Book Review-Heuer Superstars

Heuer Superstars is a self-published book by Richard Crosthwaite with images by Paul Gavin. Mr. Crosthwaite is a well-known figure in the vintage Heuer collecting community who runs the websites Vintage Heuer Price Guide and Universal Geneve Compax Price Guide and also is a Heuer dealer under another website called Heuer Central. I try to take whatever dealers say with a grain of salt since they stand to profit off of the information that is provided. However, my overall impression of Heuer Superstars is that it is a reliable source of information.

The book itself is part of a series. The other three books focus on vintage Autavia, Carrera, and Monaco respectively. Heuer Superstars is meant as a highlight reel, presenting some rare and interesting examples from each of those categories. It is 118 pages long with the section on the Monaco being the shortest, with the Carrera chapter about twice the length, and the Autavia chapter about 50% longer than the Carrera.

Each chapter begins with a brief, one page summary of the category. Important examples of watches are then presented in roughly chronological order with a half page summary and half page picture followed by a straight on picture of the watch, a two page “centerfold” macro shot of the dial, and sometimes an additional picture of the caseback and movement. The half page summary is systematic and presents the case size, movement, dates, serial number range, rarity, and some notes. The rapid fire format lacks a narrative thread to tie the examples together and can feel disjointed at times. There is no question though that the photography is top notch and the descriptions, brief as they are, remain carefully researched. The overall feeling of the book reminds me of a glossy auction catalogue with brief notes on each watch followed by pictures.

I am a beginner when it comes to vintage Heuer. I purchased this book with the idea that it might be a good introduction that would help me appreciate this important collecting area. The lack of a narrative thread and the brevity of the notes on the various references precluded me from accomplishing this goal. I think that Heuer Superstars is meant more as a summary of the highlights after already obtaining background information from the other books in the series. Like a high school student reading Cliff’s Notes instead of the assigned book, I felt that I got enough information to fake a superficial understanding of the topic. I think in retrospect I would have started with one of the other books. However, for a more advanced collector who is looking at specific rare references and desires a high quality photographic guide without too much fluff, this book would be a valuable resource. It is available on Blurb.com for $214.