Using history to forge a new path, the latest TAG Heuer collection takes inspiration from the original Autavia models and makes use of the most innovative watchmaking technology to appeal to a new generation of adventurers. TAG Heuer reintroduces the Autavia as a stand-alone collection with a range of models that boast the versatility, ruggedness and reliability that characterised the original Autavia watches produced in the 1960s. Making use of the carbon-composite hairspring technology that distinguishes each piece as an Isograph, the avant-garde watchmaker builds on its heritage to continue the saga.
Bridging the gap between past and future
As one of the pillars of the brand, the Autavia was a natural choice for TAG Heuer to launch as its own line, with it joining the ranks of the Carrera, Monaco, Formula 1, Aquaracer and Link collections. From 1933 to 1957, the Autavia was a dashboard instrument used in racing cars and aircraft. The name itself comes from the combination of automobile and aviation. After production of the Autavia dashboard timer stopped, the name was still available, and CEO at the time Jack Heuer decided to use it for the chronograph wristwatch the Swiss watchmaker launched in 1962. Immediately recognisable, this innovative new timepiece captured the energy and excitement of rally racing and was legible in any conditions. Popular among racing enthusiasts and armed forces around the world, the Autavia enjoyed great success and a sterling reputation until production ceased in 1985. Today, the Autavia is being reintroduced as its own collection with seven references that have been designed with the adventurous and daring spirit the Autavia is known for.
The universe of the Autavia captured in a contemporary style
TAG Heuer’s stylish, cockpit-inspired watch features eye-catching elements that are rooted in the history of the line. What fans loved about the original – its functionality, timeless style and numerous combinations – are also evident in the seven new models revealed at Baselworld. The stainless-steel Autavia 42 mm three-hand models feature the rounded first-generation Autavia case and bevelled lugs from the 1960s. A bidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute scale in black ceramic, blue ceramic or stainless steel enhances the sporty look of the watch. The XL crown takes inspiration from pilot’s watches and timers that used oversized crowns to make them easier to use while wearing gloves. The original Autavia was also known for being highly legible in any conditions, and this is also the case with the 2019 versions. The hour markers and hour, minute and seconds hands are coated in SuperLuminova, making it possible to read the time even when adventure leads you into the dark. The smoked dial is available in black, grey or blue, and has a date window at 6 o’clock.
Suitable for any adventure or any style, the strap or bracelet of every model in the Autavia collection is interchangeable. The leather calfskin straps come in dark brown or light brown. A NATO strap is included in the watch box of the timepieces that are presented on a stainless-steel bracelet. The bracelet and strap are
easy to switch at home using simple push buttons on the underside of the case – no tools are necessary. The NATO straps, leather straps and stainless-steel bracelets are sold separately, so wearers can create their own combinations to complement their unique look.
Heritage and cutting-edge technology
Powering the Autavia three-hand timepieces is the chronometer-certified Calibre 5. The original Autavia was known for making use of the latest technology, and these models are no different. The new Autavia models feature the cutting-edge carbon-composite hairspring that the avant-garde watchmaker introduced earlier this year. The combination of the calibre and the carbon-composite hairspring gives every model in this collection Isograph distinction. The trademarked name comes from the Greek word iso, which means “equal”, and refers to the stable and consistent movement of the component.
Known as the heart of the mechanical watch because of its importance in the overall function, the hairspring is the most difficult part to produce. A team of TAG Heuer mathematicians, physicists and chemists are behind the creation of this newly reinvented hairspring. Not only does the carbon-composite hairspring shake up traditional watchmaking, it also improves the performance of watches fitted with the brand’s chronometercertified movement. The key benefits of TAG Heuer’s carbon-composite hairspring include the fact that the lightweight, low-density hairspring is virtually unaffected by gravity and shock and is completely antimagnetic. Perfect concentric oscillations are made possible thanks to the hairspring’s geometry and improve the precision of the watch. Optimal thermal behaviour and aeroelasticity have been achieved by pairing the carbon-composite hairspring with an aluminium alloy balance wheel. The carbon-composite hairspring is produced with the collet already attached. TAG Heuer is the exclusive manufacturer of these hairsprings, which are designed and produced in its in-house laboratory in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The propeller and tyre that are etched into the stainless-steel or titanium caseback are a nod to the collection’s rich heritage.
Bold in bronze
In addition to the stainless-steel Autavia three-hand models, TAG Heuer has also launched two versions in bronze. The 42 mm timepieces with bronze cases feature a smoked green or brown dial with a bidirectional rotating bezel in black or brown ceramic, respectively. The model with the brown dial and brown ceramic bezel is presented on a brown leather strap, while the model with the green dial and black ceramic bezel is presented on a khaki-coloured leather strap. The caseback of these timepieces is fashioned from titanium. TAG Heuer’s DNA is clearly visible in this new watch family. Inspired by earlier successes, the new Autavia collection has its own authentic identity but remains true to the original models that made their own mark in the TAG Heuer universe and timekeeping history.