The Monochromes and the Exotics
During the lifespan of the Camaro there are two distinct variations on theme and design which can broadly be described as the earlier 'monochromes' which consisted purely of black and white/greyscale features and the later 'exotics' which introduced an element of colour and a greater variation of design. Each of these types can be attributed approximately to the production periods of the late 1960s (1968-1970) and the early 1970s (1970-1972) respectively.
As with a many models produced by Heuer, there is an amount of variation across the board and there will always be some examples that blur the lines.
Features of the Camaro
- The most easily-identifiable feature of a Camaro is the square-shaped 'cushion' case. Because of this shape the Camaro is often compared to the very square Heuer Monaco, although it actually has far more in common with the Heuer Carrera, sharing similar proportions and design features, particularly within the earlier monochrome models.
- The case has the recognisable Heuer 'starburst' brushed finish around the dial, with angled polished bevels on the outside edge. It is always stainless steel, gold plated or 18k gold (7228 only). There are some other brands with a similar case design that are chrome plated; these are not to be confused with an original Camaro case.
- For virtually all Camaro versions the model number is stamped on the bottom end of the case between the lugs and the 6-digit serial number is stamped on the top end. The exceptions to this are the very earliest 7220s and the 9220s as a whole, each of which have no model number stamped and just a 5 or 6-digit serial stamped on the bottom end.
- The crown should be signed Heuer. If it is plain it has likely been changed at some point in it's life.
- Pushers will be round and smooth in early models and fluted in later models.
- The different movements used in the Camaro (see bottom of page) required the pushers to be spaced differently. Adjacent we have the Valjoux 72, 92 and 7734. Note the characteristic V72 asymmetrical spacing, where the bottom pusher is noticeably further from the crown (and closer to the bottom corner of the case) than the top pusher. This quirk is useful when identifying Camaros that are of similar design, such as the 7220 NT (Third) and the 73643 NT for example.
- Although Camaros came in an array of different colours and styles, the basic dials were Silver or Noir with or without a 60-300 Tachymeter ring. The exception to these were the gold-cased Camaros, some of which had a Champagne/Gold dial.
- Noir in particular took on a slightly different meaning throughout production, being referred to by Heuer as 'Charcoal' initially and then 'Black' later. Commonly otherwise, they have been referred to as brown, chocolate, anthracite or grey but in virtually all cases are perceived to be more a brown than a black. For some time it was believed this was due to natural factors such as sunlight (as attributed to other Heuer models) however it is now believed this is the original factory colour.
- The Silver dials were officially referred to as 'White 'or 'Silver' throughout the timeline. Although the title varied, the actual dial colour appears to be identical throughout.
- Where Tachymeter rings are present they are of the same colour as the dial on all the monochrome Camaros. This continues throughout the exotic range for the Noir dials, although the text is often orange/red on these later models. The exotic Silver/White dialed models display grey tachymeter rings, which match the sub-dial colour.
- The 'U 'of HEUER within the shield on the dial is slightly off-centre to the left. This is the same for every Camaro model except the 7220SN.
- Above the shield should be the name 'Camaro'. If it doesn't say Camaro, it isn't a Camaro!
- Hands came in 3 forms:
1 plain polished (first execution)
2 3 4 & 5 black stripe (second execution)
6 & 7 white or black edged (third execution), opposing the dial colour.
- Dial markers were in 4 forms:
1 plain (first execution)
2 & 3 white or black short stripes-(second execution)
4 & 5 white or black full-length stripes (third execution)
6 & 7 white or black full-length double 'tramline' stripes (fourth execution)
(The stripes are the opposite of the dial colour.)
The gold models spanned most of the Camaro timeline so followed the patterns of their steel counterparts, displaying each of the variations except third execution markers. To match the accompanying gold features, the markers and hands were gold-plated instead of stainless steel.
As with most Heuer models of the period, the various hand types were not always fitted to the 'matching' dial markers and we see many crossovers within the range as a whole.
- The distance between the lugs on the Camaro is 19mm, which is less usual but still similar to it's 1960's Autavia companions. It was offered as standard on a racing-style strap made of Corfam (a synthetic leather substitute) or the choice to upgrade to the graceful Gay Frères double 'beads of rice' bracelet (never the single 'beads of rice'). The correct end-links to connect the watch and bracelet are referenced 'HLA'.
- The movements used throughout Camaro production were solely made by Valjoux.
- In the monochrome models we find the Valjoux 72 (3 register), 92 (2 register), 7730 (later 2 register) and 7732 (2 register with date).
- In the exotic models, these movements were 'upgraded' to the Valjoux 7736 (3 register), 7733 (2 register) and 7734 (2 register with date).