With just 150 to ever be produced, the UAE specific reinterpretation of the 2017 Autavia reedition combines all the heritage of its 1960s ancestor with the TAG Heuer’s contemporary precision, functionality and Middle Eastern cues
The Autavia. The chronograph made legendary by racing drivers in the 1960s and much coveted on the collectors’ circuit is making its comeback in 2017. Today,
TAG Heuer revisits this iconic timepiece with a UAE exclusive timepiece to be launched at Dubai Watch Week (DWW) from November 16 to 20.
Developed by TAG Heuer in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the UAE version will be limited to 150 pieces in total. Only 9 will be available during DWW, while 70 will be released in December, and the final 71 in the new year. Each watch will have its production number engraved from ‘001’ to ‘150’ and will only be available in the UAE.
For Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, an encounter at Basel World with Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer CEO and President of the LVMH Watch Group Division last March was the catalyst for the project. “This timepiece was inspired by the automotive heritage shared by the UAE and TAG Heuer. Reflecting the history of our great nation, the TAG Heuer UAE Autavia pays tribute to the UAE through its tropical dial, reminiscent of its desert sands. The Autavia is an iconic timepiece loved by collectors, and I believe a unique UAE edition will only add to its history and legend, making it a desirable collector’s item,” he said.
The Autavia’s comeback is the result of a unique collaborative campaign — the “Autavia Cup” — which revived the cherished watch in consultation with its admirers: an innovative and collaborative project that received more than 50,000 responses, demonstrating TAG Heuer’s commitment to and respect for these true devotees.
This reinterpretation is both modern and faithful to its roots, capturing the spirit of golden age motor racing. These aesthetic codes and historic roots are inextricably embedded in the new generation of the Autavia, while harnessing contemporary technology to improve functionality, along with TAG Heuer’s signature accuracy. A retro look updated with touches of modernity, grounded in the real world. And for the purists, a distressed brown camel leather strap with ecru stitching.
The classic detailed design has been retained along with the rotating bezel, but the face has increased from the 39mm of the original to 42mm for the contemporary version, creating a more imposing and striking stature. The UAE specific model, has been adorned with a beige opaline dial, and three brown ‘azurage’ counters, with minutes, seconds, and hours at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions respectively. “Autavia” is proudly displayed above the TAG Heuer logo in the 12 o’clock position, while the date aperture is positioned at 6 o’clock, bestowing the piece with the balance and precision you would expect from today’s elite racing vehicles.
The inscription ‘Heuer 02’ above the date aperture reflects the innovative proprietary movement of this particular model. The new Heuer 02 configuration, comprised of 168 components along with a pillar wheel and vertical clutch, operates at a frequency of 4Hz giving the Autavia an 80-hour power reserve. Visible through the sapphire back, the TAG Heuer proprietary mechanism offers maximum space for the counters, resulting in a visual balance and perfect legibility.
The dial itself is encased in scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, with a fluted steel crown. Rhodium plated finishing with Super-LumiNova® ensures each hand and embedded indexes are clearly visible in low-light conditions, while the Autavia can be mounted on the wrist using the limited-edition UAE-specific brown camel strap with ecru stitching or a sixties-inspired 7-row steel “beads of rice” bracelet, accented with polished steel pin buckle and emblazoned with the TAG Heuer logo.
This year’s Dubai Watch Week, founded by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in 2015, provides an intimate environment for collectors, watchmakers, brands, and members of the media to develop a deeper understanding of horological perfection. In conjunction with the 2017 theme of Classic & Contemporary, TAG Heuer’s Autavia truly embodies both aspects, with an exclusive and authentic piece available solely for the UAE market. The very limited number in production ensures that it will become just as much a collector’s edition as the 1962 original.
With just 10 available at Dubai Watch Week, from November 16 to 20, enthusiasts will have the opportunity to obtain the deluxe chronograph inscribed with a single-digit production number before it goes on general sale at specific UAE outlets in December.