It's a truth universally acknowledged that those who wear car-affiliated gear and accessories are uncool. Nobody rocks up on Casual Fridays wearing a McClaren polo or a BMW tee – that's just not the done thing – but what about watches? As it turns out, the opposite seems to be the case. In fact, there's plenty of reasons why a motor-inspired timepiece is worthy of your investment.
For starters, there's a great number of similarities between the two worlds; the pursuit of mechanical excellence, the attention to detail. Then there's the fact that these instruments are precise tools that look great, but serve a particular job. Add into the mix the rich heritage of the two industries and you can understand why there are a number of excellent watch-car collaborations.
Check out five of our favourites below. Tick, tick, vroom…
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico King Gold
This limited-edition Big Bang proves that Ferrari’s ongoing relationship with Hublot, first established in 2012, goes far beyond just slapping a logo on an existing watch model. Yes, on first glance you’ll find a golden prancing horse on the dial along with plenty of Rosso Corsa red accents. But subtle details like the speedo-like chronograph subdial and the integrated chrono pushers designed to look like car pedals show this is a watch with petrol running through its cogs.
Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aerolithe Performance
Parmigiani Fleurier’s latest collaboration with Bugatti takes its design cues from the iconic Type 57 Aerolithe from 1935. The result is a timepiece that matches the watchmaker’s usual attention to detail with some highly appealing motoring design cues: the teardrop-shaped lugs, the dual tachymetre measuring both mph and kmh, and a textured dial (created using laser technology) inspired by the Bugatti’s radiator grill. On the outer chapter ring you’ll also find various stats about the Bugatti Veyron but, even if you’re not a petrolhead, this is a flyback chronograph with real class.
Bremont Jaguar MKII BJ II Chronograph
This all-British team-up from Bremont and Jaguar takes the Lightweight E-Type Jaguars of the 1960s as its inspiration, in particular the motor’s monochrome dashboard instruments, and their red accents. It’s a classic look, improved by finer details such as the tyre-tread pattern on the crown and the quality perforated leather strap, without ever feeling too much like a themed watch. It’s a timepiece that’s proud to be British, without belting out ‘Jerusalem’ at the top of its lungs.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC
All you really need to know about the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC is that its TV advert sees Hugh Jackman take to the wheel of a Ferrari Dino and look better than anyone since Steve McQueen in the driving seat. But, Hollywood aside, Montblanc’s revamped TimeWalker collection is aimed at watch aficionados as much as car lovers. The Chronograph UTC is our favourite: it’s DLC-coated titanium case, textured bezel, and all-black dial with striking red accents creates a sporty-yet-fashionable aesthetic.
Christopher Ward C1 Morgan Aero 8 Chronometer
The trouble with some motor-affiliated timepieces is that they struggle to find a broad appeal. Christopher Ward looked to solve this problem by making its collaboration with British car manufacturer Morgan exclusive to past and present owners of the marque. But demand was so great that it chose to open up sales to the general public. It’s no surprise when you see the C1 Morgan Aero: while the watch is influenced by Morgan, this is simply a great sports watch at an incredibly competitive price point.