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Heuer's connection with Formula 1 is long-standing, going all the way back to the foundation of Formula 1 in 1950. Drivers in teams ranging from Lotus to Maserati to Jack Heuer's favorite Ferrari wore Heuer chronographs. Some of these have entered horological history carrying the names of the drivers who wore them, an enduring testament to this fruitful relationship.
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.
Values for early Heuer chronographs (particularly manually-winding screw back Autavia models) are on the rise, and good examples are getting hard to come by. The most desirable models, the iconic Reference 2446, feature a reverse panda triple register dial layout and outer rotating bezel. They were made famous by legendary Formula 1 driver Jochen Rindt, whose wife even has a noteworthy watch of her own.
Though born in Germany, Rindt represented Austria throughout his racing career. In his short life Rindt won six Formula 1 World Championships and once at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Autavia that Rindt wore was a 3rd execution of the Reference 2446. The 3rd execution differed from the 2nd execution most notably in the markers, which in the 3rd execution have lume applied directly on them, and in the hands, which in the 3rd are plain steel. The 3rd execution was also offered with a variety of bezel inserts, with minutes (which Rindt preferred), hours (including 12 hour, featured here), and tachymeter.
This particular example is in excellent condition, featuring a strong screw-back case with defined original bevels. The dial has just the right amount of patina, testament to the years it's seen. With tremendous looks and a robust Valjoux 72 movement, we would be hard-pressed to find any vintage timepiece that's more perfectly-suited for a vintage motorsports enthusiast.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown and pushers). Heuer Reference 2446. Valjoux 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa late 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in excellent condition with sharp bevels on the case, no signs of over-polishing, and minimal signs of use and wear throughout. Rotating bezel is in excellent condition with crisp printing and only slight signs of wear. Dial is in excellent condition with a fine overall patina, particularly to the luminescent material on the hour markers and hands. Unsigned crown; Heuer case back has faint tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 19mm black leather rally style strap and two 19mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle