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We've heard them referred to as "Heuer's Submariner"--not because they make for good diving watches (they don't), but because their design is just as timeless, and their functionality as a racing chronograph parallels that of the Rolex for timing dives.
The name "Autavia" comes from a combination of two words: Automotive & Aviation. Heuer originally applied the moniker to dashboard clocks and instrumentation used in automobiles and aircraft, but recycled it in the 1960s and applied it to their line of professional racing chronographs for which the name is best known.
Heuer released the Autavia in many case sizes and configurations, all made of stainless steel. The earliest models had screw case backs, unusual for racing chronographs of the period. Then, in the late 60s, Heuer shifted to a snap-back compressor case for improved water resistance.
The bezels on the Autavia are various, from minutes (favored by Formula 1 driver Jochen Rindt), MH, GMT, or tachymeter, featured here. This particular example's bezel looks like it came straight out of the factory, showing virtually no signs of wear or discoloration commonly seen in this model. The watch itself has tons of character, featuring a strong case with only light polish, and lume that has been masterfully redone by Abel Court, perhaps the foremost authority on the restoration of vintage Heuer. With its tremendous looks and robust Valjoux 72 internals, it would be a tall order to find a vintage timepiece--any vintage timepiece--that is more perfectly suited for a vintage motorsports enthusiast.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown and pushers). Heuer Reference 2446C. Valjoux 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1968.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with light polishing to the lugs, and light signs of use and wear from age and use. Dial is in great condition with crisp printing. Luminescent elements on the dial and hands have been professionally restored by Abel Court. Rotating bezel is in near mint condition with crisp printing and is devoid of the signs of wear and rubbing commonly seen on these models. Original case back and Heuer signed crown.
Includes one 20mm dark brown leather Analog/Shift strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle