What is it with watches and cars? I guess a few obvious common grounds can easily be pinpointed: engineering, performance, prestige, design and status.
In that respect, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of watch brands and models that are in a certain way associated with historic or modern day motoring and racing events, F1 teams or drivers. But more interestingly, in my view, are the (more than a few) examples of watch and car manufacturers that have really linked their brand names to one another.
The best-known example is probably the collaboration between Bentley and Breitling. The so-called Breitling for Bentley models (no less than 13 of them currently listed on the official website) cleverly incorporate design elements from the cars, such as a rubber band reminding of car tires, or a bezel motif inspired by the distinctive Bentley grills.
Another partnership, resulting in some very fine timepieces, is that of Audemars Piguet and Maserati. The AP’s with the Maserati trident emblem are said to be inspired by Maserati engines, dashboards and high-tech materials. As it turns out, the trident looks just as impeccable on the watches as it does on a Maserati grill.
A perhaps somewhat less known car-watch alliance is that of Girard Peregaux and Ferrari. The watches from the ‘Girard Peregaux pour Ferrari’ line bear the staggering horse emblem on their faces. This partnership turned out to be non-exclusive as Ferrari later attached its name to Panerai as well throug the ‘Officine Panerai Engineerd for Ferrari’ range of watches.
Among all of the above power collaborations Mercedes Benz, of course, did not just sit still and has entered into its own partnership with Tag Heuer. Initially, this partnership resulted in the SLR Chronograph only available to the happy few that can call themselves owner of a McLaren SLR. Subsequently, Tag Heuer introduced another product as part of their partnership with Mercedes Benz simply named Tag Heuer SLR. This watch was more affordable than its bigger brother, but its availability remained rather limited as there were only 3,500 pieces of them ever manufactured.
Like the Ferrari partnerships described above, the Mercedes Benz partnership with Tag Heuer wasn’t an exclusive one either: enter the AMG version of the IWC Ingenieur. An interesting fact is that, unlike watches from the other partnerships, the Ingenieur AMG does not sport a Mercedes Benz or AMG logo on its face. Instead, there is an AMG engraving on the back cover – beautifully discrete.
Perhaps you noticed that another very interesting watch-car collaboration has not been mentioned yet in this overview: that of Jaeger Lecoultre and Aston Martin. The so called AMVOX models are yet another highly desirable result of watch-car partnerships. The most recent fruit of this partnership is the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder. Apart from the design and engineering elements you would expect from such a collaboration, the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder has a very cool gadget incorporated as well: the car can be locked and unlocked by simply tapping on the sapphire crystal of the watch. And yes, you guessed it, this watch is exclusive to Aston Martin DBS owners.
If you’ve been reading the above drooling away as I have been writing it, ask yourself: what IS it with watches and cars?