The contraction of Automobile and Aviation, Heuer’s Autavia has never looked better. The Autavia is the Daytona for people who actually do motorsport. Red Bull is coming back to dominance in F1 and in celebration of Mercedes’ reign ending, I felt it appropriate to post up a watch of their motorsport partner, Heuer. Heuer has been a part of modern Formula 1 for as long as the sport has been evolving. When most people think Formula 1 Heuers, their minds go to the Jochen Rindt or 73463 in Siffert colours. This simple two-register 3646 may not be the most closely-associated, rarest, or technically competent Autavia. However, to my eye, it is possibly thee most aesthetic chronograph they’ve ever produced.
This rarer second-execution 3646 features a simple 12-hour bezel, tritium markers, white chronograph hand, swiss-only dial, and a reverse panda layout. Its 39mm steel case sports long lugs, a fluted crown, and stout pushers. Everything about this reference shouts simple practicality, a character well-suited to pushing a vintage Brabham around SIlverstone. The 3646 two-register layout provides a vertical symmetry that the 2446 simply does not. While many chronograph collectors demand a third sub, I adore the visual balance this vintage charmer holds. Its Valjoux 92 is good for 40 hours of reserve at a leisurely 18000 vph.
This example sports a light patina. The case is sharp, with bevels intact. Tritium is evenly aged and all present. The crown and pushers are original, as is its uncorroded Valjoux 92. The dial is lightly greyed with all signatures and markings visible. The bezel sports a very light knock at 10 with luminous triangle still yellow. This 3646 is a lovely example of a motorsport icon, a tribute to times gone by.
Find this 3646 here on Chrono24 for 29500 USD.