Drive Time: 5 Motoring Watches That Will Satisfy Your Need For Speed
November 23, 2017 | BY Christian Barker
Watches and cars are both complicated, exquisitely engineered machines, lovingly designed and handcrafted works of art, which is why car manufacturers and watchmakers are constantly collaborating. Here are five watches that illustrate the best of both worlds:
Bulgari Octo Maserati Gransport & Granlusso
Maserati has based its reputation, particularly in recent years, on building luxurious sports cars that don't sacrifice comfort for speed — automobiles as equally at home in a refined, leisurely setting as they are when pushed to the limits of their performance. It is this adaptable quality that Bulgari sought to replicate with the latest in its series of timepiece collaborations with the storied Italian carmaker: the Octo Retro Maserati GranSport and GrandLusso.
The monochromatic, DLC-treated steel GranSport is available with either red or blue highlights, while the more formal GranLusso is presented in a sophisticated pink-gold case.
Roger Dubuis x Lamborghini Excalibur Aventador S
On the heels of Roger Dubuis’ recent Pirelli Double Flying Tourbillon (a timepiece affixed to the wrist with a strap made from the tyres of the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix winner), comes another race-bred collaboration, this time with Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
Powered by a skeletonised, hand-wound movement housed in a 45mm rubber-overmoulded carbon/titanium case, the new Excalibur Aventador S is available in two auspiciously numbered limited iterations, with 88 pieces of the ‘Giallo Orion’ yellow-accented version, and just 8 issued with ‘Arancio Argos’ orange highlights.
IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition 50TH Anniversary Of Mercedes-AMG
This fabulously light 44.3mm titanium timepiece—designed to resemble early IWC Ingenieurs from the mid-20th century—was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance AMG division.
The 250-piece edition is powered by an automatic manufacture chronograph movement with flyback function, protected by the anti-magnetic casing for which the Ingenieur range is renowned. Redolent of dashboard indicators, red highlights add a classic motorsport aesthetic to the elegant silver-plated dial, while excellent legibility, luminescent elements and water resistance to 120 metres mean this driver’s watch very nearly qualifies as a diver’s watch, too.
Richard Mille RM50-03
It’s not often that a watch made in collaboration with a carmaker is priced at more than the automobile whose badge it carries. But that’s the situation with Richard Mille’s new HK$ multimillion-dollar RM50-03.
Produced in co-operation with Richard Mille’s long-time Formula 1 partner, McLaren, the 40g watch is, Mille claims, the lightest mechanical chronograph ever made according to the maker. Its feather-light weight is achieved thanks to a carbon case hewn from cutting-edge nano-material, graphene, and weight savings made courtesy of the hand-wound skeletonised tourbillon movement being constructed of titanium and carbon.
Despite its great expense, many of the 75 pieces in this limited edition were pre-sold to collectors at SIHH, making this an exceedingly exclusive, elusive collectible.
Ralph Lauren Automotive Tourbillon Watches
Menswear designer Ralph Lauren, one of the America's most discerning car collectors, continues to assert his horological bona fides with the release of two outstanding new timepieces, one a single tourbillon and the other a double.
The design is inspired by Lauren’s 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe, which has won multiple awards. The 45mm watches which are both cased in shot-blasted stainless steel with a black finish reminiscent of the Bugatti, feature a bezel in amboyna burl, recalling the handsome finish of the Atlantic Coupe’s. Truly unique—and pure elegance in-car-nate.
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