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Why We Love It
The 1960s and 1970s are commonly regarded as the golden age of sports car racing. Sex was safe and racing was dangerous. Limits were pushed, records set and demolished, lives lost. Legends were born on the race track- names like Jim Clark, Graham Hill, & Jo Siffert.
Chronograph wrist watches were an essential piece of kit for these men, and the Heuer Autavia was worn by many of the great drivers of the day. This was due in no small part to Siffert, a Swiss race car driver and friend of Jack Heuer's, who became the de facto brand ambassador, hocking watches for Jack between races and off-season to his fellow drivers. Jo Siffert was known to be particularly affectionate towards the cushion-cased Autavia with the white and black 'panda' dial configuration, and it is from his association that these beautiful pieces got their nickname.
For many collectors, the “Jo Siffert” Autavia Reference 1163 is the Autavia to own. Aesthetically and technically, it has it all. It combines the game-changing Chronomatic movement with a cushion case that’s eminently comfortable on the wrist, as well as a sprightly color way marked by the bright blue of the chronograph hand.
With its razor sharp factory-finish edges, this Mark 2 Jo Siffert features a decimal minutes bezel, Gay Freres rice bead bracelet with signed clasp and legendary Calibre 11 automatic-winding chronograph movement. It also comes complete with a correct red 'checkered flag' Heuer box and original paper set. Perhaps most excitingly, this particular example features provenance from the hit television show 'Pawn Stars' when it was sold to the famed Las Vegas shop on screen. Purchased directly from the collector who acquired it from the Pawn Stars themselves, this stunning Autavia is a time capsule from an age of bold style and daring drivers - with a little modern pop culture hype to boot!
A year after joining the company, Jack Heuer found himself in the cockpit of a racing car as navigator. On the dashboard was one of his family’s dashboard clocks—an Autavia. However, the dial of the Autavia proved hard to read in the bone-shaking interior of a rally car, and he misread the dial by a minute. Infuriated, Jack set about to make the Autavia easier to read, giving it a large central minute hand.
Four years later, when Jack assumed the reins of the company, he saw the potential for the Autavia to move from the dashboard to the wrist. Jack Heuer’s Autavia was the first line of chronographs produced by Heuer to bear a model name. At the time of its introduction, there wasn’t a wrist chronograph in existence that had automotive racing as its sole genesis (the Rolex Daytona being a year from birth).
It soon attracted the attention of Formula 1 racers, a relationship which Heuer cultivated. He became a fixture in the pits at the major race courses of the world. In 1969, he would befriend a driver who’d become Heuer’s first brand ambassador—Jo Siffert, who was given an automatic version of the Autavia with a distinctive cushion case.
Siffert was an early enthusiast of this new model of Autavia with its cushion case design, and would often try to persuade fellow drivers to buy one while they were on the racing grid.
Stainless steel cushion case is approximately 42mm (excluding the crown). Heuer Reference 1163. Calibre 11 Automatic-winding chronograph movement by Heuer. Circa 1972.
Overall Condition: The case is in spectacular condition showing factory finishing, no signs of polish and light signs of wear from handling. Luminous 'panda' dial is in excellent condition. Luminous handset is in similarly excellent condition. Signed crown.
Includes stainless steel Gay Freres "Beads of Rice" bracelet with HLD end links and signed clasp. Also includes inner box and paper set.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options