Registry of First Execution Autavias

The Autavia Chronograph

  • Heuer introduced the "Autavia" dashboard timer in 1933, with this 12-hour stopwatch designed to be mounted on the dashboard / panel of an Automobile or Airplane (thus the name is derived from the words "AUTomobile" and "AVIAtion"). Heuer introduced the Autavia chronograph in 1962, making it the first Heuer chronograph to have a model name on the dial; the "Carrera" was introduced one year later.
  • The Autavia chronograph made its first appearance in a 1962 brochure of chronographs. In this brochure, Heuer proudly declared that the "most useful feature of the new Autavia is the outside turning bezel with either a 60 minute or 12 hour division". Indeed, the Autavia was the first Heuer chronograph with a rotating bezel, a feature that defined the Autavia throughout its production life.

The First Execution of the Autavia

  • The first execution of the Autavia chronograph is defined by (a) a screw-back case, (b) larger registers than subsequent executions, and (c) dauphine hands. On the earlier version of the first execution Autavia, the hands were covered with luminous material. On subsequent versions, the hands maintained their dauphine shape, but had polished steel edges, with luminous centers.
  • All these Autavias were powered by Valjoux movements -- Valjoux 72 for the three register (12-hour) models and Valjoux 92 for the two-register models.

This Registry

  • We have prepared this Registry for two primary purposes. First, studying a collection of these watches is a good way to learn about their elements (hands, crowns, pushers, etc.), and determine whether a particular watch is entirely original or may have had some components replaced. Second, it will be interesting to see how many of these we can locate and what this might tell us about the quantity produced. In the world of vintage Heuers, the "big register" Autavias are something of "cult" or "grail" watches, so we will document their attributes and ownership.

Heuer's use of Serial Numbers

  • Heuer did not track the serial numbers that were marked on either the cases or the movements of its chronographs. Rather, the serial numbers seem to have been used by the company that manufactured these cases. Still, there are lessons to be learned from the serial numbers. For example, when we see that this Registry includes only three samples of the earliest execution of the Autavia (luminous coated hands), and that these samples have serial numbers within a span of only 50 numbers, we may conclude that there were relatively few of this model produced (at least compared to the later models, with much broader spans of serial numbers).

Please contact me with an questions about this Registry, or if you have photos of an Early Autavia that should be included.

Jeffrey M. Stein
June 30, 2007


  • serial number 48360
  • steel-edged hands
  • Owner PW


  • serial number 48655
  • Owner: JS (US)
  • serial number 48690
  • Owner: Caso (IT)
  • serial number 48698
  • Sold on eBay, December 2012
  • serial number 48746
  • Owner EL (FR)
  • serial number 48756
  • Sold in Antiquorum auction, September 2011
  • serial number 48842
  • Owner PB (IT)
  • serial number 48851
  • Owner JMS (US)
  • serial number 49108
  • Owner PG
  • Serial number 49169
  • All-luminous (early) hands
  • Made for Turler (Swiss jewelry stores)
  • Missing the bezel
  • Owner MN
  • Serial number 49176
  • All-luminous (early) hands
  • Owner HS
  • Serial number 49215
  • Movement number 456641
  • All-luminous (early) hands
  • watch appears to be entirely original -- dial, hands, crown, bezel and pushers
  • Owner JMS (US)
  • Serial number 49283
  • Movement number 456630
  • All-luminous (early) hands
  • Owner PB (IT)


  • serial number 49291
  • Movement number 456584
  • Owner PB (IT)


  • serial number 49430
  • Owner RB (UK)
  • serial number 49435
  • Owner SW (UK)
  • serial number 49498
  • movement number 457056
  • Owner EL (FR)
  • serial number 52240
  • Owner JS (US)

  • serial number 52244
  • Owner LE (US)
  • Larger image here


  • serial number 52494
  • Owner RH (NL)


  • serial number 52742
  • Owner PM (IT)


  • serial number 52862
  • Owner GGG (IT)


  • serial number 52917
  • Owner NC (US)


  • serial number 53047
  • Owner PW / SC (TX)


  • serial number 53061
  • Owner MW (DE)

  • serial number XXXXX
  • to be added
  • to be added