TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer Limited Edition Watch
TAG Heuer’s most iconic versions are connected with automobile racing, and one of the most famous is the Carrera. Jack Heuer suggested the name shortly after taking control of the company from his uncle (more on this below). Jack Heuer wished to make a watch for race car drivers. It had to be perfectly legible and hard enough to withstand the vibrations drivers encounter in a race. The end result is a watch that has achieved cult status.Graffiti artist Alec Monopoly (whose real name is Alec Andon) made yet another appearance on behalf of TAG Heuer this season at Art Basel Miami now using a particular edition of the TAG Heuer Carrera Connected Modular 45 Watch, using a digital reproduction of a single of the artist’s paintings on the monitor. The 300-piece limited variant premiered in a boutique celebration in Miami, where Monopoly put the finishing touches on the custom painted straps.The watch is a special version of TAG’s Connected Modular 45 watch, distinctive because it takes the form of a round mechanical watch with a 45mm case. It’s an android-powered smartwatch, using a crown that functions as the control centre. The screen of the brand new special edition Alec Monopoly watch is a digital rendering of a painting by the artist. The white rubber straps on each version of the special edition are painted by Alec Monopoly, and every is one-of-a-kind. The straps, all 300 of them, were mounted side by side on a large board at the celebration, where the artist finished painting all of them at once, using a method that involves applying spray paint at splatters. “I experimented with a lot of different paints, also I discovered spray paint is the best since it’s conditioned to operate outside in the rain or snow, and on various surfaces,” says Monopoly. “I started them in my own studio where nobody was about and will finish them off tonight,” he said in an interview prior to the celebration at the TAG boutique in Miami’s Design District.
I recently reviewed the TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 watch on aBlogtoWatch here. The limited edition Jack Heuer variant is similar, but with a couple key differences apart from the apparent dial colours, though these differences can be difficult to see if you don’t understand what you’re looking for. Obviously, unlike the non-limited edition reference CBE2110.FC8226 version of the Autavia Heuer 02, this reference CBE 2111. BA0687 Jack Heuer version of this Autavia is limited to 1,932 pieces (because of Jack’s birth year). The opinion is scheduled to be released on or about Jack’s 85th birthday which is on November 17th. I recommend that anybody who’s interested in this watch, and who might have missed my above linked-to review — mention it after reading this report. For the most part, what I mentioned about the non-limited edition applies to this limited edition model ranging from the grade Heuer 02 in-house automatic chronograph movement, slick vintage looks, and good value for the money.The major difference in the Jack Heuer Autavia versus another version is that the dial color — which, in this example, is silver using black-colored sub-dials. While I only have the brand’s images of this watch useful for this guide, I’ve handled and worn this watch several times and can attest to its desirability. One thing I want to mention is that unlike the way the pictures appear to depict the palms, the dial is for the most part as legible as on the black-dialed Autavia, if my memory serves me correctly.The silver-colored dial contrasts very well with the black sub-dials, making for a very authentic panda-dial appearance that I happen to find appealing. In my opinion, it really edges out the non-limited variant Autavia as being the more appealing of both — but in fact, they are equally good-looking timepieces.
Take, for instance, the altered TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02 (aBlogtoWatch review here) watches created by Bamford. These might not do especially well in large quantities at traditional TAG Heuer watch stores, but they’re intriguing, motivated, and definitely neat-looking. They are also the type of thing that now’s luxury novelty seeker might want – especially the kind of person who is far more keen on goods from new brands versus historical ones who are slow to change.More so, given their hastened pricing, the Bamford TAG Heuer watches are going to be in a level above most other TAG Heuer watches — especially the unmodified “stock” models that these are predicated on with a margin of at least a few thousand bucks. In a sense, working with Bamford allows each of those LVMH brands such as TAG Heuer to reach new customers and demographics, while not damaging the salability of the center collection, without doing very much whatsoever. It is a persuasive strategy to say the least, and on account of the leadership of Jean-Claude Biver.Each of these various Bamford TAG Heuer watches doesn’t mechanically alter any of these watches, but rather concentrates on case coating treatments (black colour) too dial layout alterations (which in many cases are colours along with other light software). I also quite like that these are all very legible (though I would have to see that otherwise cool-looking red and black dial Autavia in person to see how easily one could read the time).My comprehension is that for today, these Bamford TAG Heuer watches are now offered for purchase either directly through Bamford in their website (clearly, if you are going to customize a model there) or via different Bamford authorized dealers around the world. It is not yet clear if these watches are available for sale through select TAG Heuer dealers (though if there’s enough demand I am sure there will be). Bamford pricing is up there like Bamford’s ability to call attention. Expensive yes, but do not knock them before you try them.
