Mk1 7763C Heuer Autavia
Cutting edge technology looked a little different in 1968. When Piquerez debuted the EPSA case circa 1960, it was a true step function change in water resistance. Heuer took that same tech on board in their all-purpose chronograph, the Autavia. Following the 2446C, this second generation Autavia debuted the Valjoux 7730 in place of the Valjoux 72.
The compressor was was a unique design that was meant to be superior to screw-backs. They were constructed in such a way that as water pressure built on the case exterior, gaskets would be more firmly compressed. In effect, the deeper one went the more water resistant the junction became. For this reason, the crowns and pushers are not even screw-down. The problem with compressor case design is maintenance. Rubber does not stand up quite as well to the tests of time as does steel, particular under harsh repeated compression with salt. As such, compressors haven’t really proliferated as widely as screw-downs (as EPSA might have hoped), but are an interesting corner of case construction history.
The earliest 7763Cs such as this Mark 1 featured a white seconds hand and smaller teeth on their bezel edge. The dials were all a reverse panda, very similar to the 2446 which preceded it. Although the 40mm case is a bit less subtle than the original Rindt, it has a charming appeal all its own in its stout proportion. Additionally, its worth noting that the restrained two-register 7763C is likely more rare that its triple-register sibling, though either are hard to source in decent condition.
This one definitely qualifies. The dial is immaculate, with light cream tritium and no spotting in the subdials. Its case shows signs of very light polishing, but serial and reference numbers are still visible. It comes with an original Heuer clasp on a beads of rice with unmarked endlinks from a well-regarded German retailer.
Find this 7763C here from Watchurbia for 7590 EUR.