A new arrival this week in the form of a rare Heuer Autavia 11630T with a beautiful Silver dial. The Silver and White dial Autavias from the 1970s are the rarest and highly sought dial colours- yes, there are plenty of beautiful models with the more standard black dial, but there is undeniably something special about the lighter-hue dials.
This watch has recently been serviced by TAG Heuer, with the tell-tale signs of the new dial lume that has been applied. This is a controversial one for collectors, as many (most?) would have preferred that the dial was kept entirely original rather than having new lume applied to a 40-year old dial.
One of the characteristics of this particular that I love is the slight brown-tinge on the outer-edge of the sub-dials, something that collectors refer as a “tropical” dial, because the cause of the discoloration is exposure to UV that “bleaches” the original dark black
Grains of Rice Bracelet
This Autavia comes on a GF “Grains of Rice” bracelet, which looks perfect on the watch. GF is short for Gay Freres, a company founded in 1835 by Jean-Pierre Gay and Gaspard Tissot (no, not that Tissot). The business originally focused on handmade gold chains, before switching to supply the watch industry in the early 1900s. They supplied bracelets to Patek Philippe from the 1940s to the 1970s, as well as a host of other brands including Heuer.
Heuer started to switch to other suppliers, such as Novavit S.A (NSA), who made the bracelet for the Monaco..but nothing quite beats the grains of rice bracelet above which was used on the Carrera, Camaro and Autavia. The company was bought by Rolex in the 1990s, which explains why you don’t see the brand around today.
Heuer Autavia 11630T Silver Dial