Heuer 3646

Heuer 3646

Heuer Autavia 3646 Introduction
alphahands research is focused on a specific Heuer Autavia 3646 – the screwback Heuer 3646 with 1st Execution dial and 2nd Execution hands (with either a 30 minute or 45 minute recorder), produced in approximately 1962-64 (the Autavia was first introduced in 1962).

If there is one place to go in order to read all about Heuer, including history, references, production dates…the best place is OnTheDash. OnTheDash contains sections on all Heuer Autavia, but also drills into the 60s screwbacks, including the 2-register 3646.

My work started specific to the first execution dial and second execution hands with pointed lume, with either the 30 or 45 minute register, but I have also added in the 3646 thin rectangular lume 2nd execution hand.

Heuer Autavia 3464 Serial Number Project

Below is an aggregation all of the Heuer Autavia 3646 I have found with 1st Execution dial and 2nd Execution hands, with either a 30 minute or 45 minute recorder. If you find others, please contact me with a link and/or images and serial number if available.

Ranges I have seen for the Heuer 3646 with 1st Execution hands and 2nd Execution dial: 48872 – 52495, corresponding to roughly 1962 – 1963.

The range above is extremely limited due to few of these pieces available, and some without visible caseback images, or text, and many without serial number provided.

The watches represented on each row in the table below are intended to be unique, though given serial numbers are often not shown for images, the same watch may appear multiple times. I do my best to use visual cues to pair the same watch posted at different times. When the serial number can’t be established, I give the timepiece a unique ID (based on any part that is known, plus a related date posted).

If you see any duplicates, errors, have serial numbers to include, or know of other Heuer 3646 to add with a 1st execution dial and 2nd (or 3rd) execution hands, please let me know.

Caveats:
Description of pieces are generally based upon public images/video. For some detail, I do not have images and have to rely on text descriptions from the individual posting the timepiece. Some elements are often difficult to determine from pictures, including color of hands, for example if the register hands are black or blue. If I have a 50-50 guess, I leave the detail as “unknown.”

As with the rest of this Website, the following table, and data contained therein, is subject to Alpha Hands LLC Terms and Conditions

The above table, and data contained therein, is subject to Alpha Hands LLC Terms and Conditions

Heuer Autavia 3646 Dial

The Heuer Autavia 3646 was manufactured with three different dial variations:

  1. Large registers, with luminous index marks and luminous 12 and 6 numerals, known as the “1st execution” dial. This dial came in both a 30 (early serials) and 45 minute counter. There is an inverted luminous triangle mark above the 12, and a luminous triangle under the 6.
  2. Small registers, with applied steel index marks and lume plots for hours, with a thick index mark and two plots at 12. This 2nd execution dial came only with a 45 minute counter.
  3. Small registers, with applied steel index marks and lume at the edge of the steel marker. This 3nd execution dial came only with a 45 minute counter.

Heuer 3646 Dials

We do see a couple of pieces that do not align with the rest of the 1st-3rd execution dials known:

  • Dial with ‘T’ in silver print above ‘SWISS’ on the lower half of the dial
  • Dial with ‘FAB. SUISSE’ about ‘SWISS’ on the lower half of the dial.

I do not know when this additional text was added, at time of manufacture or later, but collectors should note that these are the only pieces known with text aside from the standard “SWISS” only text at 6 o’clock.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Main Hands

Hour and Minute Hands
The Heuer 3646 1st execution dial was produced with three different hands:

  1. “Full lume” dauphine hands, which are commonly known as “1st execution”
  2. Steel edged dauphine hands filled with lume, pointed; this style is commonly known as “2nd execution”, I refer to below as “pointed lume”, and their introduction coincides with the serial numbers of the last hand style,
  3. Same dauphine hand shape as #2, above, though with thinner lume, rectangular in shape on the hour hand, and coming to a point on the minute hand. I refer to this as “2nd execution” also as the timing for release is the same as the above, but note as “rectangular lume.’

Side note: we do see some overlap in hands, with serials for 3646 with full lume (1st execution hands) extending into the serials for 2nd execution hands.

This research is focused on the second execution hands (#2 and #3, above).
Within this set of non-full lume dauphine hands, we see an example with larger luminous area (#2) appearing on a lower serial number than the hand with thinner rectangular lume (though only one example, and a bit of an outlier). The use of the hands with thinner luminous area is limited in time (488xx-489xx), while we see the hands with larger luminous area span from 487xx-526xx.

Heuer 3646 Hand Versions on 1st Execution Dials

The hour hand of the 2nd execution hand, and we also see this on the 2446, often shows signs of rust, whereas the minute hand does not. I do not know whether this is due to the larger steel surface area of the hour hand, or due to different type of steel used.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Main Hands

Chronograph Hand
Most are familiar with the white chronograph hand of the Heuer Autavia 3646. However, we also see red chronograph hands. In cases where the Heuer Autavia 3646 has a red chronograph hand, we see the main hands featuring the thinner lume. There are cases where the hands with thinner luminous area are paired with white chronograph hands, though nearly all of those cases appear to be replacements, otherwise incorrect hands, or on watches that have been clearly restored in some way (such as relumed main hands). It is difficult to say if thin lume main hands and red chronograph hands were always paired together, but without a larger data set I would say that they were intended to pair in that manner.

