Created in 1933 by Charles-Edouard Heuer, the first on-board meter for automobile and airplane is called AUTAVIA (abbreviation of words Car e Aviation). After a disappointing rally due to the unclear dial, Jack HEUER decides to recreate the Autavia as a wrist chronograph with a rotating bezel.
Thus was born one of the most emblematic timepieces in the history of the company. "It was bold, modern, elegant and highly legible." Since then, Autavia has steadily established itself in the design and technology industry and is regarded as the first of Heuer's “Big Three”. It would later be associated with racing chronographs and iconic watches made in the 60s and 70s.
For Baselworld 2019, TAG Heuer has launched a new series of Autavia. Starting from tradition, the new Autograph Isograph Chronometer it's not a chronograph, but it boasts some compelling arguments on the mechanical side.
The design of the collection Autavia 2019 is based on some of the elements found on the first Heuer Autavia wrist chronographs, in this case with the reference 2446 "Big Eye" (photo above). The current model is presented as a simple three-hand watch, a nice departure from the original concept, but incorporates cutting-edge technology within: the brand's hairspring. Isograph Carbon Composite.
The new TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph Chronometer comes in a dynamic 42mm round case extended by beveled lugs: the case shape, its rotating bezel and oversized crown are all part of vintage Autavia watches.
This new model will be available in stainless steel or bronze cases with very legible dials thanks to the large Arabic numerals, presented in different colors: gray, brown-green and in blue, all with a gradient effect. "smoked" and a slightly grainy finish.
The date is displayed at 6 o'clock. The steel caseback is closed and features a propeller and tire logo, an ode to the model's automotive and aeronautical origins.
The hands are large and filled with luminous material. Overall, the watch is nice, however the line with older Autavia watches is less clear than the 2017 reissue (pictured below).
Inside the new TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph Chronometer we find the new automatic caliber 5, an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW 200, which features TAG Heuer's state-of-the-art composite carbon fiber hairspring. Among other advantages, the oscillator can be virtually unaffected by gravity, shocks and magnetic fields. Its design ensures concentric oscillations for improved performance.
The Autovia Isograph Chronometer 2019 is not the first watch to be equipped with this new generation of spirals, as it is already in use within the Carrera Tourbillon Nanograph (photo below), a move necessary to significantly increase production and reach a competitive price.
Developed and manufactured in-house by TAG Heuer, the new composite carbon fiber spirals are the result of multidisciplinary expertise. The high profile team gathered by Guy Sémon in the framework of LVMH Research Institute it is unique and impressive. Based on a nanoscopic hexagonal structure, the material developed by TAG Heuer exhibits exceptional properties for the production of spirals.
The lightweight, low-density hairspring is practically unaffected by gravity or other types of shocks, perfect concentric oscillations are made possible thanks to the geometry of the carbon composite hairspring which also improves the accuracy of the watch. Produced with the caliper already attached (small part that connects the balance spring to the balance wheel axis), an operation that requires complicated assembly and usually generates further inaccuracy. Optimal thermal behavior and aerodynamics are achieved thanks to the coupling of the spiral to an aluminum alloy balance wheel. In the laboratory, the watches have been tested up to 5.000 g / 1m.
The TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph Chronometer is completed with a calfskin strap with off-white stitching and a pin buckle or steel strap with a folding clasp. The collection will be available at a reasonable price, starting from EURO 3.400 for the steel versions and up to EURO 4.200 for the bronze one.