HEUER | 'BIG REGISTER' AUTAVIA, REF 2446 STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH FIRST EXECUTION DIAL CIRCA 1962
'BIG REGISTER' AUTAVIA, REF 2446
STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH FIRST EXECUTION DIAL
Calibre: cal. 72 manual winding, 17 jewels
Case: stainless steel, screw-down back
Case number: 52'764
Dimensions: 38.5 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
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MVT: is running at the time of cataloguing and the chronograph working.
CASE: in honest used condition with sharpness remaining to the edges and milled bezel, as well as with nice proportions and visible engravings on the back. The watch has been used over time and has scratches and small dings throughout, with a bigger chip on the lower right lug as well as some scratched-off parts on the bezel. The triangle at 12 o'clock is almost completely missing though it still shows a nice reaction under UV-light. The glass also has some scratches throughout.
DIAL: in attractive condition with some blemishes visible with the naked eye.The luminous numbers and indexes have aged nicely and taken on a uniform darker colour, reacting evenly under UV-light. The hands with some tarnishing throughout.
Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.
You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.
Prospective bidders should review the Conditions of Business, Authenticity Guarantee, the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and any Important Notice in the sale catalogue.
Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus please note that the shipping of your watch may affected or delayed. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates as the situation evolves.
Please note: Condition 15 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS (ONLINE ONLY).
Apart from motor sport and immense style, there is one thing that connects the likes of Steve McQueen, Gilles Villeneuve, Jochen Rindt and Derek Bell: The Heuer Autavia. First produced in 1962 the Autavia, a fusion of ‘Automotive’ and ‘Aviation’, was the first chronograph wristwatch Heuer produced that bore a model name on the dial.
The present lot represents the earliest execution of the reference 2446 and is set apart from its successors by several elements. The dial is striking, aptly named ‘Big Register’ and considered a 'first execution' one, accompanied by second execution hands with stainless steel edges around the luminous material. The watch is also powered by the Valjoux 72, the same engine that fuelled the manual winding Rolex Daytona. This gives the watch a slightly deeper profile than its sister reference 3646 utilising the slimmer Valjoux 92.
Another key feature, though not specific to this reference, is the rotating bezel. The 2446 was produced with two types of bezels, one calibrated for 12 hours such as the one here, and another one calibrated for 60 minutes. In their advertisements Heuer praised the bezel as ‘the most useful feature of the new Autavia’ and listed the benefits to Scientists, Divers and Pilots. For example, pilots set known time markers in advance such as approach time before landing, acceleration-time before take-off, or estimated times of arrival while skin divers, sportsmen and Scientists can preset any known time marks such as diving time, oxygen supply or the timing of races.
The present lot is offered at auction in honest condition and the watch, ultimately a tool, shows signs of wear consistent with its purpose while retaining its presence and attractiveness nonetheless.