We also see a single example of thin rectangular lume hand paired with a white chronograph hand that has a leaf at the end. Given I have seen just one of these to date, I am inclined to believe this is a replacement hand.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Register Hands

The Heuer Autavia 3646 register hands are all same in design, thin black pencil hands.

Heuer 3646 Register Hands

Heuer Autavia 3646 Bezel

The Heuer Autavia 3646, 1st execution dial and 2nd execution hands, was manufactured with two bi-directional bezels: one each for 12 hour and 60 minute. We see a few more 60 minute bezels than 12 hour, though I have not been able to discern any pattern, if there is one, as to when one bezel was used versus the other.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Bezels

The 60 minute bezel is black with silver numerals on the 10s and plots for each minute other than on the 5s, with the exception of 12 o’lock, where there is an inverted luminous triangle.

The 12 hour bezel is black with silver numerals, and an inverted luminous triangle at 12 o’clock. There are no minute marks.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Crown and Pushers

Within the set of Heuer Autavia 3646 1st execution dial and 2nd execution hands pieces seen, the crown is primarily unsigned dome (see below). We do see a few pieces with signed crowns featuring the Heuer logo, but given nearly all are unsigned, I believe the signed crowns are either replacements or otherwise not intended as the crown originally designed for this set of Autavia 3646.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Crown and Pushers

Heuer Autavia 3646 Case

The Heuer Autavia 3646, with 1st execution dial and 2nd execution hands, was produced with a stainless steel screwback 38mm case.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Case

Caseback

This case has written around the caseback
STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH –
WATERPROOF – GUARANTEED 330 FT UNDER WATER –

Then, centered on the caseback, about 1/3 of the way from the edge, is
AUTAVIA
[Heuer logo]

Heuer Autavia 3646 Caseback

The exception is for the few ‘KINGON‘ branded pieces we see, where ‘KINGON’ text is below AUTAVIA instead of the Heuer logo. The text style for these pieces is different than what we see on the Heuer-logo casebacks, as they were likely delivered blank and later engraved by/for Kingon.

Some casebacks will have a ‘C’ number, which is in the pattern ‘C xxx-x’ or ‘C xxxx-x’ (I haven’t seen others with fewer numbers, but presumably these exist). This number was used by Cuanillon & Cie, the company that was Heuer’s Swiss distributor. I have not heard of records from Cuanillon, but it is believe that each C-number was unique to a watch. If you know of records, please contact me.

Inside caseback

The inside caseback has a few different designs. With so few pieces known, I have very little information on inside caseback stamping.

I have seen multiple pieces with each of the following inside caseback design:

1. Slightly above center (488xx-489xx):
ED. HEUER & CO S.A.
SWISS

2. Toward the top of the inside caseback, about 1/4 way down from top edge (522xx)
[Heuer logo]
ED.HEUER & Co
SWISS

Heuer Autavia 3464 Inside Casebacks (L: 488xx-489xx, R: 522xx)

There are two additional inside caseback stamping examples I have seen. As I have seen only one of each, I will hold off to providing images.

1. Toward the top of the inside caseback, about 1/4 way down from top edge (1 piece, 488xxx):
ED. HEUER & CO SA
SWISS

2. Starting toward top of inside caseback, extending all the way to below center (1 piece, 487xx):
[Heuer logo]
ACIER INOXYDABLE (or ‘INCXYDABLE’)
[Huegnin Freres logo]
ED.HEUER & Co
SWISS

The case of the 3646 was modified during the period with the 2nd execution dial (I believe those pieces have wider bevels).

Heuer Autavia 3464 Movement

The Heuer Autavia 3646 is powered by the manually wound Valjoux 92.

The movement on nearly all pieces features stamping on the chronograph bridge.
On one arm:
ED. HEUER
& CO
and on the other:
SWISS

and train wheel bridge stamped:
UNADJUSTED
SEVENTEEN 17
JEWELS

’92’ is stamped at the edge of the movement, with the Valjoux symbol (“R”) immediately above.

I have not seen any import codes on the movements I have seen, although total pieces with movements shown is a relatively small sample size.

Heuer Autavia 3646 Movement: 1st Execution Dial, 2nd Execution Hands

Heuer Autavia 3646 Price Trends

With few Heuer Autavia 3646 first execution dial and second execution hand sales, there leaves little information available to establish trends. We can clearly see, however, the value of these pieces in the early 2000s, which was in the thousands of dollars, spiking, perhaps not surprisingly, at the Heuer-themed (and only two seller) Phillips’ Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection auction. And this holds true across other Heuers as well. Since this time, Heuer 3646 prices have pulled back (corrected (?)) to a $25k – $35k range for very good examples.

You may use the filters in the table at bottom to view data for a subset of case numbers, and this will filter the price trends chart as well.

Please contact me if you know of any other pieces, have serial numbers to contribute, or corrections.

As with the rest of this Website, the following table, and data contained therein, is subject to Alpha Hands LLC Terms and Conditions

Again, selecting filters from the table below will in turn adjust the above chart.

The above chart and table, and data contained therein, is subject to Alpha Hands LLC Terms and Conditions