TAG Heuer has announced that it will be re-issuing a vintage Autavia in 2017 – and it wants YOU to choose which one
Now THIS is exciting. With Baselworld 2016 just around the corner, TAG Heuer has dropped a massive bombshell: in 2017 it will be releasing a new Autavia. It will be a re-issue of a classic reference, and in an all-time first for a watch brand, TAG is crowd-sourcing its choice of model. That’s right – before we even see what it has up its sleeve by way of new watches for us this year, we – and you, and every watch fan out there – are being asked to shape TAG Heuer’s direction for 2017.
TAG Heuer is calling this the “Autavia Cup” – a nice nod to the brand’s history of producing racing chronographs. You can quite easily imagine the Autavia Cup as some kind of historic land-air contest for gentleman pilots and racers (the name, of course, is a portmanteau of automobile and aviation). But we digress…
On Thursday March 17th – the opening day of Baselworld 2016 – the Autavia Cup website will go live, giving users a chance to vote for their favourite Autavias from a pre-selected range of 16 vintage references. The watches will face off in heats, with quarter-final rounds taking place between 31st March and 4th April. Having whittled the 16 watches down to four finalists, TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver will choose the winning watch on 18th April.
It’s a very canny move by TAG – Autavia collectability has been rising steadily for the past couple of years, with values on eBay going through the roof. By playing to consumers this openly, TAG Heuer is clearly intent on reinstating the Autavia at a level not far off that of the Carrera. Even more interestingly, we have no 1970s, tonneau-cased references here, which are many people’s go-to references when you say “Heuer Autavia”. This is all about the 1960s watches; but there’s still plenty to argue over. Black dial or panda dial? Two registers or three? What kind of bezel, hands, indices…?
All sixteen of the contendors are listed below – with reference number and notes. Visit AutaviaCup.com to make your choices.
For more on the history of the Autavia, click here to read David Chalmers’ insightful history of the much-loved chronograph.