If, like me, indecisiveness is your middle name, choosing your next watch can be hard. That may seem like nothing more than a #firstworldproblem to the uninitiated, but to me, I prefer to think of it as a rewarding methodical process, a “journey to better beginnings” if you will. Let’s face it, though, sometimes it’s just too damn hard.
It’s a journey that friend of Time+Tide, Anthony Do, knows all too well. An avid photographer and self-confessed watchnerd, the struggle is real for Anthony as he goes to and fro over the pros and cons of which of TAG Heuer’s astounding Autavia re-releases is for him.
Well, we’re here for you, Anthony – even if it’s just to tempt you and make it that little bit harder for you to decide. I’ve compiled a list of every reimagination of the awesome Heuer-02 Autavia I could find.
First up, where did it all begin?
My watch journey started with a TAG Heuer Carrera Chrono, gifted to me by my now wife for our engagement about a decade ago. Since then, many watches have come and left my collection. In fact, my friends think of me as a ‘serial watch flipper’, but I like to think that I am just misunderstood. To me, a watch should give joy, and if it no longer does, it is probably time to let it go.
What first drew you to TAG Heuer’s Calibre Heuer-02 Autavia?
I have a soft spot for the brand given my first mechanical watch was a TAG Heuer. The watch really sings to me from a design perspective and its strong association with motor racing. I love that the company didn’t just re-create an exact copy of the vintage ones and, by doing so, respected the collectors of the brand. The Heuer-only logo gives the watch a real cool factor and a strong dose of nostalgia. I think of motor racing images and the ’60s whenever I see Heuer.
The watch looks vintage but wears like a modern watch. It feels very well-built and the bracelet is extremely comfortable. There is a nice tactile feel when you engage the chronograph, it is butter-smooth AF! I also really appreciate the 3,6,9 layout of the chronograph and the long 80 hours power reserve … very handy!
The Autavia is definitely a piece I wouldn’t mind adding to my collection one day. The question is whether I prefer the panda or reverse panda dial; my answer will change, depending on when you ask me.
The original TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer-02
A watch designed for collectors by collectors, when TAG Heuer first unveiled the modern-day version of the racing icon, many expected it would be the beginning of something special. And they were right. From its just-right proportions to its reverse panda-eyed perfection and tricked-out in-house Heuer-02 movement inside. There’s a lot to love about the first, and its subsequent re-imaginings are proof of just that. RRP $7050 (on bracelet), $6850 (on leather)
Jack Heuer’s 85th Anniversary Limited Edition
All the greatness of the original with a few aesthetic tweaks, this version of the modern Autavia was released to celebrate Mr Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday. Flipping the contrast on the dial, black subdials now grace a silvery toned sunray finished backdrop, with the creamy coloured lume of the hands and hour markers replaced by white, and the 12-hour bezel swapped for a minutes/hours (MH) scale. RRP $7800
Limited Edition for the UAE
Tropical-dialled goodness. Inspired by both the faded vintage dials collectors go absolutely nuts for, and the sun and sand that surrounds the UAE city of Dubai, this warm-coloured take was made exclusively to celebrate Dubai Watch Week by retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. Golden brown tones and a creamy dial set this unique Autavia apart. The only problem? There was only 150 made. RRP 21,500 AED
Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11
To Autavia collectors the name Jo Siffert needs no introduction, but this version – made in collaboration with the home of TAG Heuer and vintage Heuer Collectors, Calibre 11 – is the very first to actually bear his name, with his signature emblazoned right there on the smoked crystal caseback. Flip it over and shining bright is a fresh white dial with crisp highlights of blue that pay tribute to the much-loved vintage ‘Siffert’ Autavias of days gone by. RRP 5600 CHF
Autavia Calibre Heuer-02 “Orange Boy” by Hodinkee
Heuer fans are some of the most hardcore (and knowledgeable) collectors in the vintage world. And this version of the Autavia pays tribute to one of the Autavia greats, the “Orange Boy”. With fewer than 30 vintage models known to exist, this modern homage is exclusively available through Hodinkee. Complete with all that we love about the original, but with eye-catching orange highlights and a racing-inspired tachymeter scaled bezel. RRP $6050 USD
Autavia Calibre Heuer-02 1972 Re-edition “Viceroy”
The latest edition to be reimagined is this 1972 re-edition. Based on a model that was made in partnership with Viceroy and released in – you guessed it – 1972, it takes the familiar black dial and adds speedy highlights of red while streamlining its face with a modified Heuer-02 movement inside that removes the need for a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, giving it that classic bi-register look. RRP $5800 USD
Autavia Calibre Heuer-02 for Harrods
If icy fresh blue details aren’t for you, then maybe this limited-edition model of 150 pieces is. Made exclusively for high-end department store Harrods, this version of the Autavia takes a crisp white dial and adds the same creamy lumed hour markers and hands of the original. Saving the Panda with black subdials and a black date wheel. RRP £4500
Autavia “Watches of Switzerland Anniversary” Edition
With other versions adding just a hint of colour, this final version adds an entire splash. With a bright blue sunray dial and equally as blazing orange seconds hand. Made exclusively for Australian watch retailer Watches of Switzerland, it’s limited to 150 pieces worldwide. RRP $7650
Learn more about the Autavia in the Time+Tide shop.