This Is the Classic Autavia Chronograph That TAG Heuer Will Reissue

The voting may have been rigged, but they still picked a classic

byMichael Frank| PUBLISHED Apr 20, 2016 12:30 PM
This Is the Classic Autavia Chronograph That TAG Heuer Will Reissue

The results of TAG Heuer's Autavia Cup, the online contest to determine which version of the classic Heuer Autavia chronograph the brand would reissue as a modern timepiece, are in. Everyday folks were able to vote on 16 separate designs, but the public were only invited to be part of the process down to the final four, after which Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer, got to play kingmaker. The watch he’s chosen as a re-issue for 2017 (likely in March, during the annual Baselworld watch show) is the Autavia 2446 Mark 3 Jochen Rindt, named after the famous German F1 driver who died at Monza in 1970. The Mark 3 is a pure classic—perhaps a safe choice on the part of T.H., but also hard to argue with because it's beautiful and everything we love about vintage Autavias.

The black face isn’t over-busy, and the off-white try-compax sub-dials and 12-hour timescale are elegantly integrated. In an age when chronographs go for more flash, the narrow matchstick hands, faceted lugs, and flush crown all speak to the watch's history as a piece of kit worn by racing drivers for its bombproof utility. Rindt, who in 1970 became the only driver in Formula 1 history to win the Driver’s Championship posthumously (he’d won five of the first ten races before his crash at Monza), would likely approve. Legend has it the Mark 3 was on his wrist when he died.