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Heuer Autavia Ref. 1163V 'Viceroy' - Unpolished

Sale price$4,750.00 USD

While the Carrera gets all the attention, the Heuer Autavia is actually the ‘OG’ Heuer. A combination of ‘Automotive’ and ‘Aviation’ - the Autavia line originally started as dash mounted rally timers made for motorsport and aviation applications. It was not until the early 1960s that first Autavia wrist chronographs came around. The first generation Autvaia, the Reference 2446, utilized screw-back cases and the venerable Valjoux 72 manual-winding movements, while the second generation case with used a snap-back case or ‘Compressor’ Case - hence the model shift to 2446C.

This watch, however, is a third generation ‘cushion case’ Autavia, which was the first to get Heuer’s Cal 11 automatic winding chronograph movement. When you think of an Autavia, theres a good chance that this is what comes to mind.

In additional to the case design that has become synonymous with the Autavia name, this piece in particular also has a fascinating story in that it was the watch that saved the Heuer brand!Yes, you read that right. During the 1960s, Heuer had cemented its reputation with auto racing,

but were still struggling to sell chronographs. So when cigarette brand Viceroy came to them seeking a collaboration on a seven-month promotional offer, they jumped at it. Anyone who bought 10 packs of cigarettes were to be extended a special price of $88 for its Autavia chronograph — which was typically a $200 watch! As is still the case, cigarette brands had incredible marketing reach and budgets that far exceeded a watch manufacturer, therefore could bring the Heuer brand to an entirely new segment of the American market.

On Heuer’s end of the bargain was the Autavia ref. 1163V model. The brand based the model on the standard Autavia ref. 1163, which featured red painted hands and 12 numerals in the left register. It was typically fitted with a tachymeter bezel, but many examples were fitted with a bezel featuring both hour and minute markers. It was not uncommon for buyers to request a bezel change; many examples of this same reference are seen fitted with this type of bezel. Our friends at HODINKEE wrote an incredible full-length story on this marketing promotion and you can more about it here.

The watch that we have here is a fantastic, well-rounded example. It comes to us with an unpolished case, featuring clear, defined factory finishing throughout and normal wear from age and use. It retains its correct 'fluted' pushers and signed crown at the 9 o'clock position, as well as the correct bezel assembly with a black aluminum timing insert. Inside, the matte black 'reverse-panda' dial remains in superb condition, seemingly free of any blemishes or wear, and retains fully-intact Tritium plots — all of which show a light, even patina. The handset matched nicely and compliments the red accents on the dial beautifully. Powering this piece is a legendary Calibre 12 automatic-winding chronograph movement with a date at the 6 o'clock position. It also comes fitted with a period stainless steel 'beads-of-rice' bracelet with the correct HLF end-links. 

While not an outright rare Reference, strong, well rounded examples like the one that we have here don't surface on the market everyday!

Stainless Steel 1970s Unpolished Automatic Sport

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

Oliver & Clarke

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