Heuer Autavia 3646NS | second execution | Steel
Cal. Valjoux 92
The design of the Autavia 3646 is famously inspired by the world of motorsport. 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 professional racing drivers. The brainchild of Jack Heuer no less, the Autavia draws inspiration from dashboard timekeepers used in automobiles and aviation 30 years prior.
It is hard not to draw parallels between the race of the 1960s to create the world first automatic chronograph and that of collectors seeking the best examples of rare vintage Heuers. Their ever-increasing popularity and value can be attributed to several factors; many of which, are associated with the most collectable vintage brands in the world. Iconic owners, varied configuration, unique patina and exceptional movement quality, all contributing to a recent, but fully deserved cult status. This has built on almost a decade’s tireless documentation by the original Heuer collectors, such as Jeff Stein, founder of On The Dash and Paul Gavin, founder of Heuer World.
This Heuer Autavia 3646 has a round, stainless steel case with large chronograph pushers and an original unsigned, fluted crown. The case measures 39 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 330 FT UNDER WATER' on the outside. The case has elongated, straight lugs with sharp bevels and comes on a black leather racing-strap and corresponding, steel Heuer buckle.
The case features an hour rotating bezel, preserved in remarkable condition. The luminous fill at 12 o’clock has aged to a dark yellow/brown patina, complementing the creamy yellow index hour markers and Dauphine hands perfectly. The black, second-execution dial has white minute markers and applied, faceted silver index markers for the hours. 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 above the 6 o’clock index marker. This example is an earlier version of the ‘Second Execution’ series, denoted by its “Swiss-only” dial.
The chronograph hand is white, giving the dial a nice monochromatic look. The sub-registers at three, and six o'clock are the forty-five-minute and sub-second dials, respectively, featuring Arabic numerals and black, second-execution hands.
The watch carries the manual-winding, 17 jewel, Valjoux Calibre 92 (labeled as "Leonidas") at its heart, beating at 18,000 A/h, with a power reserve of approximately 39 hours.
Considered a “grail” piece by many collectors, this second-execution is rarer than later variations of the Heuer Autavia, owing to its limited production. This second-execution reference 3646 Autavia fittingly represents one of the most iconic references in Heuer’s history.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Autavia Ref. 3646 second-execution|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Cal. Valjoux 92|
|Functions:||chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Case:||39 mm stainless steel|
|Bracelet:||black leather strap with steel Heuer tang buckle|
|Box & papers:||-|
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