The beauty about being a classic watch maker is that eventually you can use yourself as your own inspiration. Call it narcissism, I call it building on a legacy. Dipping into the archives TAG Heuer is bringing back a classic with a fresh take. Reintroducing the Autavia as a stand-alone collection, the new range of models are just as versatile, rugged, and reliable as the originals from the 1960s.
Autavia derives its name from an amalgamation of ‘automobile’ and ‘aviation’ due to its origins as a dashboard instrument installed in race cars and aircraft dating back to the 1930s. This evolved into the watch from the 1960s, with all the trappings of classic sports cars of the period. The watch became a hit with racing enthusiasts and the military around the world. It’s run was a long and glorious one until production halted in the mid 80s. Until today, it’s been hard to get your hands on these classics. The seven new models were revealed at Baselworld (you can check out that feature in last month’s issue) and the details are beautiful. The stainless-steel case and bevelled lugs of the Autavia 42mm three hand models are modeled directly on the first-generation of Autavias. If you’re wondering why it has a larger that normal crown on the side, this is due to it’s pilot’s heritage. It’s much easier to wind when you have gloves on. It’s face is also highly legible for the same reason. This watch is for someone who has a job to do. The straps are, as usual, available in a variety of flavours, from different shades of brown for the leather calfskin, or my personal preference, the stainless-steel bracelet. For people picking up this model you’ll also find a NATO strap provided in the box, just in case. Swapping straps is easy, and doesn’t require a tool. Two bronze models are also available with fashioned titanium casebacks. If you’re looking for a classic that is as functional as it is stylish, we recommend you pick from the seven new Autavia’s available.