The Autavia is a watch that represented change at Heuer. Launched in 1962, it was the first watch designed under Jack Heuer’s stewardship of the brand, and it was the first chronograph to receive a name – the first hint that Heuer’s objective was to create a larger range around the first model.
The Autavia was also the first Heuer to feature contrasting registers, which the company felt made the dial more legible, and a rotating bezel. This last feature is perhaps the most significant, as Heuer could adapt the bezel in a number of ways to produce models with other functions, such as the GMTs and even, a small number of diving Autavias. All this to say the ref. 2446 isn’t just important on its own, it’s important because of the family of watches it spawned, which all contributed to Heuer’s success in the 1960s and 1970s.