The best way to tell the time for the modern gearhead.
Much like the car, the wristwatch has long been a fashion and status symbol as well as a useful thing to own. Just like cars, the fascination with watches can go deeper than something pretty or cool to own and show off. Watches also have a long, rich history, and the most sought-after timepieces feature exceptional design, precision engineering and come with a large dose of style. Mixing automakers and watchmakers is a genuine example of synergy in action rather than as a buzzword. Naturally, the cream of the automotive enthusiast brands have worked with the cream of the watchmaking brands. These are some of the results - and the price tags that come with them.
While we don't believe Ford endorses the Rec Watches P-51 pieces, the automaker should be taking advantage of the idea. The series of watches are made using materials from salvaged Ford Mustangs. That means each timepiece from each of the limited series is unique. There are quite a few flavors available, including the P-51 Limited Collection, which has two models with the dials made using materials rescued from the Green Hornet and Little Red, the only two notchback Shelbys in existence. REC also has other collections made using recycled materials from classic Porsche, Land Rover, and Mini Cooper models. It even has a model that features original materials from the iconic Supermarine Spitfire airplanes.
Porsche and TAG Heuer have a long relationship, and Edouard Heuer and Ferdinand Porsche both came of age at the same time. In the mid-1980s, the companies collaborated on the TAG Turbo Engine that powered the McLaren team to three consecutive F1 world titles. Tag Heuer had its name attached to cars in the Porsche Carrera Cup and Supercup competitions, and the Swiss watchmaker was Porsche's "title and timing partner" for Formula E because sponsorship is a cheap word.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph can be yours for $5,850. It features an asphalt effect on the dial explicitly created for the Porsche watch, and the ceramic bezel includes a tachymeter scale and a 'PORSCHE' inscription in red. The strap is made of calf leather and features "innovative stitching that echoes the Porsche interior."
The TAG Heuer Aston Martin Special Edition watch isn't a lightweight piece. It features a 45-millimeter solid steel case that the press release claims "feels absurdly powerful and sits dominantly on the hand presenting the craftsmanship and evoking the prestige associated with the high-end appurtenances." It goes on to suggest the ceramic black brushed tachymeter bezel with Aston Martin engravings on the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer watch evokes the sophistication and speed of an Aston. We would expect a lot of evoking for $6,700.
In 2019, Grand Seiko and Nissan teamed up to create a Nissan Skyline GT-R commemorative watch celebrating the car's 50th anniversary. The watch's color scheme features Bayside (Wangan) Blue, a classic color from the turn of the century R34-generation Skyline GT-R. The color is used on the watch's ceramic outer case, the inner case is made of titanium, and the white crocodile strap is accented by blue contrast stitching to pay homage to the Skyline GT-R's racing livery. The oscillating weight includes the GT-R anniversary emblem in 18-karat yellow gold. Only 200 were made and sold for $21,000 a timepiece.
According to Breitling, the watchmaker and Bentley "enjoy the longest-ever partnership between a watch brand and an automobile manufacturer." The partnership goes back to 2002, and there's currently a couple of Bentley-flavored watches on Breitling's website. The cream of the crop is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley Centenary Limited Edition at $28,000. The long-winded name ends self-explanatorily, and its centerpiece is the brown burl elm dial inspired by the wooden dashboard of the legendary 1929 Bentley 4 ½ Litre Supercharged "Blower." For your money, you're also getting an 18k red gold watch with a brown quilted calfskin strap design inspired by the material and stitching of Bentley car seats.
If you're aware of Singer Design's obsessive approach to engineering retromodding Porsche 911 models, then the company having a watch line shouldn't surprise you. There are currently two models, the Track1 and the Flytrack. The Track1 is more expensive, coming in at around $48,000, and that's not an exact price because the watches are ordered from Switzerland and priced in Swiss francs. That's because the watches come from legendary Geneva-based watch designer Jean-Marc Wiederrecht's studio, and each version is a special edition. The designs are born of a relationship struck up between Singer's Rob Dickinson and Wiederrecht over the course of a year, and, well, they're drop-dead gorgeous and focus on doing exactly what a watch should do perfectly. Our favorite line from the marketing material is: "Track1 is essentially a Chronograph that tells also the time of the day."
What kind of car does a person wearing a $980,000 watch drive? Whatever car they damn well please, but in this case, most likely a McLaren. The Richard Mille RM 50-03 is the result of a partnership with the McLaren F1 team, and among its many boasts, it weighs an incredibly featherlight 1.34041 ounces (38 grams). That makes it the world's lightest split-seconds tourbillon chronograph. The watch's lightness is down to the use of titanium and Carbon TPT, as well as a new material for the case called Graph TPT (Graphene). The watch is limited to 75 units.
The first thing to know about the Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon watch is that you need to buy a Bugatti Chiron before you can order one. It's a masterpiece in construction, even if it is a bit gauche for some people's taste. It's made using precious metals and stones like titanium, gold, and diamonds, but the centerpiece is the 578 individual parts that make up an "engine block" mimicking the Chiron's 8.0-liter W16 engine. Then the Manual Winding JCAM37 tourbillon movement is angled at 30 degrees and held in place by Chiron-style shock absorbers.
Let's say you like the idea of buying a car to qualify for your watch ownership, but don't quite have enough spare change to afford a Bugatti, then you buy the new 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 at around $150,000 (price unconfirmed at this stage) and tick the option box for the matching Porsche Design Chronograph at an extra $8,500. It's far less gaudy than the Bugatti one, but features a titanium casing, the choice of either tachymeter or minute scales, and it uses a WERK 01.200 caliber with flyback chronograph functionality. It can be had in a choice of six different colors, with either a leather or titanium strap, and best of all, the watch has a bespoke configurator that operates within that of the real 911 GT3.