An 1163 Autavia with a panda dial and blue accents should just be an 1163. Thanks to some very intriguing history, it is not. Heuer were among the very first houses to attempt the automatic chronograph. That Caliber II is not what we have today. Today, we have a simple manually-wound beauty focussed on going fast. This design is the one that caught the eye of one Jo Siffert, a man cooler than any you will ever meet.
In the era of mustaches, Pan-Am, and aviators, Jo Siffert was at his height. The Formula 1 driver gained a Heuer sponsorship and so strapped on an 1163 with the dial arrangement you see here today. Tragically, his approach to a title was cut short in during a World Championship Victory Race at Brands. As far as we know, the 1163 was likely on his wrist the day we lost him. A Swiss man himself, I like to think he appreciated the mechanical detail and tachy scale the Autavia provided in period. The colours are now inseparably tethered to his memory among thousands of Heuer enthusiasts who dream in 70s V12 Formula 1 engine noises.
The example shown today features a latter and final Mark VI dial. Many consider this one of the more desirable designs. In addition, its case is unpolished and so much better for it. The majority of these aren’t. There is an engraving on back, not pictured but noted. I’d be very curious to know what it was. Its movement looks spectacular. I’d make serious consideration before any other Autavia colour choice. This thing is gorgeous.
Find this Jo Siffert here on Chrono24 for 10848