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This Heuer Autavia 2446 MK3 “Rindt” Chronograph from the 1960s is a beautiful example of an increasingly sought-after, collectable Autavia execution.
The watch was once owned by Formula One racing team founder Bernard White (of Bernard White Racing), who gifted the watch from his personal collection to current owner Richard Milner, in celebration of the teams’ greatest ever success – 4th place at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix. Whilst not a driver for the team himself, Richard knew or mixed with many of the key figures of the 60’s, including Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and of course, Jochen Rindt, who was often photographed wearing the reference. Having quite literally, sat at the bottom of a drawer for over forty years, the condition of this watch is truly exceptional.
Deriving its name from the combination of the words "AUTOmobile" and "AVIAtion", Heuer Autavia chronograph wristwatches from the 1960s were often found on the wrists of the greatest professional racecar drivers. Much of the cause of Autavia’s cult-like status amongst drivers was the fact that Jack Heuer personally traveled from race-to-race, trading stopwatches, timing equipment and professional racing chronograph wristwatches.
This Heuer Autavia 2446 MK3, with serial number 89 XXX has a round, stainless steel case with large chronograph pushers and an original signed, fluted crown. The case measures 38 mm in diameter and is sharp and thick, retaining its definition. The screw-down case back features the Heuer hallmark, 'AUTAVIA' and 'STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH - WATERPROOF - GUARANTEED 300 FT UNDER-WATER' on the outside. The case has straight-line lugs with sharp bevels and it comes on a black, leather racing-strap with a vintage, stainless steel Heuer buckle.
The case features a black, rotating bezel with a 12-hour graduation and is good vintage condition. Similarly, the black, Mark 3 dial is in excellent condition, has white minute markers and applied, faceted silver index markers for the hours. The tritium lume on the dial and matchstick handset is beautifully-preserved, consistent with experiencing very little exposure to sunlight.
It features a white Heuer logo, while 'AUTAVIA' is referenced on the dial at twelve o'clock. A 'SWISS' marking is visible at six o'clock on the twelve-hour sub-register.
The chronograph hand is white, giving the dial a nice monochromatic look. The sub-registers at three, six and nine o'clock are the thirty-minute, the twelve-hour and the sub-second dials, respectively, featuring Arabic numerals and black, third-execution hands.
The watch carries the manual-winding, Valjoux Calibre 72 (labeled as "Leonidas") at its heart, beating at 18,000 A/h, with a power reserve of approximately 46 hours.
This Autavia 2446 MK3 represents one of the most celebrated references in Heuer’s history, a true icon sported by iconic owners. Considered a “grail” piece by many collectors, this example represents the original “Rindt” reference, and thus a special piece of horological importance. The exceptional thickness of the case, consistent aging/completeness of the lumes and original Mark 3 dial exhibit the characteristics that make some Autavia “Rindts” so collectable.
Upon his passing, Jochen Rindt became motor racing's only posthumous world champion, having won five of the year's ten Grands Prix. The championship trophy was handed to his widow Nina Rindt, on the 18th of November 1970 in a ceremony near the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Nina Rindt herself is acknowledged in her own right as one of the leading fashion muses of the sixties, and celebrated for her taste in horology, to an almost equal extent.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
Autavia Autavia Ref. 2446
Mechanical manual-winding Cal. Valjoux 72
Chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Unrestored dial, original lumes
38 mm stainless steel
Black leather strap with steel Heuer tang buckle
Box & papers:
The case is in good vintage condition, the lugs display clear beveling and minor bumps/grazes (consistent with use). It retains its original Heuer crown and pushers. The second execution dial is in excellent condition, without fading on the white minute markers or the Heuer Autavia logo. The tritium lume on the dial and matchstick handset is beautifully-preserved, consistent with experiencing very little exposure to sunlight. The machined key cut-outs in the case back show no signs of interference, and the trademark Heuer case back engraving shows exceptional definition.
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All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough, non-invasive mechanical inspections and have been serviced, if appropriate, to ensure that they meet our highest standards of timekeeping and functionality.
Our pre-owned watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by either a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. This excludes any damage sustained due to improper use or accident. Due to their age, some pre-owned watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when new.
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