The definitive online guide to Heuer chronographs and dashboard timepieces
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While it would appear, at first glance, that the back-plates for the dashboard Heuers are all just about the same, a closer examination of the subject reveals that there are significant differences between the various back-plates. First, let's begin with the specifications that are identical for all the back-plates (using the single back-plate for this discussion). Specifications that are common for all the backplates are as follows:
  • they are square, with a size of 2-1/4 inches by 2-1/4 inches
  • they are made of metal
  • they have a circular cut-out so that the timepiece is set into the plate
  • they have two sets of holes -- a set of three small holes to attach the timepiece to the plate and a set of holes to attach the back-plate to the dashboard

Having now described the common specifications, scroll to the text below the photographs to read about the fascinating differences between the various Heuer back-plates.

Early Back-Plates

Ed. Heuer

Heuer-Leonidas S.A
Sears, Roebuck &Co

Having recited the specifications that are common for all the back-plates, now let's describe the specifications that vary between the different back-plates. Feauture that differentiate the various Heuer back-plate include the following:
  • base material: brass or aluminum
  • coating material: chromium, profectus or black anodized
  • number of holes to attach plate to the dashboard: two, three or four
  • cut-out for crown or none
  • marking on the back: none, number, Ed. Heuer & Co., Heuer-Leonidas, S.A. or Sears, Roebuck & Co.
  • finish of the back: smoothe or matte
  • overall thickness of the plate: 3.4mm or 3.8mm

Now let's work through the chronology of the back-plates with an eye on these specifications:

  • Early Back-Plates:
    • chromium coated brass;
    • three holes for the Autavia and Auto-Rallye;
    • cut-out for crown;
    • smoothe back either has no marking (earlier) or a number (later);
    • 3.8 mm thick

  • Ed. Heuer & Co.:
    • brass plate is coated with either chromium (earlier) or profectus (later) [see the photo above or click here to see the difference in the color of these finishes];
    • two, three or four holes to attach plate to the dashboard;
    • back has smoothe finish (earlier) or brushed finish (later) and is marked Ed. Heuer & Co. Swiss;
    • 3.8 mm thick
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