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It seems as if everyone is after a vintage Heuer these days, and the majority are looking for Autavias. It’s easy to see why, since they’re the archetype of 60s and 70s motor sports watches. They have large cases, handsome dials and excellent movements. During the golden age of sports car racing, a chronograph watch was an essential piece of kit, and many of the racing greats had a Heuer strapped to their wrist. How can anyone not love them today?
If you’re at all tuned into the Heuer world, you’re probably as shocked as we are about the incredible rise in value of manually-wound early Autavias. A few years ago, everyone wanted Sifferts, Viceroys and GMTs, but it seems like early 2446s are the new top dog. Manually-wound Autavias are all the rage, and with gorgeous inverse panda dials, black bezels, beveled lugs, and Valjoux 72 movements, it should come as no surprise. One of the best features of the compressor cases is its svetle profile, letting it easily slip under a cuff, and that's not easy to find in a 40mm chronograph.
The name "Autavia" comes from a combination of two words: Automotive & Aviation. The first Autavias were dashboard clocks and instrumentation used in automobiles and aircraft, and Heuer recycled the name it in the 1960s and applied it to their line of professional racing chronographs.
The first Autavia was the Reference 2446 and featured a 38mm case with screw-on backs and long tapered lugs. In 1968 Heuer modernized with Autavia with a new case and dial, and the result is the watch that we have here, the reference 2446C . The 40mm compressor cases are perfectly sized for todays collectors, and the Valjoux 72 movements inside are some of the best chronograph calibers every made. 2446Cs are not easy to come by (especially in good condition) in todays market, and when one does pop up, it gets snapped up fast.
This particular 2446C features an inverse panda dial, accented by a red chronograph seconds hand and rotating tachymeter bezel. The watch is in excellent overall condition, with no significant damage to the original hands, as is unfortunately often the case with this reference. The case has been lightly polished in the past and is free of any significant wear, with no major nicks or dents.
For in-depth information on the Heuer Autavia 2446C, click on over to OnTheDash, HERE.
Stainless Steel compressor case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Heuer Reference 2446C. Valjoux 72 manually-winding chronograph movement.
Overall condition: The case is in excellent condition over all, with light signs of wear consistent with age and use. The original dial is in excellent condition with light patina. Original hands are in excellent condition. Original case back, pushers and signed crown.
Includes a 20mm leather rallye strap and two nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.