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Heuer first applied the name "Autavia" (a portmanteau of "automotive" and "aviation," signifying its intended use in both automobiles and aircraft) to dashboard clocks in cars and airplanes. But it's with the Motorsports chronographs that the name "Autavia" is best associated. The Autavia GMT chronograph, in the attractive size of 40mm, combines Heuer's mastery of the racing chronograph with a GMT function.
The GMT models are particularly rare, featuring distinctive two-tone "Pepsi" bezels and a third large hand displaying a second time zone.
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, around 1969, Heuer shifted to a snap-back compressor case for improved water resistance.
Values for early Heuer chronographs (particularly manually-winding Autavia models) are on the rise, and clean, original examples are getting hard to come by. This particular example is as honest as they come, featuring a clean, even patina to the hands and markers. It dates from the third execution of the 2446C GMT, lacking the T in the sub-register at 6 o'clock, but is nevertheless a sterling example of an attractive watch.
As a GMT Autavia from the middle of the Autavia's run, the watch comes with the Valjoux 72, modified to accommodate the GMT function. While not one of Heuer's in-house movements--these came later, after the 2446C--the Valjoux 72 is nothing to sniff at. With a sporty, yet elegant design that combines utility with a crisp, retro look, this Autavia ticks all the boxes a collector of vintage Heuer could want.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Heuer Reference 2446C GMT. Valjoux 72 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of over-polishing, and only minimal signs of handling throughout. Bezel has signs of age throughout but is in otherwise good condition. Dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing and even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Heuer crown; signed case back has some faint scratches but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm brown leather strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle