In celebration of Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday on November 17, TAG Heuer has just announced an all-new Autavia chronograph ($5,900) headed to market in a modest production run of 1,932 pieces (the year of his birth). Between the rousing success of the latest Autavia reissue unveiled this past spring and the significant gains in the vintage Heuer chronograph market we’ve been tracking over the last couple of years, this release is a clever move on TAG’s part.
Though the new release is scheduled to hit retailers on—you guessed it—November 17, serial #001 is slated to be auctioned off as part of the Heuer Parade auction being held by Phillips in Geneva November 11. Listed as the final lot, the piece will be sold alongside 41 vintage Heuer chronographs from the ’60s and ’70s—the true glory days of Jack Heuer’s legacy.
Looking back at the new watch itself, the design is a blend of the reference 2446 Autavia “Rindt” in case design and subdial layout, combined with the later reference 1163T Autavia “Siffert” in its black-on-gray panda-dial coloration. The piece will be 42 mm in diameter, as its casing will be identical to the non-limited edition from earlier in the year. The same Heuer-02 self-winding caliber will be employed in this model, as well, featuring a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, a date indication at 6 o’clock, and a power reserve of 80 hours.
Though much of TAG Heuer’s core collection struggles to grab our interest, we continue to be impressed by the company’s focus on maintaining ties with its heritage through creations like this one. While some in the industry have grown weary of brands continuously digging into their archives for inspiration, the tale is a bit different at TAG. Its history had a significant impact on the development of the modern chronographs, and brands of all shapes and sizes continue to reference Heuer as one of the few labels that have shaped the design codes of the era.
Happy Birthday, Jack, and here’s to many more.