In celebration of Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday, TAG Heuer has put together a limited edition Autavia, based on the Heuer 02 “Rindt” remake unveiled earlier in the year. Designed by Jack Heuer himself, the birthday edition is limited to 1932 watches, a reference to his birth year.
While Jack Heuer’s name is on the door so to speak, the Heuer family no longer owns a stake in its namesake firm, and instead Jack Heuer serves as a spiritual ambassador for the watchmaker. When he went to work at Heuer, however, the family still owned the company, and it was then that the Autavia chronograph first hit the market.
In fact, the Autavia was the first watch introduced by Jack Heuer when he joined Ed. Heuer & Cie. in 1962, some 29 years after the Autavia name made its debut as a dashboard timer for automobiles. While Carrera and Monaco models may have their adherents and associations with motor-racing, it was the Autavia that was most often worn by Formula One drivers in the two decades after its launch.
The Autavia not only preceded its siblings in the Heuer line-up, but also outlasted them, remaining in the catalogue until Heuer was purchased by TAG in 1985. More recently, first-generation Autavias have been steadily rising in value, perhaps going even higher at the thematic Heuer auction later this month, to which TAG Heuer has donated the first example, numbered “1/1932”, of the new Autavia Jack Heuer.
Like other historical remake watches, the Jack Heuer edition hasn’t escaped the tweaks and twiddles necessary for millennial appeal. The case is identical to that on the standard model, having been bulked up by 3mm compared to the vintage original, making it 42mm, and also fitted with a wider and thicker bezel. And like many contemporary watches, it has a date at six o’clock.
What sets the Autavia Jack Heuer apart from the standard model is the classic “panda” dial, with black counters against a silver sunray-brushed dial. And the watch is also rid of the faux vintage lume found on the Autavia “Rindt” remake, which actually heightens its appeal, since nothing seems forced or artificial. And the Jack Heuer model also features a bidirectional hour and minute scale bezel – an element drawn from third-generation Autavias – as opposed to the 12-hour scale found in the stock model.
The Jack Heuer Limited Edition is powered by the same in-house cal. Heuer 02, an automatic column wheel chronograph movement with a vertical clutch and an 80-hour power reserve. While the “Rindt” edition had an exhibition caseback, the Jack Heuer version features a solid one engraved with Mr Heuer’s signature as well as his family crest.
The watch is fitted with a “beads of rice” bracelet that’s modelled on the vintage bracelets made by Gay Freres found on 1960s Autavias.
Price and availability
The Autavia Jack Heuer (ref. CBE 2111.BA0687) is priced at US$5900 or S$8100. That’s less than 10% over the regular version of the Autavia.
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