The watch and automobile industries have a longstanding history together. Their partnerships first began out of necessity. Many watchmakers started working with automobile manufactures to supply dashboard clocks. Soon, watch companies began partnering with motorsports teams because timekeeping is such a crucial element in the sport of racing, from recording lap times to race times. Thus began the introduction of watch and car partnerships.
Today, watchmakers and automobile manufacturers continue to work closely together. Watches and cars are actually quite similar. Popping open a watch’s caseback and marveling at the precision mechanics of the movement is much like popping open the hood of a car and marveling at the mechanics of the engine. Plus, both industries have developed cult-like followings of car enthusiasts or watch aficionados, like us, all of whom are looking to collect the latest and greatest innovations. When a watchmaker and car manufacturer come together, you can expect nothing less than the utmost technical expertise and complex mechanisms in their creations. Here, we’ve rounded up a few watches that bring these worlds together.
Watch and Car Partnerships:
Girrard-Perregaux Ferrari 8020
The partnership between Girrard-Perregaux and the famed Italian luxury sports car manufacture Ferrari began in 1994. Though it ended in 2004, the pair produced a number of remarkable timepieces during their ten years together. One of these is the 8020. The model features a modestly sized 37.50mm stainless steel case and sporty carbon fiber dial. Showcased on the dial are three chronograph registers, which give the overall design the appeal of a dashboard. Inside, the watch is powered by the brand’s caliber 2280 self-winding mechanical movement.
Panerai Ferrari Granturismo Chronograph
Panerai and Ferrari had a fruitful partnership from 2005 to 2010, producing twenty-three special edition watches during their five year run. Their collections were divided into two categories: the sportier Scuderia and the dressier Grantourismo. The chronograph variation of the Grantourismo showcases a stainless steel case, rubber strap, and dial with a red color scheme boasting Ferrari’s iconic logo. It also houses the brand’s Panerai caliber OP XII self-winding mechanical movement with a 46-hour power reserve.
Ball BMW Power Reserve
In 2012, the German automobile manufacturer BMW partnered with the Ball Watch Company to create a range of timepieces. The result then was four unique collections, one of which was the Power Reserve. Designer Megali Metrailler is responsible for creating these models. They feature a date display positioned next to the iconic BMW logo and also a power reserve indicator fashioned like a speedometer or dashboard display. Inside, the model houses an automatic Caliber ETA 2897 COSC certified movement.
Breitling Bentley Motors A25362
Breitling and Bentley have worked together on a number of collaborations since 2002. Their partnership began with the creation of an onboard clock for the automobile manufacturer’s Bentley Continental GT and quickly spanned into wristwatches. From the particular shape of the bezels to the design of the dials, Bentley models serve as the inspiration for the aesthetic of their collections. The special edition Breitling Bentley Motors A25362 features the brand’s caliber 25B self-winding mechanical movement, and is also equipped with a 42-hour power reserve and chronometer certification.
Breitling Bentley Supersports A26364
Over the years, the Breitling Bentley models have come to embody the perfect union between watches and cars. Undoubtedly, the Supersports collection is one of the most popular lines produced by the brand. The A26364 variation is powered by Breitling’s caliber 26B self-winding mechanical movement, featuring a 42-hour power reserve. Most recently, the companies have expanded the Supersports collection to include the B55 connected watch.
TAG Heuer Mercedez Benz SLR Calibre S
TAG Heuer has been one of the top watch brands in racing for decades. Their SLR line is the product of their 30-year partnership with the McLaran Mercedes Formula 1 team. It first began as a special edition collection and now undoubtedly remains as a permanently added line. The Calibre S gets its name from the brand’s Calibre S electro-mechanical movement. The model likewise contains an array of complications, including a flyback chronograph and perpetual calendar. Each is carefully arranged on the dial in a way that mimics the dashboard of a car.
Jaeger LeCoultre Aston Martin AMVOX 1 Special Edition
Jaeger LeCoultre’s partnership with Aston Martin began in 2004. After a twelve year run, the brands consequently parted ways in 2016, leaving behind a stunning collection. They called it the AMVOX series. The first piece in the line was aptly the AMVOX 1. The model draws inspiration from the brand’s classic Memovox, with the name coming from a combination of “vox” and AM, standing for Aston Martin. The model also features Jaeger LeCoultre’s legendary mechanical Memovox alarm and a dial layout inspired by vintage Aston Martin speedometers.