Hetchins production falls into the following periods:
Pre-War Tottenham, from 1934
Post-War Tottenham, until 1974
Southend-On-Sea, 1974 to April 1986
Modern Period:
Bob Jackson (Leeds), from May 1986 to 1993
David Miller, 1993 to present

Hyman Hetchin offered a large number of models over the years and the differences among them easily escape the untrained eye. Generally speaking, a model type is based on two factors: frame geometry and lug pattern. Almost any combination of lug pattern and geometry could be ordered. The catalog page below from before the introduction of Latin Series in 1949 is typical of Hetchin's offerings from the 1930s up to the 1960s. It lists a number of frame types or geometries: light tourist No. 1, road racing No. 2, Road Racing Nos. 3 and 3A, Road Racing No.4, Road Racing No.6 (replica of "Tour of Britain"), Path Model No.10, Circuit of Britain, etc. They were distinguished by various head and seat tube angles, bottom bracket heights, and so on. The Type 14 featured a fluted seat tube, know as the Six_Day model. All were available with curly or orthodox stays. A page from the catalog (below) lists the various geometries (head and seat tube angles, bracket heights).

Click here for a pdf file of the various frame geometries.

Prior to the introduction of the Latin Series (1949), most would have had Chater Lea Brilliant lugs or some modification thereof. From 1949 the following lug patterns were offered (available with any of the above geometries): Vade Mecum, Experto Crede, Nulli Secundus, Magnum Bonum, Magnum Opus, and Brilliant. Deluxe models usually had tangs added, for example to the brake bridge &/or bottom bracket shell, and extra chrome.

The choice of geometry was dictated by the rider's dimensions, and where and how he intended to ride (path, track, road racing, touring, etc.). The choice of lugs was dictated by the dimensions of the customer's wallet (or ego).

The 1960s Mountain King and Plus models were offered as set packages (a fixed geometry and lug pattern). The Six-Day model was a racing machine characterized by a fluted seat tube (for short wheelbase) and could be ordered with any lug set.

The Trio featured a patented dual-slotted rear dropout and was offered with two forks, for road, path, and track use, giving different wheelbases depending on which fork and dropout slot were used.

For other model specs, such as the Toni Merkens and Massed Start models, see below:

The following table of models was compiled by Len Ingram based on catalogs in his possession. Catalogs are extant for the following years: 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1946, ca. 1950, 1951, ca. 1953, ca. 1956, ca. 1960, ca. 1962, ca. 1964, 1985, and 1987. Dates in the right column indicate that the model was mentioned in the catalog of the year(s) given. However, frames are known which pre-date catalog entries. Some models continued to be produced after they no longer appeared in the catalog. Some models never appeared in any catalog.


catalog year

Brilliant No.1, No.2

1935 - 1940

Superbe Road


De Luxe




Ladies De Luxe


Ideal No. 1 Tandem


De Luxe Tandem


Brilliant Tandem


Road or Path

1937 - 1940


1937 - 1940

Super Sprinter

1937 - 1940



Upright Tandem

1937 - 1940

Olympic Tandem


Brilliant No. 3

1938 - 1940

Tour De France

1938 - 1940

Toni Merkens

1938 - 1950

Short w/b Tandem

1938 - 1940

Super Brilliant




Road or Path

1940 - 1950

Super Special

1946 - 1950

Massed Start No. 1


Massed Start No. 2


Massed Start No. 3


Super Massed Start


Nulli Secundus

1950 - 1964

Magnum Opus Mk (I), II

(1950) 1951 - 1986

Experto Crede

1950 - 1964

Magnum Bonum

1951 - 1964

Vade Mecum

1953 - 1964

The Plus

1960 - 1964

Mountain King

1962 - 1964


1960 (catalog)
1953 (actual production)
- 1962

Track Supreme

1962 - 1964


1964 - mid 1970s

Mountain King De Luxe

1964 - ?

Vade Mecum I

1964 - ?

Vade Mecum II

1964 - ?

Vade Mecum III

1964 - ?


1960 ? - ? *

Keyhole (KH Spade)

1970 ? - ? *

Magnum Bonum Spyder

1984 ? - 1986 ? *

Novus Ductor

1985, 1987 - present

Scorpion Bonum

1985, 1987 - present

Magnum Opus Mk III

1985, 1987 - present

Italia (reintroduced)

1994 - 1995 *

Mag. Opus Millennium

2000 *

Mag. Opus Ultralite

2005 - ca. 2008 *

Stainless Steel

2019 *


  *  production years,
  but no catalog listing

There was a long gap in catalogs from 1964 to 1985. During this gap, 'the customer got what he wanted' was Alf's motto. Any of the Latin Series models could be ordered, as well as any of the models introduced in the 1960s, Swallow/Spyder, Mountain King, Italia, Keyhole, and so on, some of which were never listed in a catalog. In 1985, a new catalog was issued with a greatly reduced number of models: Novus Ductor, Scorpion Bonum, and Magnum Opus. Jackson Cycles produced another catalog in 1987; it featured slightly re-designed versions of the same three models. These three models are still available.

In addition, about 12 Magnum Bonum Spyders were produced in 1984 - 1986, though they were not listed in the catalog. About six Italias were produced in the 1990s, also not listed in any catalog.

Click here for Quick Model Identifier.

Below, front to back: Six-Day track iron, Trio, Circuit of Britain.

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