Over the past decade, TAG Heuer has offered numerous models of the Carrera, Monaco, Monza and Silverstone that paid tribute to their predecessors. Whether labelled as re-issues, homages or classics, with each visit to the portfolio of historic models, vintage Heuer collectors asked: “Why not the Autavia?”
Finally, in November 2015, TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver issued a challenge to the vintage community: “Tell us exactly which Autavia you want, and we will offer it in 2017.” There were only two restrictions on the choices. First, the new Autavia had to be housed in a traditional round case of the 1960s rather than the C-shaped case used in the 1970s. Second, the new Autavia would be a modern-sized watch, rather than copying the sub-40mm case sizes from the 1960s.
In December 2015, the social media team at TAG Heuer began to plot out a novel approach through which enthusiasts would select the historic model that would serve as the basis for the new Autavia. Announced in March 2016, the “Autavia Cup” was a head-to-head competition between 16 models from the 1960s, with enthusiasts voting on their favourites in three rounds. The first round narrowed the field to eight watches, the second round took it to four, and TAG Heuer then selected the winner based on the voting in the third and final round.
With the Autavia Cup, TAG Heuer employed a unique approach to choosing the historical precedent that would inspire a modern watch, and the competition was an overwhelming success, with over 55,000 votes being cast through the dedicated Autavia Cup website.
The winner? A three-register Autavia, in the second execution screw-back case (circa 1966), as worn by Formula 1 world champion Jochen Rindt.