10 of the Hottest High-End Car-Inspired WatchesBy Chris Weiss
If there are two material things that discerning men love, they’re hot cars and hot watches (plastic boobs aren’t bad, either). Women get to wear all kinds of jewelry, but for men, the watch is really the primary way to dress up an otherwise dull outfit. The same types of things that make supercars great–precise design and engineering, top-end materials like titanium, leather and carbon fiber and a careful eye for aesthetic detail–also separate the most exclusive timepieces from the rest of the pack. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the two industries often collaborate to give us some of the most stunning (and expensive) timepieces in the world. Here’s a look at 1o of our recent favorites.
Hublot Aero Big Bang Morgan
Morgan’s a British specialty auto firm that most recently brought us the Eva GT. In 2009, Hublot debuted the Aero Big Bang Morgan in recognition of Morgan’s 100th anniversary. In addition to giving an attractive stare, the Big Bang uses all the materials that make Morgan roadsters so special, like titanium, steel, ceramic, kevlar and tungsten, with a big Morgan badge on the back. Production was limited to 100 examples.
Breitling for Bentley Supersports
In my opinion, the Bentley Continental Supersports is the definition of luxury blending in perfect harmony with power and performance. Bottling that special balance in a watch is no small task, but Breitling manages it with the Supersports watch introduced at Baselworld 2010. Combining classic design elements seen on other Breitling for Bentley watches, like the raised and knurled bezel, the watch brings unerring performance in the form of a COSC-certified motor chronometer. The watch also includes a variable tachometer with circular slide rule that allows for measuring average speeds no matter how much time has elapsed. Breitling announced plans for a limited run of 1,000.
Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Pendulum Concept
Another Baselworld 2010 debut, the Grand Carrera Pendulum concept watch was designed to be featured in the one-of-a-kind Tag Heuer Tesla Roadster. Much more than just car branding, the Pendulum watch replaces a timeless piece of the time-telling equation: the physical hairspring is removed in favor of a series of magnets that combine to keep the mechanical watch running as true as you’d expect any good Swiss timepiece to run. According to Tag Heuer, this change makes the watch’s regulatory system less sensitive to impeding factors like gravity and thermal expansion. A truly worldly timepiece, the Grand Carrera Pendulum recently finished up a global road trip with the Tesla Roadster.
Silver Arrow Concept Watch
The watch version of a three-point-badged Mercedes grille, the Silver Arrow concept was designed by French designer Faibein Cacheux in recognition of the gull-winged SLS AMG that Mercedes introduced last year. In a James-Bond-worthy twist, the watch includes remote entry buttons to pop open those gullwings and let yourself inside. Shown as a concept this summer, there’s no price tag or production plans on this beauty. Hopefully, we’ll see it again in the future.
Parmigiani Bugatti 16C Galibier Tourbillon Concept
Around the time Bugatti was tantalizing us with the dashing 16C Galibier last September, Parmigiani was unveiling this concept watch designed to complement the rich, wood-veneered interior of the Galibier. We still don’t know if the Galibier will ever make it to production, and likewise, we don’t know if there will be a Parmigiani watch to go with it. Hope for yes on both accounts. We’re not that enamored with the matching $#*^-brown leather band and case, but what is intriguing is the fact that you can pop the gold or silver timepiece out of said case and slide it into the Galibier’s dash to serve as the clock.
Porsche Design P’6780 Diver Watch
Unlike these other symbionts, Porsche has its very own design firm for luxurious unrelateds like watches, luggage and sunglasses. One of its latest creations the P’6780 is designed for worldly divers that regularly plunge 3,280 feet under the sea. Just Porsche’s second diving watch, and the first since 1983, the watch features a hinged case that can be lifted out of the frame for winding. This allows Porsche to place the crown on top rather than the side, where it’s integrated into the watch rather than sticking out.
Thierry Chaunu Spyker Watch
A meticulous piece designed by Geneva-based Thierry Chaunu, these newly announced watches are infused with all types of Spyker detailing. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that analyzing the details was what inspired this list to begin with. Accents include the same quilted Royal Dutch Hulshof leather that’s used in Spyker seats, exhaust pipe-emulating buttons and a Spyker logoed crown. Launched earlier this month, the Spyker chonographs are available in several different colors and trim with prices ranging from $9,750 to $30,500.
Cabestan Scuderia Ferrari One
Still but a concept, the Scuderia Ferrari One marks a new watch partnership between Ferrari and Cebestan. Cebestan designer Jean-François Ruchonnet worked with Ferrari’s design team in Maranello to design a piece properly exemplifying Ferrari’s F1 legacy. Components agreed upon include the titanium alloy casing, magnesium alloy side wheels and the coupling of the watch motor to a six-speed automatic gearbox that provides accuracy of ± 1 second per day. Only 60 examples are planned; in fact, this one’s so exclusive that it will only be offered to Ferrari clients. And at the super-458 price of $300,000, they’re probably the only ones that could afford to buy one anyway.
Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport Watch
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t do two items so close in nature, but the two Parmigiani/Bugatti pieces demand to be here. Plus, this one’s no concept. In a segment where every watch touts its precise, accurate, hancrafted engineering and exotic materials, sometimes watchmakers need to set themselves apart. Exuberant prices can do it, but again, that’s not all too rare. How many watches, however, can say they were part of a world speed record? This Parmigiani chronograph definitely can because it was worn by Pierre-Henri Raphanel when he hit 267.8 mph in the Veyron Super Sport this summer. And it looks pretty damn cool with its driver-oriented side face. 200 examples will be made and the going price is $259,000–a drop in the bucket for anyone that drives a $2 million car.
Jaeger-LaCoultre Aston Martin AMVOX2 DBS Transponder Watch
Like the Silver Arrow, only real, the AMVOX doesn’t just look intimidatingly awesome, it actually has a transponder that’s designed to work with DBS door locks to open and close them. In fact, all you have to do is press on the face, and a pressure sensor will activate the transponder. One little tap and your DBS awaits with open arms. Of course, because of this DBS-based function, the AMVOX is only available to DBS owners. That’s alright; you’d feel kind of douchey smacking your 18-carat pink gold watch in front of your Hyundai Sonata anyway.