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Feature article: The Autavia, brief history of a legendary motorsport chronograph


Successfully reissued by TAG Heuer at the beginning of 2017 with updated functions and a proprietary movement, the Autavia was created in 1962 and soon became one of the most appreciated driver’s chronograph of its era.

The origin of the name goes back to 1933, when Heuer designed its first dash counter for racing cars, boats and aircraft. The name was a contraction of AUTomobile and AVIAtion.

Almost three decades later, in the autumn of 1961, Jack Heuer, the fourth generation head of the company, decided to create a new wrist chronograph with a turning bezel, a first for the Swiss brand.


It was also the first wristwatch personally created by Jack Heuer for the company. He chose to name it “Autavia”, just like the 1933 ancestor. The watch was successfully launched in 1962 soon gaining icon status  in the automotive world.

Its ambassadors were the greatest Formula 1 drivers of the 1960s and 1970s: Jo Siffert, Jochen Rindt, Derek Bell, Jacky Ickx, Emerson Fittipaldi, Clay Regazzoni, Mario Andretti, and Gilles Villeneuve among the others.

Read our feature article to discover the history of this iconic watch through its three generations.

Jo Siffert wearing a third generation Autavia


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Name

A. Lange & Sohne,51,AkriviA,6,alarm,3,Alpina,7,Andersmann,1,Andreas Strehler,4,Angelus,3,annual calendar,22,Anonimo,2,Antiquorum,1,Antoine Martin,2,Antoine Preziuso,1,Apple,1,Apple Watch,1,Aquadive,1,Armin Strom,22,Arnold and Son,18,Astarwatch,1,Ateliers deMonaco,2,Auctions,46,Audemars Piguet,25,Autodromo,1,BaselWorld 2013,50,BaselWorld 2014,53,Baselworld 2015,69,Baselworld 2016,27,Baselworld 2017,64,Baume et Mercier,15,Bell & Ross,14,Bernard Lederer Universe,1,Blancpain,22,BLU,1,blue dial,2,Bonhams,1,Bovet,3,Brands histories,1,Breguet,38,Breitling,33,Bremont Watch Company,3,Breva,2,bronze,2,Bücherei,1,Bulgari,24,Burberry,1,C3H5N3O9,1,carillon,1,Carl F. Bucherer,2,Carrera,4,Cartier,35,ceramic,1,Chaumet,2,chiming hour,3,Chopard,21,Christie's,2,Christophe Claret,5,Christopher Ward,3,chronograph,260,chronometer,21,Chronoswiss,3,Citizen,2,co-axial,1,column-wheel,7,complete calendar,4,complications,53,concept watch,4,Concord,1,constant-force,23,Corum,11,CSEM,1,Czapek,1,Daytona,2,De Bethune,11,de Grisogono,2,dead seconds,13,detent escapement,2,DeWitt,7,diving watches,107,double regulator,1,drei,1,dress watches,192,dual time,67,Eberhard,9,Edox,1,El Primero,13,Emile Chouriet,1,Emmanuel Bouchet,1,enamel dial,5,enamelling,14,Equation of time,5,Eterna,17,exhibitions,1,F.P.Journe,14,Faberge,2,Favre-Leuba,1,feature article,1,features,21,Ferdinand Berthoud,2,flyback,28,Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie,1,Fortis,3,Franck Muller,5,Frederique Constant,6,Gallet,1,Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix,8,Georg Jensen,1,George Daniels,2,Girard-Perregaux,35,Glashuette,14,Glashütte,26,Glashütte Original,27,Glycine,2,GMT,47,GPHG,4,Graham,5,Grand