TAG Heuer Celebrates 6 Decades of the Autavia
The Anniversary Series includes two vintage-inspired flyback chronographs and the collection’s first GMT
WRITTEN BY THeo Baker
February 11, 2022
Few watch brands command so much attention, both historically and contemporarily, as TAG Heuer. The reasons for this are many, but at the center of it all is good design and watchmaking, with three core collections of chronographs foremost establishing this reputation: the flagship Carrera, the iconic Monaco, and today’s focus, the do-all Autavia.
Together these collections and the many watches that have launched from them have laid the historic groundwork for TAG Heuer’s modern success, and this winter the brand recalls that history once more in its latest release: the Autavia 60th Anniversary Series.
The new series— which is composed of two vintage-inspired flyback chronographs and a new GMT-equipped travel watch— celebrates 60 years since the 1962 relaunch of the Autavia collection as a wrist-worn chronograph. Since 1933, the Autavia collection was best known for its cockpit instruments produced for automobiles and aircraft. 1962 was thus a major turning point for both the collection and the brand, with the then-new Autavia establishing its now signature design— pairing a versatile wearing chronograph design with an outer rotating bezel, together yielding a highly sporty watch that was purpose built for the everyday and everything.
Leading the new series is the TAG Heuer Autavia 60th Anniversary Flyback Chronograph. The watch is composed of two colorway options, with one opting for a black DLC-coated steel case with a matching black dial and contrasting luminous accents, designed in homage to the brand’s history as a military supplier. The other colorway features a traditional steel case, with its sunray silver and black display which recall TAG Heuer’s popular “panda” dials, such as those seen in early Autavia wristwatches of the 1960s.
Outside of their distinct colorways, each watch features the same general design, complete with the same 42mm, modernized Autavia case silhouette. The steel case is best defined by its sharp facets, double-knurled crown, screw-down pushers, and black ceramic, bidirectional rotating bezel that recall the history of the collection. On the dial, a combination of vintage pilot watch inspired details and modern TAG Heuer design motifs pair for a unique look, while the updated Caliber Heuer 02 provides its timekeeping ability. The automatic movement notably includes chronometer-grade accuracy in addition to a flyback functionality, which allows the seconds counter to charmingly glide back to its zero position when the chronograph is reset. The in-house developed and adjusted movement is on display with all its finishings and skeletonized rotor via an exhibition caseback.
Following the pair of chronographs, as part of the new launch TAG Heuer is also unveiling its latest travel watch, dubbed the Autavia 60th Anniversary GMT 3 Hands. The timepiece marks the first time TAG Heuer has produced a GMT-only Autavia since its 1962 launch.
A look at the new GMT 3 Hands reveals a travel-oriented design with some distinct Autavia style. As for shape, the watch opts for a familiar 42mm modern case silhouette as that seen in the chronographs— complete with sharp facets, a ceramic rotating bezel, and a double knurled crown. For all its familiarity, the watch is nonetheless unique, most importantly lacking a chronograph complication and its associated details in favor of a GMT complication. This design lends to the bi-color 24-hour scale on its bezel and a matching gold-colored central hand which, together, allow accurate time keeping for multiple time zones. Inside, the TAG Heuer caliber 7 COSC ensures this timekeeping for both travel and home times, with the chronometer-grade automatic movement based upon the reliable ETA 2895-2.
Each of the three Autavia 60th Anniversary Series watches are available now, both via TAG Heuer directly, as well as through authorized boutiques, all on a non-limited basis. Pricing begins with the Autavia 60th Anniversary GMT 3 Hands at $4,200, then goes to $6,300 with the non-DLC steel Autavia 60th Anniversary Flyback Chronograph, and ends at $6,950 with the DLC option.