On January 21, 2019, leading Australian watch blog, Time & Tide, announced its “Watch & Act” World Watch Auction, in aid of the Australian brush fire crisis. Watch brands and other industry players have created or donated special watches, with all auction proceeds going to Australian charities. There is an interesting range of watches included in the auction, from a H. Moser & Cie. watch that is the personal watch of U2 bass player Adam Clayton (estimate $10,000 to $20,000), to an 18 karat gold Bulgari Serpenti (estimate $25,000 to $35,000), to a Baltic Watches Aquascape Prototype (estimate $500 to $1,500).
Other interesting watches created for the auction include a Zenith Pilot Rescue and a Hublot Classic Fusion, each with special case-backs referring to the auction. Several other brands offered limited edition models that were previously sold out, including an Oris Divers Sixty-Five LE for Hodinkee and a Doxa Sub 200 130 Years Limited Edition. There were also donations of watches from some leading watch blogs, as well as others in the watch community.
All the proceeds from the Watch & Act auction will be distributed to five charities:
- two rural fire services groups – the Country Fire Authority in Victoria and the Rural Fire Service of New South Wales;
- two wildlife rescue groups – Wildlife Victoria and the World Wildlife Fund; and
- one fund, the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, created specifically for the south-east region of Victoria, an area that has been particularly hard-hit.
Time+Tide Watches has organized the auction, but will not earn any income from it. Invaluable.com are providing their auction platform free of charge.
The online auction was launched on January 21, 2020, and will run through 9:00 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, January 31, 2020 (6:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, January 30/ midnight on Thursday, January 30, Central Europe Time). The online auction is being run on the Invaluable.com platform, and you can see all the watches included in the auction HERE.
When originally announced, the auction featured 16 watches from 14 brands. Currently (January 27), the count is up to 23 watches, as additional brands and industry participants have jumped into the auction. Among the watches that have been added to the Watch & Act Auction is a TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre 5 chronometer. The Autavia is included as Lot 22 of the auction.
This unique Autavia uses a brass case, with the green dial having the crossed-axes insignia associated with firefighters around the world. The case-back is engraved with the “Watch & Act” logo, along with a koala bear, with the words “Unique Piece Australia” around the edge of the dial.
The Bronze Autavia
In March 2019, at Baselworld, TAG Heuer introduced the very first Autavia watches, meaning that they were three-hand watches, rather than chronographs. These new Autavia watches featured distinctive colored dials, including dials in blue, fume (smoke) and green. The first models produced by TAG Heuer used stainless steel cases, with brass cases being introduced later during 2019. The bezels are either ceramic or aluminum, and the watches come with a variety of interchangeable straps, as well as a stainless steel bracelet.
For information about the new Autavia watch, see our introduction — Anatomy of the (Three-Handed) Autavia or the Hodinkee posting — A Heuer Enthusiast’s Thoughts On The New TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph. After the introduction of the new Autavia, the movement was changed from the “Isograph” movement to the Calibre 5 Chronometer movement.
When the new Autavia was launched at Baselworld 2019, it was the ones in the brass cases that created the most excitement. These Autavias represented the first use of a brass case by TAG Heuer (or Heuer before it), and the green and brown dials were also distinctive tones. The brass case embodies the new Autavia’s position as a watch for an adventurer, and we can expect the tone of the metal to change over time, with the nicks and scratches being badges of honor. TAG Heuer chose the green version of the Autavia, to symbolize the colors of Australia, certainly fitting for a watch being sold in an effort to preserve the wildlife and landscape of the country.
Bravo to TAG Heuer for producing this special Autavia and donating it to the “Watch & Act” charity auction. Some enthusiast will be able to have a fantastic looking adventure watch, while helping those in Australia restore their beautiful landscape and wildlife.
Results [Updated — January 30, 2019]
On January 30, 2019 (Eastern Standard Time), the unique TAG Heuer Autavia created for the Watch & Act sold for $6,900, with all proceeds going to the Australian charities described above. Top lots in the auction were the H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds, that was previously owned by U2 bass player Adam Clayton ($27,200) and the Hublot Classic Fusion Carbon Ceramic Blue Piece Unique ($21,300).
Well done by Time & Tide for creating this charity auction and to the various brands, bloggers and other industry participants for creating and / or donating these watches.