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The name "Autavia" comes from a combination of two words: Automotive & Aviation. Heuer originally applied the moniker to dashboard clocks instrumentation for use in automobiles and aircraft, but recycled in the 1960s and applied it to their line of professional racing chronographs for which the name is best known. A favorite of Formula 1 greats like Jo Siffert and Derek Bell, the Autavia is seen by many collectors as the embodiment of Heuer's mastery of the racing chronograph.
Heuer first released the Autavia in 1962. 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.
With a major redesign in 1969, the Autavia was an early adopter of the distinctively '70s cushion case, introduced with the latest in mechanical watchmaking: the automatic chronograph. This movement, dubbed the "chronomatic" by its designers, would be used by brands like Heuer, Breitling, and Hamilton, and would launch a new reference of Autavia. Following a few years later, Heuer introduced a GMT model to the range, adding a third large hand displaying a second time zone and two-tone rotating bezel alongside a two-register chronograph with date function.
This particular example, a Reference 11630, dates from the second execution of automatic Heuer Autavia GMTs. The case is as honest as they come, with the inserts on the bezel--originally blue and red, to denote the difference between AM and PM--faded to the bare metal. Sturdy, distinctive, the Heuer Autavia GMT is sure to endure for decades to come.
Stainless steel case is approximately 42mm (excluding crown and pushers). Heuer Autavia Reference 11630, Heuer Caliber 14 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with sharp lugs and factory brushed finishing. Case does have slight signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, including some slight scratches on the sides of the case near the pushers and on the lugs. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and some slight discoloration near the hands. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands show a fine even patina. Heuer signed crown; caseback shows some light tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm grey leather strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle