March 28, 2023

Louis Westphalen, our man, is on the ground at this year’s Heuer Collectors Summit (more on that soon) and happened to stumble upon something pretty cool: the prototype of the upcoming 2017 Heuer Autavia, the watch that (TAG) Heuer fans voted into life in the Autavia Cup earlier this year. This is your first hands-on look at what could very well be one of the hottest watches of next year.

The 2017 Autavia definitely has that vintage look, down to the details on the dial.

Let’s be honest: The Swiss watch industry isn’t the most democratic of institutions. But in a surprise turn, TAG Heuer decided this spring to let collectors and fans vote on which vintage Autavia should serve as the inspiration for next year’s blockbuster release. Ultimately, fans voted on the ref. 2446 Mark 3, and so here we are. Just looking at the watch, it’s immediately clear that TAG has really paid attention to the details to make the new Autavia an exciting reinterpretation of the original.

The prototype is 42mm across and 15.6mm thick, so it’s a pretty massive watch – a lot bigger overall than the 40mm 1960s original. The hands, indexes, and dial printing (down to the Heuer-only signature) definitely recall the earlier watch, but there is the addition of a date displayed at 6 o’clock. Surely, the dial would look much cleaner without this intrusion (and it would be more faithful to the original), but there’s no question that TAG Heuer will have an easier time selling the watch with the inclusion of the date. FYI – the date wheel here is still sideways as this is a prototype and not a final production watch.

Inside is the Heuer H-03 movement, which TAG Heuer is saying will be introduced in this watch. It’s an automatic three-register chronograph caliber based on the CH80 movement (which you may remember from 2014 before the project was killed). It’ll be cool to see how this in-house chronograph was adapted to create the H-03 and we’ll be paying close attention to the technical details as they’re revealed.

This new Autavia will launch at Baselworld 2017 and pricing has not yet been announced, though we’re told that it will be in line with other vintage tribute models, such as the Monza and Carrera.

You can see just how big the Autavia wears on the wrist here. We’ll obviously have more photos and info for you as we can, and later this week we’ll bring you a full recap of the Heuer Collectors Summit straight from Switzerland.