Monday, October 27, 2014

Heuer Autavia 11630 - Tropical WHITE dial

In the Heuer community it's not uncommon that the true collectable watches go from one collector to another. Those watches show up in ads and on different forums. After a while everybody starts to know them and their history. Much more exciting is to find a watch that has always been in the hands of the first owner, who looked well after it and even more important who kept it completely original.

A while ago I was able to buy such a first owner watch. The owner had the watch serviced on a regular basis at his local watchmaker  but kept it 100% original. That means the case was never refinished, the crystal had never been changed, the dial and hands never relumed and the bezel never replaced.

When I bought the watch I decided to keep the watch as original as possible. I just had the case refurbished by the master, changed the crystal and replaced the bezel by a NOS Tachymeter bezel I was able to find in Greece. The lume that has developed a heavy patina and the central second sweep hand that has some paint loss will remain as they are.

The watch itself is a true rare bird. It's an Heuer Autavia 11630T with a white dial and subdials that are going tropical. While never appearing in an Heuer catalog the handful of these white dial variations that have surfaced over the years all have a 26xxxx serial number with an early style caseback which indicates they were made between 1972 and 1974. There may be different opinions but most Heuer expert believe this white dial 11630, also called white boy, is one of a dozen or so known to exist. Enjoy the "before" and "after" pictures.

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