Heuer in the 20th century was a true tool watchmaker. There was no luxury or pretence, a company purely devoted to created wristwatches that assisted its user with whatever activity or sport they took part in. While it is true that their main interest was in motorsports, they also created models for adventurers and outdoorsmen.
This variation on the 2446C Autavia is exactly that. Modified from a standard Autavia chronograph to include a tide indicator at the 9 o’clock subdial. Not only made for seamen but also for hunters, it was used for few reasons. From fishermen needing to know low and high tides to hunters who used it to figure out when it was a favourable time to hunt based on feeding times, what is seemingly a useless complication for the 21st century, was actually sold at sporting shops with a legitimate purpose.
Most famously, Abercrombie and Fitch, which were a sporting goods store back in the day (not a topless model, cheap fashion brand like today), commissioned Heuer to produce their version, called the ‘Seafarer’. Heuer also produced their own branded tide indicator watches called the ‘Mareograph’, while the example you see here today was commissioned by a lesser-known sporting goods shop called ‘Orvis’, who named their iteration the ‘Solunagraph’. All three versions were exactly the same, just branded differently.
Sized at 40mm with its black aluminium bezel, it wears incredibly well on the wrist and has a great presence. The fluted chronograph pushers and additional tide indicator pusher at 9 o’clock adds a nice charm to the overall aesthetic of the watch together with the slate grey dial, which was quite unusual for sports chronographs back then.
As these were very specialised watches, they are incredibly rare and as a result is in high demand today from collectors. These are perhaps some of the rarest Autavias out there and with the added unusualness of a tide indicator and the unique blue accents and graphics on the dial, the Solunagraph has become a grail for many Heuer collectors.