Alternative version of the Chronomatic Dial Heuer?

Posted by: C11   |   9 August 2009   |   2 Comments  

Without doubt the most fabled of the Heuer Monaco, Autavia and Carrera lines are those rare watches that carry the “Chronomatic” marking on the dial- a combination of the words “Chronograph” and “Automatic”. The very first Calibre 11 models released in 1969 have the Chronomatic marking on the dial, but these were only produced for a short time until Heuer replaced Chronomatic with the words “Automatic Chronograph” and moved the model name from below the hands to above the Heuer shield.

Heuer Autavia Chronomatic "Siffert"If you can find a Chronomatic Heuer, then buy it irrespective of condition- they command a very substantial premium over the later Calibre 11 models.

I’ve recently been looking around the website of the late Chuck Maddox, the renowned Heuer and Vintage watch aficionado. Chuck’s site contains a vast range of information, photos and articles written by Chuck up to the time of his untimely passing last year. Chuck’s blog is preserved here and it is well worth taking the time to visit.

In looking through some of Chuck’s photos I came across a scan of a brochure from Chronosport who were the distributor of Heuer and other Chronographs in the UK in the 1970’s. The brochure has no date, but as it features the Chronomatic Heuer trio, it must be from 1969. What is interesting is the pictures of the Monaco, Autavia and Carrera, which are unlike any of the Chronomatic Heuers that I’ve seen before- take a look at these scans

Note that none of the Chronomatic models has the model name (Monaco, Autavia, Carrera) on the dial and has the word “Chronomatic” below than hands rather than above the Heuer shield. Its hard to be sure from the blurry images, but it also looks like the models used for these photo’s have different second hands than the final production version.

Would be interesting to hear whether anyone has seen one of these models- or were they pre-production models used only for photographs?


2015 Update

Sometimes the best stories take a while to play out. More than five years after this article was posted, one has turned up.

IMG_3506The watch belongs to J-Luc, who posted the photo above at Note the hands more reminiscent of an early Carrera/ Camaro and the absence of “Autavia”. It’s another lesson that its impossible to be definitive about originality when it comes to vintage watches. As we found with the recent Orange dial Autavia 1163, sometimes we think we know all there is to know about these watches and then something comes out of the blue.

Now that we’ve seen an Autavia with this positioning of Chronomatic, we look forward to seeing who can find a similar Carrera or Monaco.


Home » Autavia, Carrera, Chronomatic, Monaco
  • Cowboy Bebop

    Hi, David, I just came accross this article and an interesting observation, what if these were the predecessors of the Chronomatics we're used to seeing in. Perhaps one day one will turn up and then these we'll be worth more than the ones we've seen.


  • DC

    Hi George,

    I think that the view on these is that it's a case of the art department at the ad agency using their creativity rather than being a different model…sadly. Could have been an early prototype, but don't think these exist.

    As you say, imagine finding one tucked in a drawer somewhere!