Written by Admin
The relaunch of the TAG Heuer Autavia Replica has been much anticipated and it’s a welcome return. The prices on vintage Autavia’s have been increasing like crazy, meaning the new Autavia arrives at an interesting time.
There has been a lot of change over the last few years at TAG Heuer, changes for the better in my view. My prediction is that TAG Heuer within the next upcoming years will get the respect they deserve from the customers, the replica watches have already been elevated to the next level.
The Autavia case is made at TAG Heuer’s own Cortech factory in Cornol, with nothing to complain about regarding the finish. An all-polished case is expected and we recognise the design language from the original 60s/70s Autavia.
The case offers nothing new when it comes to the design compared to the original models except for the larger size of 42mm. Releasing a larger new version of a classic is always ammunition for the doubters, but I think the new size works great. I would of course prefer the case to be a little thinner but the thickness of 15.9mm doesn’t bother me.
The width of the bezel looks a little large in pictures, but looks good on the wrist. The bezel has 60 clicks and is therefore already prepared for the possibility of a diving bezel inlay with count-up or countdown markings.
The 2016 Autavia features the new in-house movement, the Calibre Heuer-02, which is an automatic column wheel chronograph movement with a vertical clutch, 12 hrs chronograph function, 75 hrs power reserve and beats at 28800 vph. Timekeeping specifications are not official during the review.
The chronograph function is precise and there is no visible vibration of the central chronograph hand when the chronograph is started or stopped. The rotor can make a loud winding sound sometimes when the rotor starts turning like crazy, I however find it charming, not annoying. The Calibre Heuer-02 is a modern movement and given the long-standing debate around the importance of in-house vs. third-party movements, I thought it would be interesting to follow the path of the development of this specific movement.
The earlier Calibre Heuer-01 movement (Calibre 1887) is based on the Seiko Chronograph 6S movement. There are a variety of views on which specific Seiko movement formed the basis for the Heuer-01/ Calibre 1887, but the most likely candidate for the base movement is the 6s78 movement used in the since long discontinued Credor chronograph GCBP997. The factory used by Seiko for outsourcing movements is the SII (Seiko Instruments Inc.) and their version of this movement is named SII TC78. Despite this family link, the Calibre Heuer-01 is however a significantly modified SII TC78.
Initially it’s a good idea to source and modify an existing movement since it costs significantly less than developing a new movement from scratch, but there are some restrictions, for example flexibility is limited on the final size, layout on the dial and the production process.
The chronograph layout (12-6-9) is the most evident restriction. Seiko has a layout which makes good sense, as you can see the “running seconds” even if the replica watch is partly hidden by the sleeve of your shirt. This layout is however not true to the heritage of Heuer and therefore was not the best choice for the new Autavia.
I always prefer a solid caseback regardless of movement finish, but the caseback displays the movement nicely which some will appreciate.
Strap/bracelet The Autavia is available with a bracelet (for a slight premium), or with the 21mm leather with contrasting stitching that you see in this review. The strap is waxed on the sides and goes well with the replica watch but I would have preferred it to be tapered to 18mm instead of 20mm.