One of the great aspects of the Heuer Autavia was the variety of movements, case designs and colours variations that are available. From the iconic two-register Automatic Siffert to the three-register GMT manual, there are many classic Autavia designs. Perhaps the rarest is the Diver 100 (Ref. 11063P), a model which appeared only once in the 1982 catalogue.
This model borrows much of its style from the Rolex Submariner- the bezel design, circular hour markers and Mercedes-style hands are straight out of the Rolex design book. The Diver 100 comes on either a jubilee bracelet or a tropic Diver. The jubilee bracelet was popular with Heuer divers in the 19080’s and kept on during the early TAG Heuer years. Its a nice design, but its shame that the bracelet itself feels so light and flimsy- it certainly doesn’t match the build quality of the rest of the watch.
As is the case with many Heuer models of the early 1980’s, there are several different bezel designs that were used on the watch as Heuer emptied out the parts bin. As well as the “Rolex-style” design of this Diver 100, there are also original watches with MH bezels and few came with a decompression bezel. APE talks about this special version of the Diver 100 at his website Autavia Passion. We believe that there are only 3-4 of the decompression bezel watches in existence. Alex speculates that this version may have never made it into full-time production and may be a prototype variant.
The Decompression bezel has a red triangle at 12 o’clock and a red “40” marker at 3 o’clock. While this version is the rarest of the Diver 100, the standard model is also very rare- it is estimated that there are no more than 15-20 of these watches in existence- fortunately, most are in excellent condition.
To read more about Autavia’s in general, including some excellent guides to the variations of the case design, take a look at http://www.heuerautavia.com/index.php
Finally, several design cues from the Diver 100 were also used on other Heuer Divers, such as the 1000 professional- see below for a photo of the Diver 100 and its quartz cousin.
Photo: Diver 100 decompression: T. Wallner