The TAG Heuer Autavia “reissue” that launched this year has been a hit, and today a limited edition variant of the timepiece comes out which is intended to celebrate the 85th birthday of Jack Heuer. Today’s TAG has been keen to promote the legacy value of Mr. Jack Heuer as much as possible, and for good reason. The charming former head of TAG Heuer is also part of the original Heuer family that started the brand. In the 1960s, he famously launched the very popular Carrera collection, as well as the first wrist watch version of the Autavia.
According to TAG Heuer, In 1933 (a year after Jack Heuer’s birth) the Heuer company penned the “Autavia” name which was a combination of the words “automotive” and “aviation.” The notion was to have a timepiece that was suited to both purposes. It wasn’t until about 30 years later in 1962 that the Autavia name was bestowed upon a wristwatch, which Jack Heuer claims was the first watch he designed while at the company. Jack also seems to suggest that this limited edition version of the modern Autavia Heuer 02 is the “last watch that I have created,” which may imply that he could be done with having timepieces associated with him. That could be so, but my instinct tells me that there are likely to be occasional Jack Heuer limited edition timepieces so long as there is a Jack Heuer around (and may he live well past 85 years old).
I recently reviewed the TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 watch on aBlogtoWatch here. The limited edition Jack Heuer version is similar, but with a few key differences aside from the obvious dial colors, though these differences can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what you are looking for. Of course, unlike the non-limited edition reference CBE2110.FC8226 version of the Autavia Heuer 02, this reference CBE 2111.BA0687 Jack Heuer version of the Autavia is limited to 1,932 pieces (because of Jack’s birth year). The watch is due to be released on or around Jack’s 85th birthday which is on November 17th.
I recommend that anyone who is interested in this watch, and who may have missed my above linked-to review – reference it after reading this article. For the most part, everything I said about the non-limited edition applies to this limited edition model ranging from the caliber Heuer 02 in-house automatic chronograph movement, slick vintage looks, and good value for the money.
The major difference in the Jack Heuer Autavia versus the other model is the dial color – which, in this instance, is silver with black-colored sub-dials. While I only have the brand’s images of this watch handy for this article, I have handled and worn this watch a few times and can attest to its desirability. One thing I want to mention is that unlike how the images seem to portray the hands, the dial is for the most part just as legible as on the black-dialed Autavia, if my memory serves me correctly.
The silver-colored dial contrasts very nicely with the black sub-dials, making for a very authentic panda-dial look that I happen to find attractive. In my opinion, it actually edges out the non-limited edition Autavia as being the more attractive of the two – but in reality, they are both good-looking timepieces.
Bamford’s primary forte (along with bothersome some conservative watch purists) is in choosing classic layouts and making them a bit more hip and trendy. Bamford also has a great deal of experience in case coatings and dial modifications, making the company unique — along with the reality that they service a lot of their watches in-house. Bamford Watch Department also spends substantial time producing customized or bespoke watches for clients. This can be done either in person in the BWD “The Hive” headquarters at London, or through their website.George Bamford applied exactly what he’s good at in these new Bamford TAG Heuer watches, carrying the new TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02, Carrera Calibre 5, and Monaco Caliber 11 at a selection of interesting directions. Again, Bamford will not just have specific sets of pre-made designs accessible, but through their own online customizer (that for TAG Heuer opens up now) customers can play with colors and designs more or less the way they enjoy. If the online customizer doesn’t give you want you want, then give George a call and see his office.It is intriguing to consider how TAG Heuer may make best use out of working with Bamford. Being the subject of expensive artwork jobs (that can be more or less how I believe personalized/customized watches) is surely a brand boosting chance for TAG Heuer. More importantly, Bamford’s activities function as valuable evaluations on what colours, styles, and general looks work and do not work for your brand’s products. This value is very similar to what brands like Zenith and Bulgari get out of working with Bamford.Personally, while I am disappointed at how small that I could manage from Bamford, I really like the playfulness of their watches. Taking something classic, and making it more stylish and fun with colours and fascinating designs is endlessly fun for me, and wearing Bamford watches is enjoyable. These are one of the best luxury toys on the market — and it simply wouldn’t work too if the inherent product was not a timeless classic.
