Jo Siffert Is Back
1 March, 2021
The vintage Heuer collection community is one of the most passionate in the entire industry. This core group of collectors is one of the reasons why TAG Heuer's attempt at bringing the Autavia back to life has been such a resounding success. The "Autavia Cup", announced in 2016, pitted 16 iconic Autavia models against one another in a March Madness – style bracket. After over 50,000 votes were cast, the final winner ended up being the Autavia Mark 3 "Jochen Rindt", which was brought back to life at Baselworld 2017 to critical acclaim. The lates limited-edition Autavia is modeled after a legendary Autavia made famous by race car driver Jo Siffert. Legend has it that after winning the 1968 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Siffert was approached by Jack Heuer to make a deal. The terms were Heuer would sponsor the Swiss F1 race if the racer would promote the brand and wear an Autavia while he drove. For years after that, you could see the Heuer logo on Siffert's racing overalls matching the Autavia 1163T Chronograph on his wrist. The 1163T Chronograph was recognizable for having black subdials and a blue central hand with subtle hints of blue dotted throughout, most notably at the end of the indices. Nowadays, this model is strictly known as the "Siffert Autavia". This has all been recreated for the new model; in fact, this is the first time the Siffert signature has ever appeared on a modern Heuer. The new watch uses the same Heuer 02 automatic chronograph movement as last year's Autavia but the corresponding text over the date window has been removed to retain the vintage-inspired aesthetic. Other vintage flairs include the use of the original Heuer logo, the choice of a specially developed black calfskin strap with a classic Heuer tang buckle or a seven-row steel "grains of rice" bracelet, and the use of white indexes rather than red to improve legibility. The only other major differences from the 1969 model are that the crown has been adjusted to the right side set in between the pushers and TAG decided to go with the more modern three subdials rahter than two. The bezel has been simplified by replacing the tachymeter function with stacked hour and minutes numerals. Other than that, the watch appears to overall be very faithful – aesthetic – wise – to Jo Siffert's original watch. It's limited to 100 total pieces and is priced at CHF 5,600 (approximately $5,970 at the time of publishing).