Announcing the 2018 Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11

We are proud to announce today the details of the first collaboration watch that we’ve developed in conjunction with TAG Heuer. Welcome the 2018 Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition, the first time that the Jo Siffert name has appeared on a Heuer Autavia, vintage or modern. Just as the Monaco is forever linked to Steve McQueen, for Heuer collectors the Siffert name is synonymous with the white, black and blue Autavia 1163T launched in 1969: the “Siffert” Autavia.

Two legends of the 1960s- Jo Siffert and the Autavia- are back in 2018.

And it’s for the collectors that we have made this watch, sweating every small detail, from the Heuer logo on the mainplate of the Calibre Heuer-02, through to the bespoke box. To ensure exclusivity, we’re only making 100 watches, each individually numbered.

2018 Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Edition

The new watch is an official collaboration between TAG Heuer and Calibre 11, with the Jo Siffert name licensed for this watch by Calibre 11 in an agreement with the Siffert family- we are grateful for their support in this project.

2018 Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Edition

Jo’s son Philippe operates the official  Jo Siffert website and has designed several of his own watches with his father’s name and signature. You can view the full collection of Jo Siffert watches here and check out the Siffert merchandise available here.

Jo Siffert and Heuer

Jo Siffert was one of the first Formula 1 drivers to be sponsored by a watch company when he signed his partnership deal with Heuer in 1968/9. Jack Heuer recounts the story behind the deal in his autobiography:

“During the final phase of Project 99 (the development of the Calibre 11 Chronomatic movement- C11), I became slightly nervous about how Heuer was going to finance the advertising for its new chronographs in all the markets in which we were active. It had struck me that our advertising budget was far too modest for us to make any real worldwide impact. The solution came from a totally unexpected source. One day I was at my golf club practising my putting together with an old friend of the family called Claude Blancpain who ran the Cardinal brewery in Fribourg. Out of the blue Claude suggested I should sponsor a young motor racing driver called Joseph (“Jo”) Siffert, who he admired and supported.

Siffert, who was also from Fribourg, had shot to fame by winning the Formula One British Grand Prix in July 1968, beating drivers such as Chris Amon, Jacky Ickx and Jackie Stewart, and Claude considered him one of the greatest talents in Formula One racing at the time. Jo was also the factory driver for Porsche and drove for them in long duration events such as the “24 hours of Le Mans”.

This idea immediately appealed to me and a few days later I made an appointment to meet Jo in Fribourg. We got off to a very good start and quickly agreed on the following:

  1. During all races Jo would wear the Heuer logo patch on his overalls and one of our chronographs, preferably the “Autavia”, on his wrist
  2. He would put a red Heuer sticker on the front or the side of all the cars he raced
  3. Heuer would allow him to buy its products at wholesale prices and he would be free to resell them privately to colleagues in the pits and anyone else attending the races
  4. Heuer would pay him an annual fee of CHF 25,000
  5. The initial contract would be for 2 years.

Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this relatively simple sponsoring contract with Siffert was probably one of the best marketing moves I ever made, because it opened the door for us to the whole world of Formula One.”

– Jack Heuer, “The Times of My Life”

Siffert did indeed wear an Autavia- but rather than switching between the numerous colour options available at the time, he settled on one particular model which he made his own: the white-dial 1163T Automatic (below right) that collectors refer to simply as the “Siffert Autavia”.

Heuer would later launch a 3-register 73633 Autavia with the same colour-scheme and together, these two watches form the inspiration for the 2018 Siffert Autavia.

The Watch

The 2018 Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition is based on the highly successful 42mm steel CBE2110 Autavia launched to acclaim by TAG Heuer last year. This modern Autavia is inspired by the 2446 Autavia, a model which precedes the 1163T mentioned above by a few years.

Dial and Bezel

The dial of the watch combines an opaline white dial and three black sub-dials with a blue central hand and matching blue hour markers. It’s a classic colour combination known and loved by every vintage Heuer collector.

The Heuer-02 text carried on the standard Autavia above the date window has been deleted for a clean, vintage look.

And completing the look is a bidirectional turning bezel with a black aluminium insert. The bezel uses the same “MH” (Minutes Hours) markings as commonly found on the vintage three register Autavia 73663 with the same white and blue colour combination.

Caseback

The clear sapphire caseback has a smoked finish and carries Jo Siffert’s signature and the text Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition. Around the edge of the caseback is a small Calibre 11 inscription along with the limited edition number (XXX/100).

Movement

The watch uses TAG Heuer’s flagship in-house movement, the Calibre Heuer-02. But look closer at the movement through the sapphire caseback and you’ll notice that we’ve made some changes. Firstly, while the Calibre Heuer-02 in the standard Autavia features a TAG Heuer logo and shield on the movement mainplate and rotor, the movement of the Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition instead has the Heuer logo and shield.

The second change we’ve made to the rotor is the use of white, rather than the standard red, lettering for maximum legibility.

Strap & Bracelet

Every Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition comes with both the polished steel 7 rows “grains of rice” bracelet and a newly designed black calf-skin leather strap with a Heuer tang buckle. We think the watch looks sensational on both options, but the choice is yours.

Box

We’ve designed a bespoke box for your bespoke watch- and yes, there is a dedicated space for the leather strap. The box features the Jo Siffert signature on the outside and inside the lid.

Where to Buy

The 2018 Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition is a limited edition of 100 watches and is exclusively available here at Calibre 11- click here to be taken to our online store.

Limited Edition TAG Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition

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