restraint in bringing their watches. With the number of watches on being display being so limited, the collectors tended to bring out some of the “grail” watches from the vintage Heuer catalog.
By number, the Carreras may have dominated the event. We saw Carreras with contrasting registers – the reference 2447 NS (white dial with black registers, also known as the “Panda”) and the reference 2447 SN (reverse Panda).
In the way of re-issues, we had the first re-issue to have the Jack Heuer colors (dark and light grays, with red accents), from 1964, and I proudly wore the latest of the Carrera re-issues, which was introduced by Watches of Switzerland a few weeks ago.
There was nothing ordinary about the Monaco chronographs attending the dinner, with nary a “Steve McQueen” version in sight. But when it came to the rare Monacos, there were some nice ones to see. Morgan brought two prototype / test models, one with the crazy blue dial and one in silver gray. I had seen these watches on social media many time, but seeing them in the metal was fantastic. I brought my “Paintless Wonder”, an early Chronomatic Monaco on which the midnight blue paint has disappeared, leaving only a clear coating on the brass dial.
The Autavias in attendance were few in number, but showed how interesting these models can be. We had an early two-register model (Big Subs, with metal-edged hands) along with a manual-wind GMT, from the early 1970s.
Skipper / Seafarer.
Any vintage Heuer event should have a couple of the yachting-related models, and the NYC GTG was well-represented in this category with two Skipperreras (Reference 7753) and a Seafarer, in the reference 2446 screw-back case. These two models are among the rarest of the vintage Heuers, and it’s a treat to see them “in the metal”, rather than only in the photos.
James Lamdin, of Watches of Switzerland, carried the Camaro flag proudly throughout the evening. He brought a great looking two-register “Panda” model, as well as a fantastic reference 73643 NT (three register, charcoal dial, with orange accents). It wouldn’t be a GTG without a couple of Camaros on the scene.
Veronika is located in the Fotografiska Museum, in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood (22nd Street and Park Avenue). Fotografiska New York is a branch of the original Fotografiska Museum, in Stockholm, and is housed in a landmark, six-story Renaissance Revival–style former church mission house. For more about the architecture of Fotografiska New York, see this article in Architectural Digest.
After the Party
Veronika was the perfect venue for the collectors’ get-together, but after being on our best behavior for a couple of hours, it was time to adjourn to Paddy Maguire’s Ale House to continue the conversations and watch-sharing. This was the perfect venue – a raucous crowd, bright lights and a couple of pool tables for the watch displays.
This was the perfect ending to a fantastic evening, and we are all looking forward to additional collectors’ event in 2023! Thanks to Nick and his colleagues at TAG Heuer for “getting the band back together”.