The expansion of the TAG Heuer’s heritage-themed Autavia chronograph range continues with the release of the newest model developed in conjunction with US watch website Hodinkee. Given that the last Hodinkee developed TAG Heuer was a smash hit, 2017’s blue dial Carrera-based Skipper, the latest Autavia has big shoes to fill. And like the Skipper, the new Autavia is based on a fabled historical model from Heuer’s rich back catalogue.
The newest Autavia also offers us a look at the latest development in Hodinkee’s e-commerce strategy, because rather than being a limited edition like the Skipper, the Orange Boy Autavia is a standard production model, albeit one that will only be available from hodinkee.com
The Original- Autavia 1163T
The 2018 Orange Boy Autavia is based on the 1163 Autavia of the early 1970s, which was the third generation of the Autavia series and the watch that introduced Heuer’s automatic chronograph movement, the Chronomatic Calibre 11. The “C Case” Autavia was available in a huge array of colour combinations, with the black dial/ orange highlights one of the rarer combinations. The “Orange Boy” Autavia is easily identifiable with the orange hash markers and sub-dial markings as well as the orange-tipped hands and central chronograph hand.
Familiar with the Viceroy Autavia? Well, the Orange Boy is the same design, but with Orange in the place of the Red highlights on the Viceroy. And because the Orange version is so much rarer, vintage prices are 3-4X higher if the highlights on your Autavia are Orange rather than Red.
Yes, it was possible to get this colour combination on 11630 and 11063 case Autavias, but the real Orange Boy uses the 1163 case shown above, identifiable by the visible cut-outs on the top of the case for the Chronograph pushers.
The Hodinkee team would have faced the same dilemma we did when developing our Jo Siffert Edition Autavia: can you use a colour scheme only offered on the third generation case on the newest TAG Heuer Autavia which is based on a first-generation case? Just as there was no blue and white “Siffert” Autavia that was ever offered in the first generation case, there was never a first generation Autavia offered in this Orange colour scheme. In the end, we decided to go ahead with this “historical inaccuracy” simply because it looked brilliant- and the same applies in the case of the Orange Boy.
The Autavia is based on the standard black dial model- reference CBE2110- meaning a 42mm stainless steel case, with a polished finish and a matching “grains of rice” bracelet. The dial has the classic reverse panda (black dial with white sub-dials) look, with every 2017 and onwards Autavia re-edition using some form of panda/ reverse panda/ tropical panda (!) design.
Putting the colour scheme to one side, the most obvious difference between the standard black dial Autavia (CBE2110- left) and the new Orange Boy (CBE2117- right) is the new tachymeter bezel, which gives the watch a nice point of difference. Like other Autavias, the bezel is aluminium.
The watch carries over the aged lume on the hands and hour-markers as well as the dial markings- ignore the intervals on the 30-minute register on the CBE2110 above, as this has been updated in 2018 to use the same one minute intervals as the CBE2117.
Movement and Caseback
The watch uses the standard in-house TAG Heuer Calibre Heuer 02 movement, with the nice touch of the Heuer logo on the mainplate. There is a small engraving on the back noting that this is a special edition
Price and Availability
The TAG Heuer Autavia Orange Boy Calibre Heuer 02 for Hodinkee can be pre-ordered today, with expected delivery in early October. While the watch is not a numbered limited edition (as noted in our introduction), we expect that numbers will be tight, especially in the first few months.
The watch is priced at US$6,050, which is a $600 premium to the standard model, and the same price as the Jack Heuer Edition Autavia.