Watch & Jewellery
Text by Justin Ng | Photos courtesy of TAG Heuer
New Autavia models revealed in Baselworld earlier this year
The stainless-steel Autavia 42 mm three-hand models feature the rounded First-generation Autavia case and bevelled lugs from the 1960s.
A bi-directional rotating bezel with a 60-minute scale in black ceramic, blue ceramic or stainless steel with an oversized crown inspired from pilot's watches
Powering the Autavia three-hand timepieces is the chronometer-certified Calibre 5 featuring the cutting-edge Isograph carbon-composite hairspring
Showcased alongisde the brand new Autavia models were a series of vintage Autavia timepieces dating back to 1933

TAG Heuer’s Autavia watch is the popular kid on the block who kind of faded away after high school, still in search of his identity beyond the confines of the high school courtyard. After reaching the pinnacle of success as part of the ‘Big Three’ of TAG Heuer watches during the ’60s — alongside Carrera and Monaco — Autavia found itself on the outside looking in during the latter few decades while struggling to regain its footing. Thankfully, he — or in this case, Autavia — has finally found his way back, officially rejoining the cool-kids block of TAG Heuer’s catalog with the launch of three reimagined sport watches along with some of their vintage classics. Entitled the Autavia Isograph, the new model is a three-hand watch with no chronograph complication, making the leap of faith from old-timer to a modern fit of contemporary watches nowadays. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t learnt some useful tricks from its past iterations: with their new and improved sport watches, you’ll see elements of a pilot’s watch — which was an important aspect of the Autavia identity, hence its hybrid name of ‘automobile’ and ‘aviation’ — with large Arabic numerals, railroad tracks around the edge of the dial, as well as a reworked Calibre 5 movement (developed by Sellita) refitted with a carbon-composite hairspring. Developed by the watch manufacturer, the improved hairspring allows for better impact resistance and reduced sensitivity to gravity, which checks all the important boxes for pilots who require anti-magnetic watches resistant to sudden changes in g-forces and air pressure. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, being the origin-story, classics guy you are, you’ll be happy to know that they also serve up some of their old classics as well. Vintage enthusiasts will know about Autavia days as a dashboard timer from 1933 to 1957 which you will find in the collection. And if you’re a ‘60s guy, you’ll also spot the Autavia as a chronograph, which was specifically developed for pilots, sportsmen, divers and scientists from 1962 onwards. But alas, Autavia has changed — arguably for the better — with its incoming third chapter that, quite frankly, wasn’t possible just 3 years ago when TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biber insinuated that the beloved Autavia would only be an occasional visitor rather than a permanent resident. Fast forward to 2019 though, and not only is the Autavia reconnecting with the ‘60s vintage classics from the former Big Three, it has also aligned with three other collections introduced over the past two decades — the Aquaracer, Formula One and Link — as the six main collections of the watch brand’s catalog. As one returning from a long hiatus would aptly say, it’s good to be back.

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