TAG Heuer Carbonizes Baselworld With The New Autavia Isograph (Hands-On)
TAG Heuer’s classic sport watch springs back to life as a seven-piece, stand-alone collection.
Inspired by TAG Heuer’s classic automotive chronograph, this new family in the Autavia collection features seven new 42mm references including two in bronze. But the biggest story in this restart is that these iconic timepieces now incorporate the carbon-composite hairspring technology (watch our VIDEO) that the company introduced earlier this year with the Carrera Caliber Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph (Read HERE).
There is a movement toward taking beloved timepieces, updating them with cutting edge technology and then building them out as a collection. It’s a refreshing trend that allows brands to expand and explore. Exploring the possibilities of a watch, keeping the collections focused while still pleasing consumers who want something new.
While this collection does not include a chronograph, the goal of this reintroduction was not to recreate but channel the personality of the 1960s Autavia — that is to say, a watch that was, rugged, reliable and versatile.
he origins of the Autavia go further back than the Jack Heuer era. In 1911, Jack's Grandfather Edouard owned the second car in his Swiss Canton. At the time, controlling a car was an adventure. In many ways, it was like riding a wild horse, so checking your pocket watch was tricky. Edouard recognized the need for hands-free dashboard instruments to help measure time and distance. Hence the start of TAG Heuer’s motorsports legacy (read HERE).
While Heuer's history is a big part of the new Autavia collection, the post TAG merger age is just as important.
TAG Heuer bills itself as an avant-grade watchmaker. And it is the use of this innovative carbon-composite hairspring technology that distinguishes each piece as an Isograph, and the avant-garde watchmaker builds on its heritage to continue the saga. I highly recommend you read and/or watch Watchonista’s coverage on this new technology (HERE and HERE).
Iso comes from the Greek for equal. And this new material is meant to keep the mainspring’s equilibrium regardless of the effects of shock, temperature or gravity.
Although the new collection consists of only seven references, because of its quick release bracelet and strap system it is also open to endless configurations. And the bronze cased variants also offer a one-of-a-kind experience as the patina reacts to its owner’s personal experiences.
Basically, the new Autavias feel more like a rebirth than a revival. It's meant to be an everyday wearer, and the brand is standing by its reliable Caliber 5 movement to provide power. Details like an easy-to-maneuver big crown, easy-to-read numbers, and bright, legible lume also show the Autavia’s dedication to functionality. But there’s also a nod to fashion both in the variety of dial finished and colors as well as the interchangeable bracelets. Priced between $3,600 to $4,300 USD, the Autavia Isograph is one of my highlights of Baselworld 2019.
As TAG Heuer tells it: The Autavia— not just a vintage watch, but a future watch as well!
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)