By Jonathan Scatchard, co-founder, Vintage Heuer
Eyebrows were raised last week when a rare vintage Heuer Autavia sold very quickly at $195,000 on a German web site. The first execution ref 2446 is indeed truly rare as less than 10 examples are known to exist and this one was new to the market, it becomes the most expensive Heuer sold publicly.
The tone was set by Christies who sold a slightly later version last year for $125000, even more remarkable is the fact that 2 years ago it would have been expected to fetch around $30,000.
Sports watches of the 1960s and 70s by most Swiss manufactures both famous and not so famous have all been making huge increases in value over the last few years, partly because of new emerging markets such as China but importantly through the excellent web sites which give great in depth information about various models highlighting just how rare some of these watches are.
Rolex has always lead the way in desirability when it comes to the sports watch line but we now see Heuer at last getting the recognition for rarity and great design and of course Omega who were very prolific over these two decades , but relative unknowns such as Universal, Enicar and Gallet are also gaining huge popularity.
How many times do we hear “it’s been laid in a drawer 40 years I forgot I had it”? Many rare and now very expensive watches are out there waiting to be found.
By the way Autavia ref 2446 is not the most expensive Heuer ever sold, the record goes to a Monaco 1133b which fetched almost £800000. It was the one which was on Steve McQueens wrist in the film Le Mans.