This Heuer Autavia has cool by the bucketful, and is a very handsome piece. Model reference 1163T
HOW DO WE DATE THIS WATCH?
The Autavia was launched in 1969 with the calibre 11 movement, which claims some right to be considered the first automatic chronograph movement (disputed by both Seiko with the 6139 and Zenith with the El Primero). The model was phased out by 1972, and by then these were offered at a discount if you bought a carton of Viceroy cigarettes – hence the nickname. We have found a copy of that advert and that was published in 1971. The short model life was partly due to the increase in cheaper movements becoming available, and this watch also has the later calibre 12 (slightly higher beat rate) rather than the calibre 11. This has to be from circa 1971.
Please pass us a time machine and we will buy all of these at $88! Then again we have also seen vintage adverts with dealers refusing to take Rolex Daytona’s, as they couldn’t sell them! Fashions change of course, but with the benefit of hindsight this watch should have been more of a success than it was. The real trendsetters would have been looking at quartz watches in 1971, and this is a big watch on todays larger by average wrists, so it was more a case of right product for the wrong time. The target markets for this watch was AUTomotive and AVIAtion, hence AUTAVIA branding.
This is in good shape. The Schmitz built case still has visible grain showing on the top, and the original crown fitted. You can tell it is Schmitz case as the pushers have cut outs at the top, but not the bottom, and they have a thicker case but thinner case back. There were lots of variations of the models, and On The Dash has a good breakdown of what to look for. The case has some small marks, but that is being picky really – like looking at a 1971 Ferrari Daytona and noticing stone chips! The dial is original, as are the hands, and both are good. The unidirectional tachymeter bezel is overall good with just small marks, the most noticeable at 63. The automatic movement is all working nicely, with the chrono hands snapping back perfectly. The leather strap is new, and could be swapped for a different colour if preferred. The buckle is a modern one from the reissued Heuer models, but better than just a plain buckle.
This watch will be supplied with our branded presentation box and our Certificate of Authenticity.
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Width with crown 45.3 mm
Width without crown 42.3 mm
Between lugs 20 mm
Lug to lug length 47.4 mm
Case Thickness 16.2 mm
All sizes are approximate.
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