If you piloted an airplane or drove a rally car between 1933 and 1957, you might well have used a TAG Heuer instrument as a counter as part of your dashboard. This precision piece was not only vital for competition but perhaps even survival.
After the Autavia (named as a combination of automobile and aviation) dashboard timer stopped production, then CEO, Jack Heuer, decided it was iconic enough a part of the TAG Heuer story to keep the name for a line of chronograph wristwatches launched in 1962.
This innovative timepiece somehow captured the magic of rally racing and the aviation world while also being legible in any condition. Popular among motoring enthusiasts and armed forces around the world, the Autavia enjoyed great success and a sterling reputation until production ceased in 1985.
In tribute to this heritage, TAG have re-released the Autavia and connected this history to contemporary innovation. Of course, certain original traits are carried on through including functionality and timeless style but there are also other cool elements that really tap into TAG Heuer’s stong design history. The stainless-steel Autavia 42mm three-hand models feature the rounded first-generation Autavia case and bevelled lugs from the 1960s. A bidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute scale in black ceramic, blue ceramic or stainless steel also enhances the sporty look of the watch. The XL crown takes inspiration from pilot’s watches and timers that used oversized crowns to make them easier to use while wearing gloves. The original Autavia was also known for being highly legible in any conditions, and this is also the case with the contemporary versions.
The hour markers and hour, minute and seconds hands are coated in Super-LumiNova, making it possible to read the time, even when adventure leads you into the dark. The smoked dial is available in black, grey or blue, and has a date window at 6 o’clock.
In addition to the stainless-steel Autavia three-hand models, TAG Heuer also carries two versions in bronze. The 42mm timepieces feature a fumé green or brown dial with a bidirectional rotating bezel in black or brown ceramic respectively. The model with the brown dial and brown ceramic bezel is presented on a brown leather strap, while the model with the green dial and black ceramic bezel is presented on a khaki-coloured leather strap. The caseback of these timepieces is fashioned from titanium.
Bronze is not only characteristically timeless, but the ever-changing patina naturally develops on the bronze over time based on the wearer’s activities. Almost like capturing history which is very apt.
Visit TAG Heuer’s website to view the collection.