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.
In fact, we’ve seen the Heuer brand go from strength to strength, with the most recent event being the thematic ‘Heuer Parade’ auction held by Phillips in Geneva. Fresh off the sale, Heuers, in general, have entered a new era where collectors that are usually more inclined towards Daytonas and Pateks are turning their attention to the Heuer name as a legitimate blue-chip brand.
While still featuring a round case, this generation of Autavia is a later variant distinguished most easily but the switch from a screw back case in the earlier iterations to a compressor case. With thicker, blockier lugs, the Ref. 2446C has a more muscular presence as is reflective of the stylistic cues of the era.
This particular example here is a variant of the standard black 2446C, with an added complication of a second timezone. The 2446C GMT was always available alongside the time-only 2446C, from the beginning when Heuer used screw back cases, through to the 70s when they started using their automatic movements.
With an extra hand on the dial and a two-colour 24 hour ‘Pepsi’ bezel, users are able to easily tell a second timezone while travelling. This look, of the red and blue has become iconic as a travellers watch, largely due to the Rolex GMT-Master. That being said, the Autavia GMT is not far off behind as the other vintage travel watch to own.