‘Orange Boy’ 11630 Heuer Autavia
In watches, as most luxuries, there is often an asymptotic relationship between the amount a watch commands and the extra value you receive. In tangible terms, it means this: a 20K watch will not give you twice the enjoyment of a 10K watch, often it may give you about 1.5x as much additional enjoyment as a 10K watch. Perhaps a 30K watch will give you 1.65x the additional enjoyment. But eventually, these additional benefits converge at some point that does not exceed some Y-asymptote of new watch enjoyment, wherever that lies for you. I find often 300K watches are far less interesting than watches costing one tenth, but with a story. All of which is to say that, if you want an Orange Boy, you’ll get a lot of thrills out of examples that aren’t the 25K collector’s reference 1163. The sweet spot is probably somewhere around this 11630.
Orange accents were created for the Autavia in the 1163, but carried on by this 11630, 73463, 15630s, and others. Only when the 1163 began to sell at massive premium did people begin to term these other reference as Orange Boys, but hey evolving times and all that. For what its worth, I’m not sure where the nickname’s parlance should begin and end. But I do know that this second generation of automatic Autavia is lot of orange fun for the ask. Two register, twelve-hour Heuer chronographs bring to mind the Carrera. But if one is willing to experiment with a relatively common calibre and 1970s case, there’s a bundle of fun to be had.
Moreover, all the changes that came with the 11630 were purposeful. The outer bezel is wider for legibility and grew a luminous dot. The crystal switched from plexi to mineral. The case is also more robust, to the tune of a 1mm. There aren’t actually as many playful chronographs from the 70s are you think there are from brands you recognize. Heuer really did it best, and somehow they’re in a market that’s totally froth-less today. It’s the anti-Rainbow-Daytona, really. More of that, please.
This example sports a strong case, and original signed Gay Freres. The dial is clear and crisp, all tritium still present and a lovely honey. It comes from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this 11630 Orange Boy here from The Vintage Watch Lad for 4750 GBP.