TAG Heuer took the watch world by surprise this year, introducing an entirely new model to the popular AUTAVIA collection. A new model by itself is not that surprising, of course. After all, new watches come out every year. No, what makes the Autavia Isograph Chronometer stand out – aside from the fact it is a very good-looking watch – is that it is not a racing-inspired chronograph. Rather, it is a three-hand pilot’s watch. Available in five different variations, it also boasts the latest technological advancements from TAG Heuer. Scroll down to read more about what is shaping up to be one of this year’s coolest new releases.
The AUTAVIA wrist watch collection was famously created by Jack Heuer in 1962. It was specifically designed for motor car racing and was the first wrist chronograph with a rotating bezel. Heuer took inspiration from the original Autavia dashboard timers his company had been producing for rally cars and airplane cockpits since the 1930’s.
The distinctive name is a contraction of AUTomobile and AVIAtion, although the watch has since become synonymous with the former. Indeed, at the time it served as a catalyst for TAG Heuer becoming the official timekeeper of the Carrera Panamericana, Ferrari Scuderia and eventually, Formula 1.
Now, almost sixty years later, TAG Heuer is revisiting the AUTAVIA’S aviation roots.
Presented in a 42mm round case the TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph Chronometer boasts bevelled lugs for a stylish yet comfortable fit against the wrist. The case is available in your choice of stainless steel or bronze and features a bidirectional rotating bezel. It’s fitted with either a stainless steel or polished ceramic bezel insert, with the latter matching the colour of the dial. In keeping with the pilot’s watch theme, the extra-large crown is fluted, making it easy to grip and operate, even with gloves on.
All models feature striking fumé (gradient) dials and there are a variety of colours available, including Silver, Black, Blue, Green and Brown. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a fumé dial, look closely at the centre of the watches in the picture and then notice how the colour starts off lighter and then becomes darker as you move outwards. These particular dials also have a slight grained finish. The effect is visually quite striking and really elevates the wrist appeal of these simple three-handers.
Around the periphery, stylised Arabic numerals denote the hours. The style is very much in keeping with the vintage pilot’s watch aesthetic, but they also serve a practical purpose. These numerals, along with the minute indexes and all three hands are treated with SuperLuminova® to ensure legibility day and night, whatever the conditions. The only exception is at 6 o’clock, where a date window appears instead.
Inside is the TAG Heuer Calibre 5 automatic movement, which is based on the Sellita SW 200. This is a popular movement from TAG Heuer and is found in a number of great models. The Autavia Isograph Chronometer, however, marks the first time this movement has been equipped with the cutting-edge carbon composite hairspring manufactured internally by TAG Heuer.
The result of some serious R&D by the LVMH Research Institute, the nanoscopic hexagonal structure allows the oscillator to be virtually unaffected by gravity, shocks and magnetic fields. All that translates into improved precision and reliability. It comes as no surprise then that the movement has been certified as a chronometer by the COSC. Beating at a standard 28,800 vibrations/hour, it offers a 38-hour power reserve.
Protecting the movement inside is a solid steel caseback engraved with the image of a tyre and a propeller, a subtle nod to the collection’s heritage for those in the know. Straps are available in your choice of leather or steel and can be easily interchanged without the need for tools thanks to a push button fitted to the inside of the strap.
Watches of Switzerland is proud to be an authorised agent of TAG Heuer in Australia at our Perth and Melbourne International Airport locations. Please call, email or visit these Boutiques to learn more about the new Autavia Isograph Chronometer, including when the first models are expected in-store.