The Heuer Autavia really needs no introduction. What was once seen as a cheap sports chronograph has, in the last 18 months become one of the hottest and most in-demand vintage watch in the market.
The Autavia was released in 1962 under the new management of Jack Heuer, where the name was an amalgamation of the words ‘Automotive’ and ‘Aviation’. This was the first line that Jack Heuer released, even before the famed Carrera line, placing significance on the Autavia as the model that marked a new chapter for Heuer.
This example is a much later version of the Autavia, the Ref 11063V. Around the 70’s when Heuer introduced their self-winding chronograph calibres, they swapped from their round compressor cases into this larger oval-shaped case. Much heftier and more 70’s in their styling, the cases featured brushed finished on the top and thick chamfers. Not to be confused with the 1163 Viceroy model, this is a later and rarer variant upgraded with a mineral glass.
A bit of history about the movement, in the late 60’s, while man was racing into space, watch brands were racing to create the first automatic chronograph movement. The main rivalry was between Zenith, who we now know produced the famous El Primero, Seiko and a consortium led by Heuer, Dubois-Depraz, Buren and Breitling. Dubbed in secrecy as Project 99, this group of movement and watchmakers were developing their chronomatic movement and while debates rage on as to who really was the first to create an automatic chronograph, all brands mentioned above certainly deserves a place in watchmaking history.
With such an iconic movement, Heuer used this for all of their chronographs thereafter, including this 11063 which is powered by the Calibre 12, with its unique feature being the winding crown that is located on the left of the case rather than the right.
Overall, this is unapologetically a watch of the era and an iconic model for Heuer. At 14.6mm in thickness and 42mm in diameter together with red accents, this is a watch with huge presence, even by modern standards!