Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Calibre 11 x Tag Heuer Jo Siffert Autavia Limited Edition Watch

It might be sold out already but it’s worth keeping a look out for flippers looking to make a quick profit because beyond the gorgeous “Panda” aesthetic lies great provenance

Mar 13, 2018 | By Jonathan Ho

When Siffert, a motorcycle champion switched from two to four wheels as a Formula One ‘privateer’ in 1962, he did not yet know that he would drive his way into racing history. Six years on, Jo Siffert shot to fame by winning the 1968 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in Rob Walker Racing Team’s Lotus 49B, beating Chris Amon’s Ferrari into second place after a race-long battle. He not only became the last genuine privateer to win the Grand Prix but also attracted the attention of Jack Heuer, who decided to sponsor the Swiss F1 and Porsche Le Mans ace.

As part of the deal, Siffert wore the Heuer logo on his racing overalls and a Heuer Autavia 1163T Chronograph on his wrist. The Limited Edition Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert was developed by collectors, for collectors, though oddly, it’s not exactly a re-issue with the original two-register aesthetics.

Calibre 11 x Tag Heuer Jo Siffert Autavia Limited Edition Watch

A contraction of AUTomobile and AVIAtion, the TAG Heuer Autavia was a flagship for the brand from 1962 to 1985. Yes, it’s true, while modern collaterals might refer to the Carrera chronographs like something which has been a permanent mainstay, but the collection was actually cut from the Heuer range in the 1970s. Autavia on the other hand, was a precision timing instrument, designed and purpose built for the dashboards of cars and planes and then later, it became a wrist-worn chronograph.

In the autumn of 1961, Jack Heuer himself personally led the production team to create the “Autavia” as a wrist chronograph. Until then TAG Heuer chronograph had never had a turning bezel, this new “Autavia” was designed to be an indispensable precision timing tool for “pilots, sportsmen, divers and scientists”. thanks to its turning black bezel with a choice of division markers. A bezel with 60 separate one-minute divisions, for example, would allow the wearer to set a marker for a defined interval of less than one hour; a 12-hour division would allow the time in another time zone to be displayed; and divisions of 1/100th of a minute would be useful for time study purposes.

The white opaline dial with three black counters, recalls the nostalgia of highly sought after retro-chronographs; and like earlier editions of the new Autavia, the date window at 6 o’clock is barely noticeable. The eye catching blue varnished chronograph seconds hand is stylistically backed with rhodium-plated applique indices, infused with white SuperLuminova highlights and minute track with blue highlights.

Tag Heuer Jo Siffert Autavia Price and Specs

Movement Automatic Heuer calibre 02 with 80 hours power reserve
Case 42mm stainless steel with 50 metres water resistance
Strap Black calf leather and steel “grains of rice” bracelet
Price CHF 5,600 (currently out of stock but still worth keeping an eye out for those looking to flip the watch)

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