Can you spot the nod to the Martini livery?
New York-based Hodinkee, famous for all things watches and horology related, has teamed up with Autodromo, the maker of fine automotive-inspired watches. In their first-ever collaboration, the two companies are celebrating an infamously banned motorsport formula with a watch called the Autodromo Group B Rallysport Chronograph Limited Edition Collection For Hodinkee.
In case you didn't guess from the long name, this particular timepiece collection is an homage to Group B rallying. Or, as Hokinkee and Autodromo say, it "channels the untamed spirit of Group B rally sport."
Autodromo is best known for producing semi-affordable watches that combine nostalgia with modern details. Only 500 of these will be made (100 units of five colorways), and yet it only costs $1,495. That may sound like a lot, but we've seen other watches with a similar production run sell for as much as $23,550.
It's worth investing in because you can't buy anything remotely resembling a Group B racer these days. The closest you can get is an Audi RS3, and only because it has quattro AWD and a legendary turbocharged five-pot engine.
Each watch features an early-1980s-inspired design because that's when Group B rallying peaked. These cars were meant to be stupidly quick and a spectacle for crowds to watch, so the two horologists wanted to bring a sense of fun back into collecting.
The collection consists of five designs featuring colorful dials inspired by the most famous Group B rallying machines. The Hodinkee Limited Edition team designed the original green colorway.
Obviously, the watchmakers can't use the names of the automakers without permission, so it's a lot of fun matching the car to the watch. Looking at the color schemes, we can see the famous yellow of the Audi Quattro Sport S1, the Martini Livery of the Lancia 037 and Delta S4, and the dark blue, white, and red livery of the gnarly and rare Ford RS200.
It's a fun game, so let us know if you see any familiar cars hidden in these watches.
As a basis, Autodromo uses its standard Group B collection with a Swiss-made mechanical chronograph movement. It's a manual-wound chronograph, unheard of in this price range. The power reserve is rated at 63 hours, and the watch provides water resistance up to 50 meters.
The case is finished in a bi-metallic construction. The primary material is titanium, with some stainless steel thrown into the mix. You also get hexagonal-shaped pushers that are more contemporary and easier to use. Finally, each watch is delivered in a beautiful folded aluminum box with a matching serial number.
Group B rallying's legendary power outputs and entertainment value eventually killed it. The racing was known for being dangerous, especially for spectators. After a Ford RS200 plowed into a group of fans in Portugal and killed three people, the WRC axed the unrestricted class.
These Group B cars were eventually allowed back into races as classic competitors, and you can see a video of them competing at the Portugal Rally in a video below.
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