I always called the countdown cutouts with a colored disc rotating under it “5 dots”, named from the dots were drilled in the dial. You will find on other sides and on one or two advertisements the expression “balls”. So lets keep the first thought I had and call them 5 dots!
1960´s – the Felsa 4000N movement and the first Heuer 5 dots Regate
The grandmother of the 5 dots is the Aquastar Regate with the Felsa 4000N movement. It is modified with a special drive wheel for the colordisc.
We knowing 2 executions of this first Aquastar Regate.
1st Execution: container case
Isn´t that cool? You always have to learn. Last month Pete showed me the part of the Aquastar Regate from his book, that will be available soon and I helped with some pics. And I was really astonished that there is a 1st execution with a container case like we seen on the later execution c-shape case. Crazy. OK, I never had one in my hand but you can see it on a little cut on the case next to the pusher and the plain caseback with no Aquastar star-pattern. There are drilled holes over 6 and under 12, it seems that there are for fixing the movement with a screw.
Another difference is the little smaller case then the 2nd has and inside on the rotor of the movement it is an engraving of “Aquastar Watch Co” on the rotor.
The first is quite rare and we have seen less then 10 pieces.
Big thanks to Pete for figure out that while writing his Aquastar book and thanks to vegabain Juan and Kurt and his daughter for the ultracool pics.
2nd Execution: standard diver case
The 2nd exec is a screwback case, needs a special case opener with the star layout to open it without scratches. There are 2 different cases known, with same size but little bit different lug thicknesses. We need to research that deeper, I can not say if it´s depending on the serial which case was used.
All about the special equipped Felsa 4000N movement you can see here on Richards website.
Aquastar Regate (Felsa 4000N)
credit: Richard Askham
This watch was branded with the Heuershield too, starting with the partnership from Heuer with Aquastar in the middle of the 60´s.
Since then Heuer sells 5 dots Regatta-watches under his brand, all produced by Aquastar and later with using the Autavia-Cases by their own production.
Aquastar Regate Heuer – the fist Heuer 5 dots
credit: Jeff Stein | onthedash.com
And Heuer starts the marketing for that Aquastar Regate, labeled with the Heuershield.
credit: onthedash.com, Jeff Stein
The Heuer Aquastar Regate “INTREPID”
More to read?
Additional informations you find in the link-section on the right. Richard Askham shows the working of the Felsa 4000N and the movement details of the Heuer Regatta on his blog very well. And of course have a look at Marks very large collection of pics and descriptions of different labels like Pirelli etc on these early Regate and the later Aquastar executions.