Heuer Autavia 11630 Tachy Black/White (Viceroy Colours)
Heuer Autavia 11630 T Black/White, Cal. 12, c 1973-4
I already have in my collection a regular 1163V Viceroy model, so when I decided to go for a 11630 version, I knew what I was getting, so there wasn’t a great deal of excitement waiting for it to arrive… how wrong I was. I love it, it really is a very handsome watch – it oozes cool and class, fullstop. It has a certain luxury quality about it too, one thing that helps create this are the steel Monaco-esk main hands, something unique to this colourway, as (if I remember correctly) all the other 11630’s have painted handsets. Yes, these models aren’t rare, or hard to come by, but it is a beautifully made and just goes to show that you don’t have to spend years hunting a rare piece, or a pay a kings ransom to really enjoy a vintage Heuer.
What’s really pleasing about this one, is that the surface ‘gloss’ on the tachy bezel insert has worn away over the years, leaving a very deep matt grey-black, which is just sublime – the silver tachy scale really ‘punches’ out against the matt backdrop. I hadn’t planned to put it on a ‘perlon’ NATO strap, but I think it looks wonderful on it.
This has the more common Schmitz case, with the deep-dish caseback . The Piquerez cases has more shallow stepped caseback. More info on case differences can be seen here at OTDs Viceroy guide.
Although I mention Viceroy, this model actually falls outside of the promotion dates. This model has no ‘V’ stamped along with ‘11630’ on the case, Serial is 300950, located low on the lug end, (as is the ‘11630’ on the other side). Mark Moss, a renowned Heuer specialist, has undergone a large amount of research, as yet unpublished, into the serial numbers of the Autavias – his best guess is that this particular watch was not part of the Viceroy promotion, and was produced after the promo, in around 1973/4. Heuer continued to sell this model long after the promo ended in late ‘72, the design carrying on into the 11063 cased Autavias. Despite this technically not being a Viceroy, these watches are still referred to as such or as ‘Viceroy colours’, as it immediately identifies the colourway from other 11630s.
Despite this model being very well known, and not exactly a rare piece, the odd thing is that (as far as I know), it doesn’t appear in any catalogues that are online at the usual places (OTD or Calibre 11). The earlier 1163 and last of the Autavias, the 11063 are seen, but not the 11630. What is slightly confusing to the layman, is that the 11063 model is sometimes referred to as the 11630 in some catalogues. This is a known error amongst the Heuer community, and is attributed to an art dept. error when designing the catalogues.