03 Sep Speed And Longevity: Limited Edition TAG Heuer Autavia Sets
Whether you are a watch collector, a car racing enthusiast, or simply a fan of iconic style, you may find yourself mounting a horological hunt for the limited edition Tag Heuer Autavia sets. Tag Heuer is world-renowned for its intimate relationship with car racing culture, while the Autavia has a fascinating history, having swung in and out of production over a substantial portion of the brand’s history. Now with three re-editions under its belt, the Autavia has finally become a continuing line, as many argue it always should have been – in excellent company alongside the Carrera and Monaco.
For particular fans of the Autavia, perhaps one of the most desirable releases within its meandering legacy can be found in the Tag Heuer Autavia sets released in 2003 – marking 70 years of the Autavia name. Two sets were created, and each was highly exclusive, with only 70 produced in each variation. For enthusiasts keen on the world of high speed, or perhaps simply the Tag Heuer brand’s trajectory, these are treasures indeed.
A Legacy Brand, And Artistry In The Autavia
The brand as we know it began, in fact, as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG, in 1860s Switzerland. Edouard Heuer was the visionary behind the St-Imier watch manufacturer, and his creation was certainly destined for greatness. In 1882, Heuer patented his first chronograph, beginning a tradition that would become synonymous with the Heuer name. Moving forward to 1911, we arrive at the moment in which the brand’s association with speed would be cemented. Heuer patented the first-ever dashboard chronograph, which was called “Time Of Trip.” Designed for both aviation and automotive mountings, the chronograph displayed both the current time of day and journey time, for convenient and accurate reference under exhilarating circumstances.
Only two years later, Heuer would release its first wristwatch chronograph. And thus, the legacy was in place that would lead the brand forwards towards the double sets that many aim to seek out today. The Autavia itself would be realized in its first iteration in 1933, as a dashboard timer. The name itself was inspired by its intended fields of use, borrowing the “aut” from automotive, and “avia” from aviation. To frame the 2003 sets yet more romantically, it’s pleasing to know that this very first Autavia was also sold as a set – in this case paired with the Hervue, a clock that ran for eight days without winding.
The Autavia name would first be applied to a wristwatch in 1962, with a manual-wind model featuring a black dial and white registers. In 1969, the first automatic Autavia with the much-celebrated Caliber 11 movement would arrive. Many Heuer aficionados will note that these models featuring the crown on the left-hand side of the case was a deviation in design, while the pushers for the chronograph remained on the right. These early Caliber 11 chronographs were known as “Chrono-Matic,” in perfect step with the tech-innovation enthusiasm of the era.
Two Models, And Two Collectible Sets
Moving forward through time once again, we can pause briefly in 1985, when the Heuer brand was bought by TAG group, creating Tag Heuer as it was destined to become. Next, we can arrive at the 2003 release of these two exquisite limited edition Autavia sets. Each serves to resurrect a particularly adored model from the 1970s collection, while striking an elegant balance between capturing the iconic aesthetic of the original, and introducing a contemporary sense of style for the next generation.
#CY2111 Tag Heuer Autavia Caliber 11 Watch And Dashboard Set
The ref #CY2111 Autavia Caliber 11 watch and dashboard set, features a so-called “panda“ dial with orange accents. This pays tribute to the beloved “Orange Boy” Autavia ref #1163. Having gained its nickname within the realm of horology collectors, this example of 1970s aesthetic once again echoes the vibrant and forward-looking style of the decade. Of the original 70s era examples, only around 30 “Orange Boy”s are known to be in existence. Meanwhile, the 2003 set is also in short supply, with only 70 having ever been released.
Those who claim this prize can enjoy an Autavia wristwatch with a black dial, applied markers, and silver sub-dials, set off excellently by the vibrant shade of orange. The case is, as the Heuer community would describe, “C shape.” The watch comes on a stainless steel Tag Heuer bracelet with a push-button deployant buckle. Making a show of its exclusive nature, collectors can discover the dashboard timer’s credentials on its case back, where “Tag Heuer Autavia Limited Edition XX/70, TY3110, 70th Anniversary” can be read. Meanwhile, the watch box contains a plaque with matching accreditation.
#CY2110 Tag Autavia Siffert Blue Caliber 11 Watch And Dashboard Set
The second of our two treasures is the ref #CY2110 Autavia Siffert Blue Caliber 11 watch and dashboard set. This time, the cap is doffed to the Autavia worn by legendary Swiss Formula One race car driver Joe Siffert in the 1970s. Siffert selected an Autavia with blue highlights, and in doing so, attached his name for time immemorial to this particular Tag Heuer color scheme. This limited edition set of wristwatch and dashboard timer delicately mirrors the original Autavia, as worn by Siffert himself, while – just as to be found in the other 2003 set – particular modern distinctions can be enjoyed.
The bracelet embodies a beautiful contemporary update to the ever-classic “grains of rice” structure. The pushers are re-imagined, the tachometer’s incorporation made more refined, and – of course – the brand signature now reads Tag Heuer, rather than simply Heuer. This limited anniversary edition set of the Autavia watch and dashboard set is undoubtedly a collectible that will continue to reward pursuers for many years to come.