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The 1163MH proves that you don’t need to have a huge budget to get your hands on one of the best looking Motorsports watches out there.
Heuer produced black dial 1163s since the introduction of the Chronomatic movement, one of the worlds first automatic chronograph movements, in 1969. The dial and hands went through a few iterations over the early years of the model, ending with what you see here, the Viceroy style 1163.
This 1163MH isn’t one of the watches that were part of the Viceroy promotion, but the stories of the two go hand in hand. Heuer had a difficult time selling chronographs wristwatches in the early 1970s, and at that time still sold vastly more stopwatches than wristwatches. At the same time that Heuer struggling to sell watches, Viceroy was struggling with its cigarette business. Viceroy had already partnered with the Parnelli Jones racing team to position their brand as the sportsman’s cigarette, and they approached Heuer, the leader in track timing, to come up chronograph promotion. Heuer produced a special version of the 1163, the 1163V for the deal, and together with Viceroy, offered the watch for $88 when someone mailed in the end flap of a Viceroy cigarette carton.
So, what exactly is the difference between a Viceroy and 1163MH? The main difference is that the Viceroy has the reference number "1163V" engraved between the lugs, instead of just "1163". The 1163MH is a reference 1163 Autavia, and the MH denotes the type of bezel insert (minute/hour). There is also a 1163T, which is a reference 1163 with a tachymeter bezel.
The 1163MH and 1163T were sold in authorized dealers for $200 during the time period of the Viceroy promotion, coming in with black or white dials (the white dial is what collectors call the Siffert today). The Viceroy promotion let people buy a virtually identical copy of a $200 watch for less than half the price, and Heuer sold Viceroys in droves. Today the 1163V is the most commonly seen vintage Autavia by a large margin, making the 1163MH the more interesting black dialed Autavia to collectors. Let’s put it this way, the 1163V would be the Rolex 5513 and the 1163MH the 5512. They’re all great watches, but the 1163MH/5512 has just a little something extra.
The Viceroy watches were almost always sold with tachymeter bezels, while the 1163s sold by dealers were offered with a minute/hour bezel (MH) in addition to the tachymeter option. The MH bezel is the rarer of the two, and more highly valued today.
This 1163MH checks all the boxes. It’s a dealer model, it has an MH bezel and it’s in fantastic overall condition. This watch offer a tremendous value proposition compared to other vintage Heuers, especially compared to the Siffert, which is the same watch just in different colors. Whether you’re looking for your first Heuer or just need a black dial to round out your collection, the 1163MH is a fantastic watch.
If you’d like to learn more about the Viceroy and 1163s, visit our friends at Hodinkee HERE.
Steel case is approximately 42mm (excluding the crown). Automatic Caliber 12 Movement by Heuer. Model 1163
Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition with minimal wear. Original dial and hands in excellent condition. Original minutes/hours (MH) bezel with moderate wear near 1 o’clock.
Includes one red leather strap two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.