17th November 2017 marks the 85th birthday of Jack Heuer. To celebrate this, TAG Heuer is launching a limited edition of the Autavia. Jack created the original Autavia in 1962 and was at the TAG Heuer workshops to share his expertise and make his mark on the model.
Heuer Autavia Historical roots
It was in 1944 when Heuer designed the first dash counter for racing cars and aircraft: the Autavia chronograph. The name is the contraction of AUTomibile and AVIAtion.
Three decades later, in 1962, Jack Heuer, the fourth generation head of the compamy, created his first wrist sports chronograph. He designed the signature rotating bezel into the then new watch, and the Autavia name was reborn. It remained in the catalog until 1968, and remained as a very sought after chronograph.
Prices have been steadily rising over the last years.
The first reissue of the Autavia was presented at Baselworld 2017, following the “Autavia Cup”. From a selection of 16 vintage models, over 50,000 web users voted for their preferred reissue. It was the Autavia Rindt, worn by legendary F1 driver Jochen Rindt, which won the most votes. And this year, the latest reissue, the Autavia Jack Heuer 2.
The new watch is a tribute to Jack Heuer, the brand’s Honorary President, and will be limited to 1932 pieces in reference to Jack;s year of birth. No 1/1932 will be part of the exceptional timepieces at the auction “Heuer Parade” organised by Phillips on the 11th of November in Geneva.
The new watch will feature a 42mm case diameter compared to the 30mm of the 1960s edition. The 12-hour graduated bezel and a new Heuer-02 calibre proprietary chronograph movement is used in the watch. The latest Autavia, however continues to carry the Autavia DNA and aestetic codes of the original, just updated for today’s market.
The power reserve is 80 hours, and a date at 6 o’clock completes the dial with 3 black sub-dials on a silver dial. A black aluminium bi-directional notched bezel is fitted on the case which is water resistant to 100m. The hands and applique indices are in steel with beige SuperLuminova.
The dial is in a neo-retro style which encompasses the minute track subdivisions, employing the “1/3-2/3” ergonomic rule of the era created by Jack Heuer to enhance legibility and accuracy.
The pushers are what is known by the collector community as mushroom pushers, with a cap over the push button giving that impression. The crown is ridged and is embossed with the Heuer logo. A steel bracelet with small interlinks, known as “grains of rice” completes the vintage look.
“The story of the Autavia is a rich drama, full of twists and turns. It is one of my proudest achievements to have successfully converted chronographs into the Autavia wristwatch in 1962, so this collection has a special place in my heart: It was the very first timepiece that I designed, and today I am proud to present the last watch that I have created!”
TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer 2 Specifications
Price: S$8,100 incl GST
Reference CBE 2111.BA0687
Movement Heuer 02 Manufacture – automatic chronograph with date
Power reserve 80 hours
Case Diameter 42 mm – in polished steel
Polished steel horns with 2 facets
Notched black aluminium bezel with hour gradations, bidirectional rotation
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with double anti-reflection coating and fluted steel crown
Polished steel mushroom push buttons
Steel back with alternative finish, and special engraving
Dial Silver sunray – Date window at 6 o’clock
3 black snailed counters
– Chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock
– Chronograph hour counter at 9 o’clock
– Small second counter at 6 o’clock
Rhodium-plated applique indices, with polished and satin-finished top,
with white SuperLuminovaTM highlights
Rhodium-plated hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminovaTM
Rhodium-plated chronograph seconds hand
“Heuer” logo and “AUTAVIA” inscription at 12 o’clock, “HEUER-02” inscription at 6 o’clock
Water-resistance 100 metres
Bracelet 7-row bracelet in polished steel and polished ardillon buckle with Heuer logo