TAG Heuer did a very good thing when it brought back its Autavia chronograph in 2017 following the results of an online poll. For 2019, it’s re-introducing the Autavia as a full collection, starting with three-hand chronometers that reference heritage while tapping into the future with greater refinement and improved performance from Tag Heuer’s Isograph in-house oscillator.
A blend of “automobile” and “aviation”, the Autavia began as dashboard instruments used in racing cars and aircraft between 1933-57, before surfacing as a wristwatch chronograph in production from 1962 to 1985.
The latest models unveiled at Basel are three-hand models with date, in 42mm cases drawn from the round case and bevelled lugs of the first-generation Autavia watches.
Available in stainless steel or bronze with titanium caseback, the new Autavia sports a higher level of design refinement than its 1960s forebears, evident from the case finish and particularly in the dials. Also noteworthy is the attractive engraving of propeller and tyre on the caseback, cementing the association of the new collection with its distinguished roots.
Straps and bracelets are also readily interchangeable, tool-free, via pushbuttons on the underside of the case.
While the design is heritage-inspired, albeit in a timeless fashion, cutting edge is alluded to by the “Isograph” label on the dial, referring to TAG Heuer’s in-house carbon composite hairspring beating within the Caliber 5 automatic movement. Lightweight, tough and wholly anti-magnetic, the Isograph hairspring paired with aluminium alloy balance wheel offers chronometer-precision with improved reliability against shock and magnetic fields.
With its rugged good looks, very practical features such as tool-free strap change and bi-directional rotating bezel in a fetching assortment of colours, the Autavia is off to a very good start in the race for the ultimate men’s sport watch.
Automatic Calibre 5 with in-house Isograph hairspring; chronometer-certified; 38-hour power reserve
42mm stainless steel, or bronze; bidirectional rotating bezel in ceramic or steel; water resistant to 100m
Leather strap or steel bracelet; tool-free interchangeability