Following more than 50,000 votes from the public, TAG Heuer today announced that the Autavia model chosen to make a comeback in 2017 will be a re-edition of the Autavia 2446 MK3. Now that we know the model, the two remaining questions are what will the size be and which movement will the watch use?
While we’d like to think that the size will be kept true to the 39mm original, we can’t help but think that TAG Heuer will increase the size to 41mm- small enough to be authentic, but large enough to keep with modern tastes.
When we spoke to TAG Heuer CEO Biver earlier this year about movements for the Autavia re-edition, his view was that this could be a chance for the CH80 to make a reappearance (Heuer-03?). If that dream doesn’t turn into reality, then assume that it will be the Calibre 17 powering the new Autavia. Purists would love to see a manual-wind movement, but that we’d discount that possibility.
So, the wait to March 2017 is on. If you want to re-live the final vote, you can read our original article below that sets out the finalists. Yes, we did pick the winner…at least second-time around!
Final Round Voting
We’re down to the final three days of the Autavia Cup, and one thing is clear- the winner will be a 3-register Panda/ reverse Panda-dialled model, because they fill the last four spots. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise given the recent interest in this movement and colour combination across all 1960s Heuers- Carrera, Camaro and Autavia Valjoux 72 models with these colour combinations are highly sought.
Firstly, confession time: our initial pick, a large sub-dial early Autavia, was knocked out in the very first round. Gone. Maybe the mistake there was trying to pick a model that was clearly separate to the Carrera, rather than our favourite model…because that favourite is still in the running. Now that’s what you call an each-way bet.
The first match pits two very similar watches- Mk3 and Mk4 versions of the 3-register 2446 Autavia. The only real difference here are the hour markers, which are applied metal on the MK3 versus lume strips on the MK4. Both watches share the same “H” (Hours) bezel and small sub-dial layout.
Despite these similarities, the winner is clear- the MK3 model looks sharper and has a greater Formula 1 heritage, as we’ll come to shortly.
Autavia 2446 MK3
Autavia 2446 MK4
Of these two, the heart pulls for the 2446C SN, but the head pulls for the MK3 Autavia- given that this watch shares its case with both of the finalists in the other battle, one could imagine TAG Heuer deciding to put both models into production, something unlikely if the compression case models wins due to its different design. So if you want to be greedy- and why wouldn’t you?- then the Fantasy Autavia offers the best bet for collectors getting two Autavias to choose from.
Autavia 2446C SN
Autavia 2446 MK3 Fantasy
The MK3 Autavia- as worn by F1 World Champion Jochen Rindt- has long been a personal favourite of the vintage Heuer Autavia range, so if we have to choose a single model for TAG Heuer to produce in 2017, this is the one to choose.
These photos of a beautiful original 2446 Autavia come from Italian Collector Gianvittorio Molteni speak volumes for why it’s our preferred choice.
You can read more about the watch here at GVM’s wonderful website.
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Autavia Cup Images by Paul Gavin/ Heuerworld