Another difference in the limited edition is the design of the numeral scale in the bi-directional rotating bezel. The non-limited edition Autavia has a 12 hour scale on the bezel, whereas the Jack Heuer model has a more traditional 60 minute counter. Both are on a black anodized aluminum bezel insert. Again, I’ll point out that what would make the Autavia a more perfect watch is a ceramic versus aluminum bezel insert (again, in my opinion). Which of the two bezels is more attractive or useful? That is a good question and really a matter of personal taste. With fewer markers, the 12-hour scale is a bit more on the elegant side. Though, the 60-minute counter is a bit more common, and arguably useful in more situations as a timing device, and also a bit busy with all the markers. I really can’t say that one bezel choice is better than the other – outside of saying that they are merely different.
A somewhat strange design decision in the Autavia Heuer 02 Jack Heuer is the choice of caseback. The non-limited edition model had a sapphire crystal display caseback that offered a view of the excellent and nice-to-look-at TAG Heuer Caliber Heuer 02 automatic movement. The Jack Heuer model has a solid caseback, that is engraved with Jack’s family seal and signature. It also says “Jack Heuer 85th Birthday Edition,” as though you needed to attend his birthday party in order to get one. Or does it look as though you are wearing Jack Heuer’s personal watch? I’m not sure… I actually told TAG Heuer that if I get one of these, I’d like to get the caseback of the non-limited edition Autavia and screw it on the Jack Heuer edition – simply because I like looking at the movement so much. What should I do with the Jack heuer signature/seal caseback? Maybe turn it into some type of a pendant?
TAG Heuer offers the standard (non-limited) Autavia Heuer 02 on either a leather strap or a matching steel metal bracelet. The Autavia Jack Heuer comes exclusively on the metal bracelet option, which I don’t have any complaints about. Though, I have to say that I feel this watch would look rather handsome on a thick aviation-style black leather strap with silver-colored contrast stitching.
Other than the above mentioned differences, the Autavia Heuer 02 Jack Heuer watch is the same as the non-limited edition (again, that I discuss at length in the review article linked-to above). I’ll quickly remind you of the overall specs. The polished steel case is 42mm wide, a bit on the thicker side, and water resistant to 100m. The calibre Heuer 02 movement is an automatic with a column wheel and vertical clutch-based 12-hour chronograph system. The movement features a neatly integrated date window within the sub-dial located at 6 o’clock, and the 4Hz (28,800bph) movement has a long power reserve of 80 hours.
Bamford’s main forte (in addition to irritating some conservative watch purists) is in choosing classic layouts and making them a bit more stylish and trendy. Bamford also has a lot of expertise in case coatings and dial modifications, making the company unique — combined with the reality that they support many of their watches in house. Bamford Watch Department also spends substantial time producing bespoke or customized watches for clients. This can be done in person in the BWD “The Hive” headquarters at London, or via their website.George Bamford implemented what he is great at in those new Bamford TAG Heuer watches, taking the new TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02, Carrera Calibre 5, and Monaco Caliber 11 in a selection of fascinating directions. Again, Bamford will not just have particular collections of bespoke designs available, but through their online customizer (that for TAG Heuer opens up now) consumers can play with colors and layouts more or less how they like. In the event the internet customizer doesn’t give you want you want, then give George a call and visit his office.It is interesting to contemplate how TAG Heuer might make best use from working with Bamford. Being the subject of expensive artwork jobs (that can be more or less how I consider personalized/customized watches) is certainly a brand boosting opportunity for TAG Heuer. More to the point, Bamford’s activities serve as precious tests on what colours, styles, and overall looks work and don’t function for your brand’s products. This value is similar to what brands like Zenith and Bulgari get from working with Bamford.Personally, although I am disappointed at how little that I can manage from Bamford, I really like the playfulness of their watches. Taking something timeless, and making it more trendy and fun with colors and interesting designs is endlessly entertaining for me, and wearing Bamford watches is fun. These are one of the best luxury toys out there — and it just would not work as well if the inherent product was not a timeless classic.
I’ve been an outspoken fan of the new TAG Heuer Autavia collection, and that includes this Jack Heuer limited edition. I think what makes the story of it that much more interesting is that it wasn’t imagined after the first Autavia “re-issue” from earlier this year, but that it was developed at the same time (and only debuted now). It’s a very handsome and practical high-end sport watch that you can wear on a daily basis. It has enough high-quality guts and provenance to satisfy watch nerds, but it also has a refined look which lends itself well to casual, daily wear for anyone. The reference CBE 2111.BA0687 TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer is a limited edition of 1,932 pieces and costs $600 more than the non-limited model at a price of $5,900 USD. tagheuer.com