Heuer Autavia 11630 GMT- New Arrival
Generally I find that being in a different time-zone to most of my fellow Heuer collectors can be a disadvantage when it comes to buying watches, as many of the best watches can get listed while Hong Kong sleeps, meaning that you get to read about what you missed out on over breakfast the next day. This time, however, I got lucky.
This New Old Stock (“NOS”) Heuer Autavia 11630 GMT had only been listed for about 20 minutes when I saw it on eBay with a Buy it Now price. One week later, the watch has arrived and certainly lives up to my expectations.
The 11630 GMT came in two models- one model with white sub-dials and the other rarer model with black sub-dials. The crucial aspect of these watches is the quality of the blue and red bezel. It’s impossible to get genuine Heuer GMT bezels from TAG Heuer- and has been for several years now. There are a range of aftermarket GMT bezels that are pretty good, but the blue tends to be too bright and the font on the numbers not quite right. With the bezel being the main driver of the value of the Autavia GMT, it means that you have to be very careful wearing the watch- a fact that doesn’t really appeal much to me because, as we all know, knocks happen.
This watch was bought by an internet dealer a few months ago during a buying trip in the US. It has never been worn and has the original sales sticker on the back, Heuer swing-tag and box. It also comes with the original unmarked Corfam strap. Corfam was an artificial leather developed by Du-Pont in the 1960s and used by Heuer for most of its straps in the 1970s. Corfam is much stiffer than I expected, and while it looks great as part of an original sales package, I can’t imagine ever using this strap for daily use- unlike leather, the corfam doesn’t soften with age.