One of the biggest surprises for me since joining our site has been how much I enjoy compressor cases. While collecting previously, I just didn’t handle too many of these 1960s high-tech and water-resistant watches. The tech is so fascinating to me. The manufacturer of these cases, utilized by many brands including cheap fake TAG Heuer in this and other Autavias of the late 60s, was Ervin Piquerez S.A., or – simply – EPSA. When aiming to make a water-resistant watch for diving, the biggest issue is pressure, rather than simply creating a water-tight case. As a diver or swimmer goes deeper, water pressure increases. EPSA used this problem against the deep blue. The company’s compressor case design utilizes the water pressure pushing on the outside of the case to further compress the gaskets inside the watch, essentially becoming more water resistant the deeper it travels. This ingenuity in a utilitarian and function-based design is the kind of thing that I tend to love about vintage copy watches.
Combine this fascinating EPSA compressor case technology with Heuer’s flagship sport chronograph, the Autavia? Now we’re talking. Add in a “dato” date complication? Say less – I’m in. The TAG Heuer Autavia ref. 7863C copy watch with a date window at six o’clock is a rarely seen watch, as it was only available in the Heuer catalog for a few short years. The added functionality was actually quite a novel idea at the time; there were few chronographs on the market at this time with a date. Heuer played around the date placement on the Carrera, resulting in the “Dato 12” and, of course, the “Dato 45,” which served as the inspiration for latest TAG Heuer LE.
This particular perfect replica TAG Heuer Autavia “Dato” presents such a great vintage look on the wrist. The black and white dial combined with the nicely aged patina on the lume has a vibe that only seems possible in a true vintage – no faux-patina – watch. For all the shots, more about the watch, and all the details, check it out over in our shop now.