MAGNUM OPUS




The Magnum Opus -- a great work -- lug design was first introduced to the press in 1950 as part of the "Latin Series". In 1951 the Phase II was introduced and remained a strong seller for the next 35 years. This lug pattern became the top-of-the-line model and established Hetchins as a "marque of distinction". The Phase III was introduced in 1987 with the change-over to Bob Jackson Cycles and is the current style.

Sixty-six Phase Is are believed to have been built.

It is likely that there was some short period of overlap between the Ph I and Ph II models, when Hetchin used up remaining stocks of Ph I castings although the Ph II had already been introduced.

phase ii
phase iii
phase iii deluxe


Phase I



1950 Magnum Opus Phase I. Note the modest fork tang and down tube lug. Later Opuses were fancier.



1950 MO Phase I top tube lug.

1950 MO Phase I seat tube lug.



Phase II







The Phase II, with its longer tangs on the top tube, down tube, and fork crown, was notably more elegant than either the Phase I or the Magnum Bonum. The arrow shows the place where the stamped extension was brazed to the original casting. The seam was filed smooth to be invisible.



Old style bottom bracket shell, to ca. 1965
(but may appear later as well).

New style bottom bracket shell,
introduced ca. 1966.



The MO II is probably the most sought model by collectors, and is the one most cyclists associate with 'the Hetchins look.'

Click here for more on the Magnum Opus Ph II design.

Phase III




The Phase II had been based on cast lugs with added tangs; when castings became unavailable in the mid 1980s, Hetchins developed the Phase III series based on industry-standard long-point pressed-steel lug blanks. These blanks were modified by drilling, windowing, slashing, splitting, and adding tangs, thus continuing techniques used on earlier models (such as the Swallow and Keyhole designs from the 1960s & 70s).

The basic fleur-de-lis pattern was carried over from the Phase II. Compared to the Phase II, the Phase III lugs are simpler along the sides of the top and head tubes, but note the extra tang extending below the seat lug; also the tang behind the headset bearing is longer.



Slashes in the head lugs, and split points underneath, are typical of the MO III.


Typical MO III
head tubes.



MO bottom brackets show many variations from 1987 to the present.



Phase III deluxe



The Phase III deluxe can be recognized by the extra cauliflowery lug points on the side of the down tube and on the head tube compared to Phase I, Phase II, and the standard Phase III. There is also a tang extending underneath the down tube (see right).



MO II seat lug.

MO III deluxe seat lug.


phase i
phase ii
phase iii


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