Heuer - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Heuer
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 3646H
    Case No: 48'756
    Model Name: Autavia "Big Subs" 1st Execution dial
    Material: Stainless Steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Valjoux 92, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 38.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed.
    Literature: A similar example is published on Heuer Autavia Chronographs 1962-1985 by Richard Crosthwaite & Paul Gavin, page 40.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The "Autavia," introduced by Ed. Heuer & Co. in 1962, was the first Heuer chronograph with a model name - earlier models were simply identified by their reference numbers. The Autavia was available in two versions: one with three registers (reference 2446) and one with two registers (reference 3646). First iterations Autavias showcased oversized registers, later labeled by collectors as "Big-Subs". First execution dials had radium applied lume and are signed "Swiss" in the lower part of the dial, above the numeral “6” for the two-register model. The hands of the first Autavias models are dauphine shaped, with the first execution hands being “all lume” applied like the present example. The two-register model powered by the Valjoux 92 movement interestingly carry no movement number in contrast with the three-register model that are powered by a Valjoux 72 and have movement numbers on the bridge.

    The present Autavia "Big Sub" with 1st execution dial is preserved in excellent overall condition - the case retains its original proportions and the numbers between the lugs are crisp. The watch exhibits all the correct first series reference 3646 attributes; large subdials, shallow Ed. Heuer "one-step" case back, small pushers and dome crown. The rotating hour division bezel (with lume piece) was yet another invaluable instrument for professionals. Marketed originally as for pilots, sportsmen, divers and scientists the present timepiece is a rare opportunity for collectors of historically important chronographs and definitely an opportunity not to be missed.

  • 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. 3646H
A fine, rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with oversized registers and luminous hands

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

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF45,360

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022