Cars and watches — the ultimate guys’ toys. So what happens when some of the world’s best watchmakers join forces with some of the world’s best car manufacturers? The creation of epic wrist machines for both gearheads and watch nerds to enjoy. From Breitling and Bentley to Hublot and Ferrari here’s a look at some impressive auto and timepiece partnerships that have produced unforgettable luxury watches.
Breitling & Bentley
In 2002, Bentley introduced their most powerful car at the time — the Bentley Continental GT — and Breitling was commissioned to design and create the onboard clock. In 2003, Bentley returned to the legendary Le Mans track after a period of absence where Team Bentley drove straight into both first and second place. Breitling, a sponsor of the team, celebrated the victory with a limited edition “Bentley Le Mans” timepiece that proved to be such a success that the two companies joined forces to create the Breitling for Bentley line of watches.
The Breitling for Bentley chronographs are infused with design hallmarks of the renowned Bentley car. From the trademark honeycomb radiator grille to the dashboard engine-turned pattern to the font used on the onboard instruments, Breitling for Bentley watches are unmistakably inspired by the luxury automobile.
Jaeger-LeCoultre & Aston Martin
The relationship between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin dates back to the 1920s when the watchmaker made speedometers for the carmaker. In 2004, the two luxury companies solidified their alliance with the introduction of the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX1 — the name is a combination of Aston Martin (AM) and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s famed Memovox timepiece (VOX). Over the years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has released different versions of the auto-inspired sports watch, from the AMVOX2 with a transponder to unlock one’s Aston Martin to the latest AMVOX7 created in 2012.
An interesting feature on some of the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX models is the exclusive vertical chronograph trigger system. This patented mechanism allows the start, stop, and reset function of the chronograph to be activated by pressing the sapphire crystal rather than traditional chronograph pushers.
Hublot & Ferrari
Hublot and Ferrari are both known for their powerful aesthetics and the companies struck up a strategic partnership in 2012, which has led to some unforgettable timepieces. Hublot launched a series of Ferrari Big Bang models in honor of the supercar brand. The Ferrari Big Bang chronographs feature design elements inspired by the Italian carmaker such as the distinct Ferrari grille on the dial, the iconic prancing Ferrari horse at 9 o’clock, the use of Ferrari’s red, yellow, and black colors, and Schedoni — the exclusive leather luggage makers for Ferrari — leather for the straps.
But perhaps one of the most interesting watches to come out of the relationship is the MP-05 LaFerrari watch. Constructed to mimic the shape of the LaFerrari exotic car introduced in 2013, the Hublot creation — available in black titanium as well as transparent sapphire — is built with 637 components and boasts an unprecedented 50 days of power reserve.
This is not the first time Ferrari has aligned themselves with a luxury watchmaker, having had previous partnerships with both Girard-Perregaux and fellow Italian brand, Panerai.
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the designer behind the iconic Porsche 911 sports car, also founded his own design company, Porsche Design, in 1972. Also that year, the first Porsche Design chronograph watch made its debut in association with watchmaker Orfina. The watch was crafted in black steel and powered by a Valjoux 7750 movement. Over the course of its history, Porsche Design has worked with a number of watchmakers, most notably IWC from the late 1970s until the late 1990s, and later with Eterna until 2014.
That same year, Porsche Design established their own watchmaking division, Porsche Design Timepieces AG, where they now produce their own watches.