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Heuer Autavia Villeneuve

Ref. 73663 circa 1974





Reference No.:



circa 1974

Serial No.:



Steel, screw-on back, 20mm. lugs, fluted pushers, black bi-directional bezel, case back signed inside HEUER-LEONIDAS SWISS, original signed crown, correctly signed and numbered at the case ends.


Black bezel with Minute and Hour scale.


Black dial with ‘grey' subsidiary registers with orange accents to the 30-minute recording sub, baton steel hour markers with lume ends and orange accents for the outer five-minute markers.


Orange hands with painted orange luminous inserts, orange chronograph hand.


Valjoux 7736, manual wind, signed Heuer – Leonidas SA


Original Gay Frères bracelet stamped HLF


The handsome lovable Canadian racing driver Gilles Villeneuve hit the F1 circuits in 1977. He had just beaten James Hunt and other F1 drivers in a non-championship race and caught the eye of the McLaren team for whom he then drove just six races. Later that same year, when Nikki Lauda moved to Brabham, Villeneuve was poached by Ferrari. He won six F1 races over his career before he was tragically killed in the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982, having chosen the wrong line overtaking Jochen Maas at 140mph; his car was apparently airborne for 100 meters before smashing into the ground. At his funeral Jody Schechter stood and said; “I will miss Gilles for two reasons. First, he was the fastest driver in the history of motor racing. Second, he was the most genuine man I have ever known.” The Villeneuve Ref 73663 is one of the coolest Heuers ever made. The combination of black dial, grey-black subs and orange hands, all framed within the shiny black tachy bezel make it an incredibly alluring piece – even better in this case with its contemporary Gay Frères bracelet.