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As far as we’re concerned, the Siffert is a perfect watch. When Heuer designed this watch, the stars were aligned and an icon was born. The Siffert went on to become a favorite of vintage watch collectors and a grail for any passionate Heuer fan.
That said, if you absolutely forced us to nitpick, the only qualm we may have with the watch is that it’s a bit chunky. Don’t get us wrong, the Siffert wears extremely well, but it’s a chunky watch, and some collectors prefer to fill their watch box with svelter pieces.
Luckily, there’s a Siffert for everyone. While the Caliber 11 automatic model is what comes to mind when many collectors here the name, Heuer created three manual versions of the watch in the same style as the automatic model, and only produced a small number of these compared to the automatics.
Each version of the Siffert has its own unique merits, and we would be very happy if our personal collection consisted of one of each and no other watches. This example, the two register no date, has the cleanest dial of bunch, as well as the thinnest case. While it looks identical to the rest head-on, it’s the easiest model to slip under a cuff and most comfortable to wear.
Manual Sifferts rarely come up for sale, and we had to pry this model out of the hands of a private vintage collector to be able to offer it to our clients. With a case, dial and hands in excellent condition, this is a rare opportunity to own of the coolest vintage Heuers out there.
The Siffert is the real deal. During the golden age of sports car racing, a chronograph watch was an essential piece of kit, and the Siffert is the watch that was worn by many of the greats. This one, ladies and gentlemen, is the real McCoy.
These were the days of Bell, Elford, McQueen. The days of Porsche 917s with no traction control. The glory days of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This was a special time in history, and Heuer chronographs were used to mark it, track it and record it.
Jo Siffert was a Heuer enthusiast (not to mention amateur pit-lane dealer) in the late 60s and early 70s, and also happened to be one of Formula I’s best drivers. He taught Steve McQueen his track secrets and was the very man who introduced McQueen to the Heuer brand. When McQueen was filming Le Mans, he insisted on imitating Siffert’s uniform down to the smallest details, including the prominent Heuer patch.
The Monaco is the best-known Heuer chronograph to many, but for collectors like us, the Autavia is the one to own. Rolex has its Submariner, Breitling its Navitimer. Blancpain has its Fifty Fathoms and Audemars Piguet its Royal Oak. As far as we’re concerned the Siffert is Heuer’s monolith, it’s pièce de résistance. From its steel cushion case, panda dial, twin subsidiary registers and date function, to the fact that it's powered by one of the world's first automatic chronograph movements, the Siffert has it all.
For the full story on the history of the Jo Siffert Autavia, check out a great article over at Hodinkee, HERE.
And for a comparison of early Autavia models, check out this great reference HERE at OnTheDash!
Personal Note: A few years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Jack Heuer - Honorary Chairman of TAG Heuer and former President of the Heuer brand. During that memorable encounter, I happened to be wearing my own "Siffert" Autavia, and Jack noticed immediately, commenting on how great a driver Jo had been. If that doesn't speak volumes about the iconic nature of this special timepiece, I don't know what does. - James Lamdin
Steel case is is approximately 42mm (excluding the crown). Heuer Reference 73363T. Valjoux 7733 Manual-Winding Chronograph Movement.
Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition and has been expertly brushed and polished to original specifications. Original dial in excellent condition. Original hands are in excellent condition. Original crown, pushers and caseback.
Includes black racing style leather strap and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.