The Autavia (12-hour stopwatch) was introduced in 1933 and marketed as a stopwatch for automobiles and aviation (thus the name, “Autavia”).
All Autavias record hours on the bottom register (6:00 o’clock); minutes on the top register (12:00 o’clock); and seconds by the center hand. The Autavia 12-hour stopwatch was often paired with the “Hervue” eight-day clock, with the two timepieces mounted on a single back-plate. Shown below is a page from a 1936 catalog, showing the Hervue pair and a separate listing for the Autavia.
Autavias have low-profile cases (11 millimeters from the face of the back-plate to back edge of bezel); and a screw-on bezel, with flat glass crystal. The early Autavias –- identified by the pusher to the left of the crown — were powered by the Valjoux 59 movement.
Later Autavias -– identified by the pusher to the right of the crown — incorporated the Valjoux 340 movement.
In 1958, the Monte Carlo replaced the Autavia as Heuer’s 12-hour stopwatch, and in 1962 Heuer began using the “Autavia” name for its line of wrist chronographs, which continued in production until the mid-1980’s.
See the OnTheDash section covering the dash-mounted Autavia HERE.
Operation of the Autavia Dash-Mounted Timer
The operation of an early Autavia (Valjoux 59) is entirely different from that of the later Autavia (Valjoux 340). Functions of an early Autavia (Valjoux 59) are as follows:
- start the timer by pressing the crown (center)
- press the pusher (on left) to stop the timer (“time out”); press again to continue running (“time in”); may use time out / time out function repeatedly
- push down the crown to stop timing (at end of event); timer cannot be restarted once crown has been pressed
- press crown again to reset all hands; timer can only be reset at end of event (not from “time out” position)
Functions of the later Autavia (Valjoux 340) are as follows:
- start timer by pressing crown (center)
- push crown again to stop the timer (“time out”); push crown again to continue running (“time in”); may use time out / time in function repeatedly
- push down the crown to stop timing (at end of event); timer may be restarted by pressing crown
- press pusher (on right) to reset all hands; timer can only be reset when stopped (“time out”)
Shown below is a page from Heuer’s 1958 catalog.