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Super Autavia -- Main Page

Introduced in 1958, the Super Autavia was hailed as the first dash-board chronograph for motorcars, power boats and airplanes. The headline in Heuer brochures of the period proudly announced that the Super Autavia shows simultaneously Time of Day and Time of Trip. For many collectors and enthusiasts, the Super Autavia is the ultimate Heuer dashboard timepiece, not merely a clock or timer, but a true chronograph.

We include two additional timepieces in this presentation of the Super Autavia -- Heuer's Aircraft Chronograph (Reference 430) and the Targa Florio Chronograph. Both these timepieces use the same movements as the Super Autavia -- the Aircraft Chronograph was introduced in the late 1960's / early 1970's and is powered by the Valjoux 5; the Targa Florio Chronograph was produced in the early 1950's, and is powered by the Valjoux 76.

Click on the photograph of any model shown below to see additional photographs of that model.

For information about the relative values of the Super Autavias, go to Super Autavia on our Values page.


a.Early Super Autavia

(1958)

b.Super Autavia

(1959-1967)

c.Late Super Autavia

(1967-1975)

d.24-Hour Super Autavia


e.Aircraft Chronograph


f.Targa Florio Chronograph


g.Comparison of Super Autavias

Document Title The Super Autavia functions are as follows:

  • Time of Day (Clock) is read as on a standard clock, with white hands for hours and minutes, and a seconds register at the bottom of the dial (6:00 o’clock). Heuer referred to this as the Super Autavia’s “White System”.

  • When the crown is pulled out, the movement stops instantly, allowing synchronization with a radio time signal or other source of “official” time (referred to as a “hack” feature). Pushing down the crown to its normal position starts the movement again.

  • Time of Trip (Stopwatch) is indicated by what Heuer called the “Red System” – hours and half hours are read by the red-tipped hour hand against the red divisions on the turning bezel; minutes are read by the red hand on the small minute dial (at 12:00 o’clock); and seconds (accurate to 1/5 seconds) are read by the red center second hand.

  • The button in the crown starts and stops the stopwatch; the right pusher resets stopwatch hands to zero (when stopwatch has been stopped)

The Super Autavia utilized two movements and three cases over its lifetime, as follows:

  • 1958: Super Autavia introduced, with Valjoux 76 movement; dial has baton markers for hours; case is chromium coated, low-profile; bezel is snap-on, coin-edge, with red markings

  • Hour markers on dial changed from batons to arabic numerals

  • Case made of “profectus”; case and bezel now match profile, depth (13mm) and construction of Master Time, Monte Carlo, etc.

    • Movement changed to Valjoux 5

    • 1967: Case made deeper (15mm) to match Master Time, Monte Carlo, etc.

    • 1970: True 24-hour movement introduced, still based on the Valjoux 5

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