Car lovers frequently admire watches as much as watch aficionados love cars. It is all down to a common love for engines and moving mechanical parts. Many watch brands have capitalized on this common passion and combined car elements into their watches, whether it is real materials from racing cars, commemorations of historical races, or collaborations with the car world. Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting car-inspired watches out there.
Montblanc and Goodwood
Montblanc is the official timing partner of The Goodwood Festival of Speed, one of the greatest get-togethers for the vintage car world. Motor racing enthusiasts get to witness some of the world’s most accomplished racing drivers driving some of the most spectacular classic cars. At last year’s event, Montblanc presented this sporty TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph “Cappuccino” Edition that went to the winner of the four-day event. The dial is beige with three brown counters and brown flanges that have been nicknamed “Cappuccino” after their warm and harmonious color scheme.
Price: CHF 5,405
Roger Dubuis with Lamborghini
Roger Dubuis enters its second year of partnership with supercar maker Lamborghini and unveiled some new and exciting timepieces this spring to celebrate the continuation of the collaboration. Check out the new Excalibur Huracán Performante in red and the Huracán Excalibur in rose gold. Both timepieces feature design codes from Lamborghini’s V10 engine including strut-bar bridges on the top of the movements.
Price: USD 52,500
Jacob and Bugatti
Jacob & Co. recently announced a brand-new partnership with the Bugatti car manufacturer to create a series of exclusive co-branded timepieces. The first watches were unveiled at the Baselworld watch fair this spring and include a limited edition Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti Edition and an Epic X Chrono. The Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti Edition features two triple-axis tourbillons, a chronograph and a decimal repeater which chimes every ten minutes, and the Epic X Chrono comes in a forged carbon case and has the color of the French flag on the dial.
Price: USD 36,000 for the Epic X and USD 524,400 for the Twin Turbo
Hublot and Ferrari
Hublot and Ferrari have been partners since 2011 and the first collaborative watch – The Big Bang Ferrari Magic Gold – was unveiled in 2012. The following year saw the arrival of the MP-05 “LaFerrari” timepiece inspired by the supercar of the same name and in 2016 the brand offered the same timepiece with a sapphire case. 2017 was Ferrari’s 70th anniversary so both brands excelled themselves with the Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph designed by Ferrari and manufactured by Hublot. To date Hublot and Ferrari have produced over 50 collaborative timepieces. The Big Bang Scuderia Ferrari 90th Anniversary trio below are the very latest offerings from the 2019 collection and come in (from left to right) platinum, carbon and sapphire cases.
Price: USD 40,900 in platinum, USD 34,600 in 3D Carbon and USD 69,000 for sapphire.
TAG Heuer and GULF
The iconic blue and orange stripes of Gulf Racing are over half a century old and just seeing them side by side takes us right back to the movie Le Mans with Steve McQueen in his Porsche 917 bearing the Gulf colors and a TAG Heuer Monaco on his wrist. TAG Heuer has revisited this watch with the new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Edition that features the famous stripes and the Gulf logo on the dial. It comes fitted with a blue calfskin strap with orange stitching and is perforated like drivers’ racing gloves of old, in total harmony with the golden age of motor racing.
Price: CHF 5,700
Zenith and Range Rover
Zenith announced its collaboration with Range Rover in 2016 with the Zenith El Primero Range Rover collection. This was followed by the Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition, released at the same time as the Velar car. In 2018 Zenith and Range Rover released a new version of the Defy Classic Skeleton to mark the introduction of the Range Rover Evoque mk2, photographed here. This special Defy collection has no obvious Range Rover branding on the dial; there is just a small engraving on the caseback. There are some nice Range Roger design cues, however, such as “Arctic Blue” accents on the seconds hand and rotor (these come from details on the car’s steering wheel and seats), an openworked dial that ressembles the car’s wheels, and a rubber strap with the same motif as the car’s upholstery.
Price: CHF 7,500
Rebellion and Rebellion Racing
Of all the watch brands, Rebellion Timepieces probably has the strongest connection to the car world as the company doesn’t only make timepieces, it also has its own racing team – Rebellion Racing. This independent Swiss team is the only team to have contested the domination of the big factory teams such as Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Peugeot in the last four years. The brand’s timepieces are just as bold and daring as their car. Pictured here is the Weap-One, an asymmetrical flying tourbillon that is suspended between an hour and minute roller on each side. Thanks to additional accessories, the watch can also be transformed into a desktop clock, a dashboard clock, or a pocket watch.
Price: CHF 450,000
Rolex and Formula One
Rolex’s love for motor racing dates back more than 80 years. It all started with Sir Malcolm Campbell who broke the world record for racing speed in 1935 while wearing a Rolex Oyster. Later, in 1959, the brand partnered with the Daytona International Speedway, resulting in the creation of the iconic Rolex Daytona Cosmograph collection. Today, this passion for motor racing continues with Rolex holding the position of Official Timekeeper and Event Title Partner for Formula 1. At every Grand Prix, Rolex signs and banners decorate the race track and the pit lane clock is also made by Rolex, of course. In addition to Formula 1 racing, the Swiss watch brand has some very famous racing driver ambassadors including Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Sir Jackie Stewart.
Price: CHF 11,800 in steel and CHF 26,200 in gold.
CHOPARD AND THE MILLE MIGLIA
Chopard has been the Official Timekeeper of the Mille Miglia for over 30 years now and produces a limited edition timepiece each year to celebrate this vintage car race. The race covers over 1,600km of open road from Brescia to Rome and back again and is reserved for cars built between 1927 and 1957. This year, the brand has unveiled its Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition, a distinctive chronograph with a gray dial with red racing accents and a brown perforated strap that gives the watch a vintage feel that won’t look out of place with any of the classic cars taking part in the race. Each racing team receives a timepiece to help them navigate the Italian countryside and versions are also available for sale to the public.
Price: Euros 6,800
IWC and Mercedes
IWC is the Official Engineering Partner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team since 2013 and has close links with the team’s drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who are “Friends of the Brand”. The IWC watches dedicated to this partnership come from the brand’s Ingenieur collection. The first Ingenieur came out in 1955 and was designed for engineers and scientists who needed a timepiece that could withstand shocks, vibrations and magnetic fields. Today, the Ingenieur collection is still as tough and features a design inspired by the world of motorsports for both the racing drivers and the engineers behind the scenes.