TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer 85th Anniversary

TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer 85th Anniversary

TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer 85th Anniversary

Celebrating the 85th birthday of its legendary visionary Jack Heuer, who better for TAG Heuer to bring in to design his own tribute than the Old Man himself, reimagining his iconic, racing inspired Autavia chronograph watch from a golden age of high risk motorsport, and it's a stunner.

One of the classic sports watches of the 1960s, and derived from a pre-war cockpit timer manufactured by Jack's predecessors, the Heuer Autavia with its chronograph functions was the embodiment of racing chic when it was first introduced back in 1962, and for more than two decades it remained in production until 1986, when it was retired.

In the years since, the Autavia became a collector's favourite, its stylish good looks enduring the ravages of passing years and shifting fashions, but it was revived in early 2017 when, following an online competition where fans voted for the return of only one out of sixteen classic models, the Autavia Jochen Rindt was unveiled.

For this anniversary edition Autavia Jack Heuer, the design takes us back to his very first model and its original styling. It's encased in a 42mm case of polished stainless steel and crowned with a tactile coin edged rotating bezel, with black aluminium insert marked out in twelve hour and sixty minute scale. The crown and pushers are squat, and on the 'beads of rice' bracelet the watch retains an authentic retro cool which is faithful to the original, but tastefully and subtly evolved for modern tastes.

The Heuer branded silvered dial is configured in classic chronograph 3-6-9 layout, and its radiating brushed finish is set off by the contrast of the three snailed black subdials for the chrono counters and the small constant seconds and date, displayed at the 6. Polished hands and the applied indices on the dial are accented with Super-LumiNova, and with no other colours, the effect overall is binary, and all the better for it.

Inside, the period aesthetics are complemented by a contemporary and proprietary self winding movement. The Heuer 02 boasts seventy-five hours of power reserve from its single barrel, and features column wheel and vertical clutch chronograph mechanism. It's closed in by the polished steel caseback, which is inscribed with the Jack Heuer autograph.

The fact that the Autavia looks so good today is testament to the design of its original, and how good Jack Heuer's eye for hitting that elusive sweet spot was. And still is, because you can't really get much more authentic than a Heuer classic that's been designed by the same hand as the first one.

Fact file:

  • REFERENCE: CBE2111.BA0687
  • CASE: Stainless steel
  • SIZE: ø 42 mm
  • THICKNESS: 17.9 mm
  • DIAL: Silver with black subdials. Luminous hands and indices
  • MOVEMENT: Self-winding mechanical. Power reserve: 80 h, 28'800 vph
  • FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronograph
  • BRACELET/STRAP: Stainless steel
  • BUCKLE: Steel folding clasp