Cars and watches might seem like two completely different things, but they’re both gentlemen’s favourite toys. The lure of technology and mechanics is, after all, a constant feature of the male universe.
The relationship between cars and watches traces its origins to the 1980s, when watch brands became part of the accessory collections promoted by individual car manufacturers. By the 1990s, the watch industry had grown dramatically, and watch brands started to play a much more proactive role.
Today, instead of being just something on the side for car brands, watch manufacturers have been able to incorporate some of the cars’ functions into their timepieces. The two machines work hand in hand, offering a dynamic, sophisticated experience for the car-and-watch owner.
For example, the AMVOX2 Rapide Transponder launched by Jaeger-LeCoultre is a chronograph created in cooperation with Aston Martin, after 18 months of painstaking research. The watch locks and unlocks the car doors as well as performing its normal timekeeping functions, incorporating certain characteristics of Aston Martin's engineering into the art of watchmaking.
In another example, two prestigious Italian brands, Ferrari and Officine Panerai, have worked together on several occasions in the name of creativity and innovation. This time, the Maranello manufacturer has come up with a limited edition, the “Ferrari Engineered by Officine Panerai” watch collection. The innovative design is such that only when the engraving of the small black Prancing Horse stands vertically will the crown close completely, and "Nibbo" the horse pops up.
The watch is as thoroughbred a product as Ferrari’s cars: the list of characteristics includes 28,800 alternations per hour, 46-hour power reserve, water resistance of up to 100 metres, and the Swiss official C.O.S.C. Chronometer Certificate. The steel case also has a special hard black coating with polished edges, and screw-down chronograph push-pieces. Further details such as the Ferrari logo and a check pattern on the winding crown add a luxurious touch. The watch is visually superb, with the sleek silhouette of the Ferrari car.
Tudor and Porsche created the Grantour Chronograph together. The watch brand is Porsche Motorsport’s Timing Partner. Self-winding mechanical movement, a 41 mm diameter steel case, and water resistance to 100 metres are just some of its unique specifications. The black leather strap with micro-perforations makes it very comfortable to wear.
Tag Heuer have created an automatic chronograph showing 1/10th of a second lettering on the dial: the Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 36 RS Caliper. It is integrated into the dashboard of a Ken Okuyama-designed and Tag Heuer-inspired GT sports car. The powerful concept car uses aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre to create a light body.
As cooperation between watch and car brands becomes more intense, product design is also reaching new dimensions in technology. As gentlemen’s passion for technology and gadgets is unlikely to change, we are convinced that in the future we will see many more exciting products launched onto the market.