1973 Heuer Autavia Viceroy Chronograph Ref. 1163V Caliber 12 w/ MH Bezel
Heuer has cemented itself as a core brand in the vintage watch hobby, and for good reason. With a focus on tool watches, an involvement in motorsports, and quite a few high profile wearers and ambassadors, Heuer oozes vintage cool, and collectors have noticed, making Heuer sport watches a staple in any collection.
The Autavia is the perfect example of a tool watch used for motorsport, and Viceroy's sponsorship of Parnelli Jones' F1 team in the late 60s and early 70s led to one of the few truly legendary collaborations in the watch world. In 1971, readers of certain magazines were able to send in a clipping from an advertisement with a UPC from a carton of Viceroy cigarettes to receive a special Heuer Autavia in colors matching Viceroy's bright red branding. Approximately 5,000 of these models were produced in total and are becoming increasingly sought after as collector worthy examples disappear into safe deposit boxes. A great in-depth analysis of the model and the circumstances surrounding the watch's release can be found over at Hodinkee here.
What's interesting about this particular watch is the late serial number falls into the last batch of Viceroy promotion watches according to available resources, however as the promotion drew to a close the 1163V was simultaneously sold through dealers at the regular price, where both the Tachy bezel found on the Viceroy promotion pieces or the Minute-Hour (MH) bezels could be sold on the watch as an option. This watch was an estate "barn find" and the MH bezel is original to this piece. A 1163V with an original MH bezel is considerably harder to find than its Tachy brethren.
We are proud to offer this Heuer Autavia Viceroy Ref. 1163V. This Autavia is completely original and appears in unpolished condition. This Autavia has a very late 270XXX serial number indicating production in the last batch of 1163V watches.
Condition is as follows:
Case: 42mm stainless steel case in excellent vintage condition. The case appears to be unpolished with the radial brushing on the case top very crisp as shown in the photos, and the polished case chamfers are still present and with sharp edges. Polished sides show minor wear as shown in the photos but no gouges or deep dents are present in the case.
Bezel: Steel outer bezel is original and excellent condition with a firm click action. Insert is original and in excellent condition as pictured. The 1163V typically was supplied with a tachymeter insert, but with a late serial number like this one the watch was most likely originally sold at a dealer rather than through the Viceroy promotion where both tachymeter or MH (minute hour) bezels were available.
Dial/Hands: Original black dial with polished steel markers with white inserts. The tritium has aged to a creamy patina. Hands are original brushed stainless steel with red accents and narrow tritium portions with matching patina. The dial is free of any staining or spotting.
Caseback: Excellent condition solid brushed stainless steel screw caseback. There is a light engraving with initials RJL and 1969 on the caseback as pictured.
Crystal: The crystal appears to be the original acrylic and shows some surface wear and crazing. We have left the crystal in place rather than replacing it to preserve the piece's originality.
Movement: Heuer caliber 12 automatic chronograph movement with all functions working correctly including start, stop, and reset to zero of the chronograph. The movement keeps excellent time.
Bracelet/Strap: Like new black vintage rally style leather strap with SS buckle.
Accessories: None, sold as watch only.