Autavia today is one of the most exciting sports watches by TAG Heuer. ‘AUT’ for automobile and ‘AVIA’ for aviation, the Autavia was a dashboard instrument used in racing cars and aircrafts from 1933-1957. The role ‘Autavia’ has played in both TAG Heuer’s history and the modern chronograph watch cannot be ignored. After production of the Autavia dashboard timer stopped, the name was still available, and CEO at the time Jack Heuer decided to use it for the chronograph wristwatch the Swiss watchmaker launched in 1962. Immediately recognisable, this innovative new timepiece captured the energy and excitement of racing enthusiasts and armed forces around the world. The Autavia enjoyed great success and a sterling reputation until production ceased in 1985.
This week, at Baselworld 2019, TAG Heuer will reintroduce the Autavia as a stand alone collection with seven new super stylish, highly innovative, technologically advanced, cockpit-inspired watches; all designed with the adventurous and daring spirit the Autavia is known for.
We’ll start the list with the stainless-steel Autavia 42 mm three hand models. These watches feature the rounded first-generation Autavia case and bevelled lugs from the 1960s. A bidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute scale in black ceramic, blue ceramic or stainless steel enhances the sporty look of the watch. The XL crown takes inspiration from pilot’s watches and timers that used oversized crowns to make them easier to use while wearing gloves. The hour markers and hour, minute and seconds hands are coated in SuperLuminova®, making it highly legible even in the dark. The smoked dial is available in black, grey or blue, and has a date window at 6 o’clock. To top it all up, Autavia fans are gonna love the propeller and tyre that are etched into the stainless-steel or titanium caseback; a nod to the collection’s rich heritage.
The strap or bracelet of every model in the Autavia collection is interchangeable which means, wearers have the option of tweaking their style to their mood by simply pushing the buttons on the underside of the case. The leather calfskin straps come in dark brown or light brown. A NATO strap is included in the watch box of the timepieces that are presented on a stainless-steel bracelet. The NATO straps, leather straps and stainless-steel bracelets can also be bought separately.
With the tried and tested, ever efficient chronometer-certified Calibre 5 under the hood of the three-hand models, there’s no reason why these watches shouldn’t be in any watch lover’s bucket list. The movement is a real technological breakthrough. It features a carbon-composite hairspring that the avant-garde watchmaker introduced earlier this year, in the Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph. The combination of the calibre and the carbon-composite hairspring gives every model in this collection Isograph distinction. The trademarked name comes from the Greek word iso, which means “equal”, and refers to the stable and consistent movement of the component.
Known as the heart of the mechanical watch because of its importance in the overall function, the hairspring is the most difficult part to produce. Not only does the carbon-composite hairspring shake up traditional watchmaking, it also improves the performance of watches fitted with the brand’s chronometer- certified movement. The key benefits of TAG Heuer’s carbon-composite hairspring include the fact that the lightweight, low-density hairspring is virtually unaffected by gravity and shock and is completely antimagnetic. Perfect concentric oscillations are made possible thanks to the hairspring’s geometry and improve the precision of the watch. Optimal thermal behaviour and aeroelasticity have been achieved by pairing the carbon-composite hairspring with an aluminium alloy balance wheel. The carbon-composite hairspring is produced with the collet already attached. TAG Heuer is the exclusive manufacturer of these hairsprings, which are designed and produced in its in-house laboratory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
The other two models measure 42mm in diameter and are crafted in bronze. These babies definitely look the part with their smoked green or brown dial and a bidirectional rotating bezel in black or brown ceramic, respectively. The model with the brown dial and brown ceramic bezel is presented on a brown leather strap, while the model with the green dial and black ceramic bezel is presented on a khaki-coloured leather strap. The caseback of these timepieces is fashioned from titanium.
TAG Heuer’s DNA is clearly visible in this new watch family. Inspired by earlier successes, the new Autavia collection has its own authentic identity but remains true to the original models that made their own mark in the TAG Heuer universe and timekeeping history.
Reference WBE5112.FC8266: blue dial and bezel, brown leather strap (
Reference WBE5110.FC8266: black dial and bezel, brown leather strap
Reference WBE5111.FC8267: grey dial, steel bezel, brown leather strap
Reference WBE5112.EB0173: blue dial and bezel, stainless-steel bracelet and NATO strap
Reference WBE5110.EB0173: black dial and bezel, stainless-steel bracelet and NATO strap
Automatic Calibre 5 with new in-house Isograph hairspring, chronometer-certified, diameter 26 mm,
25 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 38-hour power reserve
Date, hour, minute and seconds
Diameter 42 mm, case in stainless steel, bidirectional rotating bezel in blue or black ceramic or stainless steel, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar)
Blue, black or grey smoked dial, rhodium-plated indexes and hands filled with SuperLuminova®
Light or dark brown calfskin strap or stainless-steel bracelet, pin buckle in stainless steel
Reference WBE5191.FC8276: brown dial and bezel, brown calfskin strap
Reference WBE5190.FC8268: green dial, black bezel, khaki calfskin strap
Automatic Calibre 5 with new in-house Isograph hairspring, chronometer-certified, diameter 26 mm, 25 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 38-hour power reserve
Date, hour, minute and seconds
Diameter 42 mm, case in bronze, bidirectional rotating bezel in brown or black ceramic, sapphire crystal with anti- reflective treatment, water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar)
Brown or green smoked dial, rhodium-plated indexes and hands filled with SuperLuminova®
Dark brown or khaki calfskin leather strap, pin buckle in bronze