October is the time for orange and black, however it appears the market favors that combination in all seasons. The 1163 is a sought-after reference as is, but three variants stand out as particularly attractive to Heuer’s fanatics. The first, the Jo Siffert, needs no further introduction. Formula 1 made that what it is. The Viceroy, slightly less discussed, is the black dial with red accents. The third option slots right in-between those two in terms of collectability, but first in rarity: the first ever black and orange (hand-painted subs) automatic chronograph dial for Heuer, known as ‘Orange Boy’. There are latter variants of this scheme that attract a similar moniker, however the 1970s 1163 in black and orange is true title holder, known to be one of the rarest variants of 1163 ever produced.
The 1163 was among the very first in automatic chronograph calibres. Its place in horological history is solidified for this and the affiliation with Formula 1. This dial and 41mm steel case truly encapsulate the ethos of the 1970s, with bold accents and an angular case profile. The Orange Boy features a tachymetre scaled bezel which helped to solidify its place in motorsport as speed measuring or lap timing device. It is said that the orange on this handset and dial were modeled after the Gulf racing livery though no one has confirmed this to my knowledge. This Autavia was the inspiration for the recent 02 reissue, but we all know the original has collector’s hearts.
This is a spectacular example. Its case is very sharp, with no visible abuse. Light surface wear throughout. The all important dial and handset has been well preserved with only a small amount of darkening in the subdials. Its calibre 12 has been recently serviced and is said to be running well. It comes from a well regarded retailer out of the Netherlands.
Find this 1163 Orange Boy here from Wrist Icons for 18000 EUR.