Heuer Autavia GMT “Tropical Dial” Ref. 1163 MKII with Faded Red & Blue Bezel
Remarkable automatic Heuer Autavia GMT reference 1163 in pristine condition and featuring a brown or “tropical” dial. One of the most beautiful dials found on a sports vintage watch. The Autavia is powered by a cal.11 automatic movement, an absolute workhouse of a caliber. Its 42mm steel case is perfectly proportioned, which makes this iteration of the Autavia as wearable today as it was then. The watch was manufactured in 1971-1972 and belongs to the second execution of the GMT Autavia also known as the MKII. Beautifully faded brown dial goes along perfectly with the faded blue and red rotating bezel. Reference 1163 had three variations, each with its own distinctive tell. The first execution had a bezel marked with 24 numbers. The second execution had a bezel marked with even numbers. The third execution came with a dial that featured three red stripes bordering the inner minutes chronograph counter. Though out of these variations the coolest one is probably the second execution for the fact that some can be found with brown tropical dials.
The history behind Heuer as a brand and link to every high speed motoring sport is absolutely fascinating. They have been behind some of the most iconic chronograph watches ever made, think the Carrera, Monaco, and of course the Autavia. The name originally stems from a combination of Automobile and Aviation. Though the model was formally released in 1933 as a dash counter for pretty much anything that could go death defyingly fast, the Autavia gained its formal name in 1962. As a matter of fact the Autavia was the first Heuer to have its model name printed on the dial. The early 60’s gave the world the first two Autavia’s. Those were ref. 2446 (three counter chronograph) and 3646 (two counter chronograph). Both were powered by a manual caliber and featured both chronograph pushers and crown on the right side of the case. In 1969 Heuer released the first iteration of the automatic Autavia. This came fitted with the famed Caliber 11, which had both chronograph pushers on the right side and the setting crown on the left side. During the 20 year life cycle of the Autavia Heuer released around 200 iterations. Different dial variations, cases, movements etc. All in all the Autavia became a massive cash cow for the manufacture but the first variations do hold a special place in collector hearts. These were the watches that were pictured alongside some of the most prominent car racers such as Mario Andretti, Jochen Rindt, Jo Siffert, amongst others.
Brand: Heuer Model: Autavia GMT Reference: 1163 MKII Case Size: 42mm Movement: Buren Cal. 11 Noteworthy Details: Brown “Tropical” Dial Crystal: Plastic Glass Year of Manufacture: 1970 Box & Papers: No