Heuer - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Heuer
    Year: circa 1962
    Reference No: 3646
    Case No: 48'914
    Model Name: Autavia "Big Subs"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 92, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 38.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed.
    Literature: Reference 3646 1st execution is featured in Heuer Autavia Chronographs 1962-1985 by Richard Crosthwaite & Paul Gavin pp. 40-49

  • Catalogue Essay

    Saying that Heuer Autavia chronographs reference 3646 (two register) and reference 2446 (three registers) are currently amongst the most sought-after and coveted vintage chronographs is definitely an understatement, and finding a model in such a condition provides a certain sense of exhilaration.

    Launched in 1962 under the new leadership of Jack Heuer himself, the Autavia’s name comes from the combination of the words Automobile and Aviation and the first Heuer model which was given a name.

    The present reference 3646 called “Big Subs” due to its oversized subdials is what aficionados refer to as 1st execution dial and 2nd execution hands. As part of the earlier models, the present lot features a 30 minute chronograph counter whereas later models had 45 minute counters. Also of note is the fact that this particular watch features what is known as the 'type 2' version bezel, differing from the 'type 1' which has a 'no lume' triangle at 12. As the 'type 2' came out a few years later than the watch, one can only presume it was replaced during a routine service.

    The dials of the 1st execution Autavia chronographs (made until about 1966) featured luminous markers and oversized numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock providing for a theatrical and visually arresting result. The present lot also has the particularity of having thin luminous inserts as used towards the end of the first batch of first execution reference 3646 Autavias.

    The present Autavia in overall excellent condition ticks all the boxes for the savvy collector: seductive design, wearability, rarity and superb condition.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1860

    This iconic chronograph manufacturer has a long tradition of precision timekeeping. As early as 1882, founder Edouard Heuer held a patent for a chronograph watch; in 1887, he received a patent for an oscillating pinion, which is still in use today. These specialized timepieces have been at the heart of the firm's success, enabling the brand to be chosen as early timekeepers for the Olympics. In 1969, the company introduced their first automatic chronograph watch, the Monaco Heuer, which celebrated the Monaco Grand Prix. Other key chronograph models include the Autavia and the Carrera, all of which having become iconic models of the firm.

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Ref. 3646
A rare and fine stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with oversized registers

circa 1962
38.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed.

CHF25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for CHF37,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017