Autavia Rindt | 2446 | STEEL
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.
Richard’s ‘My Watch’ story can be found on the Journal by clicking here.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Autavia Autavia Ref. 2446|
|Movement:||Mechanical manual-winding Cal. Valjoux 72|
|Functions:||Chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||Unrestored dial, original lumes|
|Case:||38 mm stainless steel|
|Bracelet:||Black leather strap with steel Heuer tang buckle|
|Box & papers:||N/A|
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