Watching Cars

This article was originally published in Colorado Springs Style, November/December 2011

Or, How to ‘Wear Your Automobile on Your Sleeve’

For as long as the automobile has been around, it’s been inextricably linked with the wristwatch. From 1920s timepieces that had an angled dial for easy viewing to massive ‘70s stopwatches with a tachymeter on the bezel that helped determine one’s speed, a watch has been an indispensable instrument to a driver. Wristwatches are also a way to take your “Bugatti” or “Alfa Romeo” anywhere with you, without parking or valet hassles. A display of loyalty to a particular carmaker should be nurtured, and here is our wristwatch guide to “wearing what you drive.”


TAG-Heuer Mercedes-Benz SLR

TAG-Heuer has been involved with the McLaren-Mercedes F1 team for almost two decades and the latest fruit of this relationship is the SLR watch. Celebrating the M-B supercar that McLaren built in England, the SLR is notable for its top-mounted chronograph pushers. A unique car befits a unique watch and the TAG-Heuer sure fits that bill. On rubber strapped versions of the SLR, the strap mimics the side air vents of the automobile—hot!


Breitling for Bentley Motors

Luxury British/German carmaker Bentley has been using Breitling clocks in its automobiles for almost a decade, and the wristwatch line from this partnership has been going strong for just as long. Known mainly for shiny, stainless steel cases and knurled bezel edges that recall a Bentley’s cockpit control switches, the Breitling for Bentley Motors line is just as attention grabbing as its tarmac twin. Large and with  presence, both on the road and the wrist.


Ferrari Engineered by Panerai

Ferrari, the legendary Formula One team and road car builder, linked with Italian-designed/Swiss-made watchmaker Panerai. The Ferrari Engineered by Panerai collection combines the signature “big case” timepieces of Panerai with the engineering detail of Ferrari, such as the hobnail-textured dials and the cavallino rampante embossed on oversize crowns. Just like the automobiles, these watches can be had in a variety of styles: rose gold, stainless steel, or even a PVD-coated case, which as black as a set of Pirellis.


Parmigiani Fleurier Type 370

There’s a saying: “The reason why there are $2 million automobiles is because you can’t drive your $20 million house around.” Taking that further, “when one can’t drive their $2 million Bugatti Veyron 16.4 around, they can, however, tote their $200,000 wristwatch around on their arm.” To celebrate the unique engineering and design that went into the French supercar, Parmigian Fleurier designed a unique timepiece whose face is at an almost-90 degree angle to the wearer’s wrist. Winner of the “2006 Watch of the Year,” PF 370s are probably the best way to advertise to the world that you own a 267-mph car…that costs over $2 million.

Aston Martin

Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX1 R-Alarm

When one thinks of an Aston, images of classic, understated beauty combined with high-tech come to mind. That’s exactly what respected watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre captured in their AMVOX editions. No, there are no digital displays on this timepiece, but it does, however, have an alarm. (It’s mechanical, and not battery powered.) The high-tech is further represented by a titanium case and a “carbon-fiber effect” strap. The AMVOX series is also available in other movements, such as a chronograph. It’s too bad “agent 007” sports an Omega, however.

Alfa Romeo

Chopard Alfa Romeo Edition

Best known for their Mille Miglia line of racing-inspired wristwatches, Chopard once again dips its toe into Italian speed, with Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand. Made in honor of Alfa’s 100th birthday, one can choose from a chronograph or a calendar watch, in either stainless-steel or in black DLC coating. All three feature “Italian Racing Red” hands and they’d look right at home inside an Alfa Romeo’s glove compartment. Because, you know, the owner’s getting his hands dirty under the hood, trying to get the car to start…


Blancpain Super Trofeo Chronograph

“Brash and bold” is how most would describe a Lamborghini. It certainly describes the Gallardos participating in the one-make racing series, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo cup. In this Euro-only series, only Gallardos are allowed to play, which means that whoever wins, the victor will be driving a V10-powered screamer! To celebrate, Blancpain debuted their Super Trofeo Chronograph. Far from brash and bold, its case is black DLC and the strap is made of Alcantara suede (the steering wheel cover of choice these days). Blancpain delivers the emotions of “speed” via a bright red chrono start/stop pusher and the numbers “12” and “9” rendered like those on racers. Only 300 of these beauties were made.


Audemars Piguet Milenary Maserati

Audemars Piguet and Italian automaker Maserati teamed for Maser’s 90th birthday and produced the limited-edition Milenary Maserati. Restricted to just 900 examples, this timepiece features an interesting design, where the hours and minutes are displayed on an offset inner dial. At the far left of the face, there’s a power reserve indicator. Meanwhile, a second time zone is displayed near 6 o’clock and the date is near “2.” Naturally this beauty comes in a special presentation box.


Eterna Porsche Design P’6780 Diver Watch

The brand “Porsche Design” is synonymous with its automotive brother from Stuttgart, in that they’re both known for high-tech, sleekly styled machines that offer a uniquely Teutonic perspective with regards to their form and function. Perhaps no such timepiece from PD (made for them by the Eterna company) represents this better than the P’6780 Diver. Unlike any wristwatch you’ve seen, the entire case lifts up, ostensibly for better viewing when you’re a few hundred feet below. Yet, this contraption isn’t heavy because it’s hewn from titanium, with a natural rubber strap. The perfect watch for when one is at the wheel of a Carrera GT or underwater at the wheel of a 928 (Risky Business fans, that one’s for you).


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