The longstanding connection between timepieces and automobiles stems from their mutual reliance on engineering, aesthetics and performance as a measure of excellence. The following watch companies are connected in some way to the world of high performance autos or auto companies, as sponsors of racing events or rallies, with special editions or formal partnerships. The watches that represent those partnerships have an unmistakable racing car vibe.
Breitling for Bentley. The Bentley Continental Supersports car is the fastest and most powerful car ever made by the British manufacturer, and holder of the world ice speed record. The Breitling For Bentley Supersports Chronograph is a dashing tribute the super-car, with a “dashboard-style” dial, inspired by the Bentley: counters and inner bezels match the colors on the rims of Bentley Supersports cars, with a knurled motif typical of the dashboard controls. With a selfwinding Breitling chronograph caliber 26B, that is COSC certified.
TAG Heuer. The Carrera watch was created in 1963 by Jack Heuer, himself a brand icon, who retires this year as honorary chairman. To mark his retirement, as well as the anniversary of the Carrera collection, Heuer created several modern limited editions. The snazziest of these is the Carrera Caliber 36 Chronograph Flyback, inspired by vintage Heuer stopwatches. it has a large 60-seconds scale on the outer main dial, and hours and minutes on the inner main dial. Small seconds and minute totalizers are at 3 and 9 o’clock. The racing version is particularly spirited, with a carbide/titanium case, perforated strap and red dial highlights.
Jaeger-LeCoultre. In 2004, JLC and Aston Martin began a collaboration between the two brands’ research and development department that has resulted in several innovations. This year, on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of Jaeger-LeCoultre and the centenary of the famous British car manufacturer, three original timepieces were created, including the Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm Aston Martin watch, with a titanium and steel case. It is a world timer with an alarm function indicated in a unique retrograde display indicator at 9 o’clock. The black dial with red and white indications is finished with a surface treatment evoking the grill on Aston Martin cars. The watch comes with two straps – rubber and alligator.
Hublot. The Masterpiece MP-05 La Ferrari sets a world record for the longest power reserve for a hand-wound tourbillon – 50 days. The watch was designed to resemble the Ferrari car of the same name, with a hybrid V12 engine generating nearly 1,000 horsepower. A sapphire crystal was cut to the shape of the Ferrari’s outline, as was the caseback, made of PVD titanium. Combined with the red trim, the exposed gears, cylinder counters and the row of barrels down the center, the watch exudes a racing car vibe. The center spine consists of an impressive and unprecedented 11 series-coupled barrels, which is what enables the 7-week power reserve. The red markings are another nod to the car.
IWC. IWC has dedicated its new Ingenieur collection to its role as the official engineering partner of Mercedes Benz and the car maker’s AMG Patronas Formula 1 team. The latest timepiece to celebrate the partnership is a new high-tech timepiece, the Ingenieur Carbon Performance. The case and dial are carbon fiber, with the middle section of the case, which is held together by five screws, manufactured using the same principle as the monocoque of a racing car. For other parts of the case, IWC designers also took inspiration from the materials used in motorsport’s leading discipline: Ceramic for the screw heads, the crown and crown protection, titanium for the screws and case-back ring, and rubber for the strap with stamped calfskin inlay. The rotor is shaped like pistons