Remembering the TAG Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s EditionJames Robinson
Editor’s note: When it comes to making timepieces with an affiliation to the full-throttle world of motorsport, few watchmakers have more success than TAG Heuer. Take this TAG Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition for instance. Here is a wristwatch that faithfully pays homage to the original Heuer Autavia 1163T or, as it’s more commonly known, the ‘Siffert’ Autavia. The Heuer Autavia 1163T earned its nickname because, perhaps rather obviously, it was worn by the late Swiss Formula 1 driver Joseph “Jo” Siffert. It was a brilliant timepiece, and this modern interpretation is just as good, and late last year we were lucky enough to have a play with it.
Before we talk about the watch, some backstory. Calibre 11 has been one of the leading TAG Heuer resources since 2009, and the driving force behind the site is David Chalmers. A quick search of my email archive tells me that I’ve known David since 2011, and I’ve always been impressed not only by his knowledge of all things Heuer but his willingness to share it. If you’re a particularly astute reader you might recognise his name from T+T, as he writes the occasional piece for us, which is only fair, given that he’s one of the main figures behind the scenes here, and has been from the very start.
All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that I couldn’t be happier that Calibre 11 has partnered with TAG Heuer to release this particularly attractive limited edition — the Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition. Now, this watch takes as its base the popular Autavia released last year, with its 42mm polished steel case and solid Heuer-02 automatic chronograph movement. So far, so familiar.
But it’s the details that really make this watch live up to its “by collectors, for collectors” tag line. Calibre 11 and TAG Heuer have taken as their inspiration one of the most famous vintage Heuer models, the Heuer Autavia 1163T, AKA the ‘Siffert’ Autavia. With its white dial, black sub-dials and blue highlights, it was a distinctive, sporty watch that looked right at home on F1 champion Jo Siffert’s wrist. If you want to find out more about Jo Siffert, check the official Siffert site.
This limited edition pays tribute to the original by picking up on the visual iconography, with the same fundamental dial layout: black snailed chrono counters (not the black date wheel), bright white dial without a hint of fauxtina to be seen, the bi-directional minutes and hours bezel, as well as a beads-of-rice style bracelet. This version also comes with a custom calf strap with Heuer-branded tang buckle. While the basis of this watch is similar to last year’s Jack Heuer limited edition, where it really differs is those killer blue dial details – the second hand and the outer hour markers. This version also has no ‘Heuer-02’ text.
Then there’s the smoked sapphire caseback, which shows off the Heuer-02 movement that’s been modified to have ‘Heuer-only’ branding. The caseback is also emblazoned with Jo Siffert’s signature. This is the first time Siffert’s name has appeared on an Autavia – the name was licensed by Calibre 11 for this watch.
TAG Heuer has proved itself very adept at smart collaborations, targeted to just the right audience, and this on point tribute to one of the great Heuer watches is no exception.
TAG Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition pricing and availability
The TAG Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition, limited to 100 pieces, has a retail price of 5600 CHF and is available exclusively from Calibre 11.