Luxury cars and auto racing have always been a source of inspiration for watches. In fact, with its built-in stopwatch, chronograph watches are often positioned as the go-to tool watch to keep track of race times. So, with that in mind, we check out six car inspired watches to get your engine revving.
Breitling for Bentley
No partnership between a car and watch manufacturer is as close as the one between Breitling and Bentley. The two luxury brands came together in 2003 to officially launch the Breitling for Bentley watch brand. The timepieces are expertly built by Breitling using inspiration from Bentley cars.
One such example is the Breitling for Bentley 24 H Limited Edition from 2013. Limited to only 288 units, the chronograph marks the 10th anniversary of Bentley’s dominance at the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 2003. Housed within the large 49mm stainless steel case sits a black carbon fiber dial along with the trio of registers. The engine under the hood of the Breitling for Bentley 24H is the hand-wound chronograph B02 Caliber mechanical movement, built entirely in-house. Finishing off the look is a black rubber strap equipped with a steel deployant buckle.
Chopard Mille Miglia
Serving as the official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia since 1988, Chopard offers a collection of watches in honor of the legendary Italian car race. The Chopard Mille Miglia includes a wide range of luxury sports watches from gold to steel and from classic to ultra-modern.
The Chopard Mille Miglia GT XL Power Control watch sports a 42mm stainless steel case with a dial reminiscent of a vintage car dashboard. Chopard cleverly designed the power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock to resemble a fuel gauge. In addition to the center hands and power reserve display, there’s also a date window. Flip the watch around and you’ll see the automatic movement working away via a transparent caseback. Further emphasizing the connection to motorsports, this Chopard Mille Miglia includes a black rubber strap fashioned to look like a car tire.
Hublot F1 King Power
In 2010, Hublot and Formula 1 announced a partnership. So, to honor the occasion, Hublot went on to release a series of F1 King Power timepieces. And in true Hublot fashion, these are large, bold, and sporty timepieces.
On the 48mm black ceramic case of Hublot F1 King Power Ceramic sits a bezel styled very much like a brake caliper. Illustrating the Formula 1 spirit, there are the chronograph pushers labeled with “Start” and “Reset” and a speedometer-like dial. The strap of the Hublot F1 King Power Ceramic is composed of an inner rubber layer paired with a Nomex synthetic fiber exterior. Securing the strap is a titanium and ceramic deployant buckle.
Panerai Ferrari Granturismo
While the Panerai and Ferrari relationship no longer exists (it’s now Hublot and Ferrari), the alliance between the two Italian luxury brands left behind some fantastic watches.
Take the Panerai Ferrari Granturismo Rattrapante for example. With its 45mm stainless steel cushion style case, the FER00005 is unmistakably Panerai—despite the brand not appearing on the dial. Rather, the dial shows off the iconic Prancing Horse coupled with Ferrari name. Also on the dial are the three subdials styled like a sports car dashboard. Plus, there’s the tachymeter running along the periphery. Finally, the exhibition caseback gives us a view of the Caliber OP XVIII automatic chronograph movement powering the watch.
TAG Heuer Carrera
First introduced in 1963 by Jack Heuer, the Carrera derives its name from Carrera Panamericana, an ultra-dangerous car race that ran in the early 1950s. From the days of Heuer to the modern TAG Heuer, the Carrera has remained as the signature chronograph of the brand.
One of the newest iterations of the models is the TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 01. Presented in 2015, the watch features a 45mm stainless steel case. The black skeleton dial gives a glimpse of the automatic Caliber Heuer 01 inside, while the three subdials work in conjunction with the chronograph. Finally, the black titanium carbide coated steel bezel with the tachymeter scale and rally style perforated rubber strap adds to the sportiness of the watch.
When Rolex launched their newest generation chronograph—the Cosmograph—in the 1960s, the company added the name “Daytona” to the model to emphasize the connection to the world’s car racing capital.
Today, Rolex Daytona are very popular motorsports watches available in an assortment of materials, colors, and styles. One particularly precious model is the Rolex Daytona ref. 1165519. Besides the 18k white gold 40mm Oyster case, there’s also the meteorite dial and black leather strap. Moreover, driving the Daytona ref 1165519 is the in-house Rolex Cal. 4130 automatic chronograph movement.
So if you have a need for speed, then look no further than a car inspired luxury watch. Whether you opt for Rolex, Chopard, Breitling, TAG, Hublot, or Panerai, these are some of the best around.