Few names in the world of watchmaking are as iconic as Jo Siffert – a well-known pilot, strongly linked to vintage chronograph watches. Referring first to the Heuer Autavia watches of the 1970s, with their Panda dials and bright blue accents, the Siffert name has been revived several times in the past, but today is takes on a special meaning. Our friend David Chalmers from Calibre11.com, a reference for everything linked to Heuer and TAG Heuer, has developed a new limited edition with TAG, the Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11 – and it looks quite stunning.
Heuer and Jo Siffert
Jo Siffert shot to fame by winning the 1968 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, a victory that attracted the attention of Jack Heuer, who decided to sponsor the Swiss F1 and Porsche Le Mans ace. As part of the deal, Siffert wore the Heuer logo on his racing overalls and a Heuer Autavia 1163T Chronograph on his wrist.
Jack Heuer and Jo Siffert – Jo Siffert wearing his Heuer Autavia 1163T (automatic edition, two counters, with Calibre 11)
The famous 1163T Autavia is distinguished by its white dial and black sub-dials, its central blue chronograph hand and blue highlights, now one of the most sought-after models by vintage Heuer collectors, known colloquially as the “Siffert Autavia”.
Heuer Autavia Siffert 73663 and 1163T
Two versions of the Siffert Autavia were originally available: the famous 1163T, with two sub-registers and a date, powered by the automatic Calibre 11 and the 73663 with 3 sub-registers and a Valjoux 7736 hand-wound movement. Both shared the same design, and that design is revived today with a limited edition based on TAG Heuer’s latest vintage reedition, the Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11.
The Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11
With this strictly limited edition, Calibre 11 is more on the “homage side”, than offering a pure reissue. Indeed, the Siffert Autavia has always been based on the second generation of this watch, with its 1970s-inspired “pilot case” and integrated lugs. On the other hand, the version we have today is based on the first generation introduced by TAG Heuer at Baselworld 2017. The idea was to apply the iconic colour scheme to offer a watch developed by collectors for collectors.
With this in mind, we find the return of the 42mm case inspired by the historical Ref. 2446 Mark 3 (another legendary model, with another legendary pilot linked to it: Jochen Rindt), which was presented at Baselworld 2017 and later in a Jack Heuer 85th anniversary edition – a relatively large, modern and masculine watch, with a polished steel case and a bi-directional bezel. Of course, as a motorsport-inspired piece, produced by Heuer, this watch was powered by a chronograph movement.
Compared to the standard version with black dial, several details make this Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11 different. Here is the full list of evolutions:
- Panda dial with black sub-dials on a white background
- Blue accents – on the seconds hand and on the hour indexes, next to the applied markers
- Slightly different indexes at 3 and 9 o’clock
- Vintage-inspired dial, without the standard “Heuer-02” text above the date window
- Jo Siffert signature on the smoked sapphire crystal case back
- Specially decorated Calibre Heuer-02 movement with “Heuer” rather than “TAG Heuer” logo and shield on the movement plate and rotor – the use of white, rather than red lettering for maximum legibility
- Bespoke presentation box with Jo Siffert signature
Also, just like the Jack Heuer 85th anniversary edition, the black aluminium insert on the bezel is slightly different (and racing-oriented) with hours and minutes gradations instead of large hour numerals. The dial offers a great contrast, thanks to the white colour on which the black tracks and sub-dials really stand out.
The rest of this Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11 remains the same as the original model, with the same Calibre Heuer 02 ticking inside. This movement, launched at the same time as this Autavia reissue, is based on the Calibre CH80, with integrated architecture, a column-wheel and a vertical clutch and a comfortable power reserve of 80 hours. It is visible through the sapphire case back, with a specific decoration, as mentioned below, including Jo Siffert’s signature transferred to the crystal.
The Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11 is offered as a true enthusiast’s package. Included in the specific presentation box will be the watch, as well as a black leather strap and a seven-row stainless steel “grains of rice” bracelet. The watch will be offered in 100 pieces only, at a price of CHF 5,600.
The Heuer Autavia Jo Siffert Collector’s Edition by Calibre 11 will be sold exclusively at www.calibre11.com at 1.00pm US Eastern time / 7.00pm Central Europe Time today (21 February 2018).