Feu,2,Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve,8,Grand Seiko,6,Grande Complication,16,Grande Sonnerie,3,Greubel Forsey,16,Gronefeld,5,Grönefeld,5,Grossmann,3,guilloché,1,H. Moser and Cie,18,Habring,4,Habring2,5,Hajime Asaoka,1,Hallmark of Geneva,1,Hamilton,10,hands-on,4,Harry Winston,8,Hautlence,2,Hermes,10,high jewellery,1,Hublot,9,Hybris Artistica,1,Hydro Mechanical Horologists,7,HYT Watches,12,Icon,1,independent watchmaker,3,industry news,77,IWC,56,Jaeger-LeCoultre,65,Jaquet Droz,12,JeanRichard,3,jumping hours,18,Junghans,5,Kaj Korpela,1,Kari Voutilainen,4,Korpela,1,Krayon,1,Ladies watches,66,Lang & Heyne,1,Lange,6,large date,1,Laurent Ferrier,10,Le Garde Temps,1,Lemania,1,Leroy,3,Linde Werdelin,1,Longines,27,Louis Erard,1,Louis Moinet,4,LVMH,2,Maîtres du Temps,1,Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps,3,Manufacture Royale,3,marine chronometer,1,Maurice de Mauriac,1,Maurice Lacroix,5,MB&F,20,MCT,1,MeisterSinger,19,metiers d'art,1,mido,2,military watches,6,Ming,1,Minute Repeater,31,Montblanc,35,moon phases,59,Moritz Grossmann,17,Moser,18,Muhle,3,Mühle-Glashütte,3,mystery watches,2,Nautilus,2,New Britain Corp,1,new watches,1383,Nomos,13,Ochs und Junior,3,Officine Panerai,42,Omega,48,Only Watch,2,Only Watch 2015,4,Only Watch 2017,2,Oris,21,Panerai,15,Parmigiani Fleurier,14,Pascal Coyon,1,Patek,2,Patek Philippe,51,perpetual calendar,60,Perrelet,4,Philippe Dufour,1,Phillips,2,Piaget,15,Pierre DeRoche,1,pilot watch,48,platinum,1,pocket watch,2,pocket watches,2,Poincon de Geneve,1,Porsche Design,10,Pre-SIHH 2016: Cartier - Clé de Cartier Automatic Skeleton,1,pulsometer,4,quartz,2,Rado,4,Ralf Tech,2,Ralph Lauren,2,rattrapante,13,Raul Pages,1,Raymond Weil,1,rectangular watches,3,regulator,12,remontoire,2,resonance,2,Ressence,4,retrograde,2,Revelation,1,Reverso,12,Richard Mille,36,Richmond,1,Roger Dubuis,11,Roger Smith,1,Roger W. Smith,1,Rolex,24,Romain Gauthier,5,Romain Jerome,1,Royal Oak,13,Rudis Sylva,1,Seiko,9,SevenFriday,2,SIHH 2012,4,SIHH 2013,25,SIHH 2014,36,SIHH 2015,43,SIHH 2016,44,SIHH 2017,40,SIHH 2018,7,Singer,1,Singer Reimagined,1,single hand,2,single-hand watches,4,Sinn,8,skeleton,11,smartwatch,6,solar energy,1,Sotheby's,3,Speake-Marin,3,Speedmaster,8,split seconds,4,sport watches,303,squelette,32,steampunk,1,striking time,8,SuisseMecanica,1,Swatch,2,Swatch Group,3,table clocks,2,Tag Heuer,53,terra Cielo Mare,1,Tiffany,10,top news,24,Torsti Laine,1,tourbillon,179,Tudor,9,Tutima,1,ultra thin,21,Ulysse Nardin,23,Union Glashutte,1,Urban Jurgensen,13,Urwerk,11,Vacheron Constantin,59,Van Cleef & Arpels,5,Vauchier Fleurier,1,Vianney Halter,3,Vulcain,9,wandering hours,1,Watches & Wonders,14,Watches&Wonders,1,worldtime,23,Zenith,35,Zodiac,1,
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Time and Watches: Feature article: The Autavia, brief history of a legendary motorsport chronograph
Feature article: The Autavia, brief history of a legendary motorsport chronograph
Feature article: The Autavia, brief history of a legendary motorsport chronograph
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