The TAG Heuer Autavia, legendary driver’s chronograph from the Sixties and a beloved of collectors, makes a comeback in 2017.
Deriving its name from a contraction of AUTomobile and AVIAtion, the term Autavia is synonymous with its rotating bezel, its large counters and the exemplary legibility of its black and white. Created in 1962, this iconic model celebrates its 55th anniversary in the form of a neo-retro successor featuring updated functions and a proprietary movement.Modern yet faithful to its roots, the new generation Autavia channels the spirit of the golden age of motor racing. As innovative as the original, this contemporary model is the result of an interactive campaign called the “Autavia Cup” run in 2016.
With more imposing characteristics than its ancestor — 42 mm in diameter compared to 39 in the 1960s — with a 12-hour graduated bezel and a new Heuer-02 calibre proprietary chronograph movement, the latest generation Autavia carries the DNA and aesthetic codes of the original. Its functions are tailored to modern requirements: a self-winding calibre, power reserve of up to 80 hours, and water resistance to a depth of 100 metres. In black aluminium, the bi-directional notched bezel encircles a black dial with three white snailed counters in an optimal layout.
The Autavia’s retro look has been updated with touches of modernity, such as “Mushroom” push-pieces, a ridged crown, the Heuer logo and a distressed calfskin leather strap for a vintage feel. A contemporary twist is revealed in the addition of a date aperture and a sapphire case-back. Like the patina of a vintage watch, the luminescent coating has a beige tint, in harmony with the strap stitching.
The inscription “Heuer-02” above the date aperture references one of the major innovations of this contemporary model: its proprietary movement, the new Heuer-02 chronograph calibre with 4 Hz frequency. Just 6.9 mm thick, this self-winding movement comprises 233 components, a pillar wheel and a vertical clutch. Featuring traditional finishes visible through the sapphire case-back, this TAG Heuer proprietary mechanism offers maximum space for the counters on the dial side, resulting in a visual balance and perfect legibility.
For the purists there is a choice of wristlet: a distressed brown calfskin leather strap with ecru stitching or a Sixties-inspired 7-row steel “beads of rice” bracelet. Over 55 years, the design of this historic chronograph has undergone constant evolution in line with fashion and technological innovations. Out of respect for its ancestors, the new Autavia is much more than a replica of a retro watch. It revives the past and roots it firmly in the present.