The best of auto-inspired and racing watches hits the open road with speed and style.
Automobile enthusiasts’ tight bond with timepieces dates to the earliest days of motor sports. Drivers would strap big, bulky pocket watches to their wrists to measure timing and speed, either while maneuvering new race tracks or hitting a straightaway on a dusty back road. But as car and timepiece technologies both advanced, drivers began looking to watchmakers for pieces that met their specific needs. Watch brands not only responded to this call but drew from it, with auto-design inspiration informing some of history’s most highly engineered and iconic pieces. (In many instances, watchmakers teamed up with specific automakers, racing teams, or races to create ticking tributes to them.) Some of the world’s most illustrious brands have revisited this racing tradition for summer, debuting exceptional timepieces that double as copilots for when the need for speed strikes.
For more watch features and expanded coverage go to la-confidential-magazine .com/watches-and-jewelry
AS TECHNOLOGIES ADVANCED, DRIVERS BEGAN LOOKING TO WATCHMAKERS FOR PIECES THAT MET THEIR NEEDS.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:
Girard Perregaux’s Competizione Circuito Chronograph ($13,200) takes its name from the Italian for “competition” and “track circuit”— and has the look of a high-end automobile. The case is made of a feather-light titanium and carbon composite while the black, honeycombed, openwork dial resembles a grille. The black calfskin strap features a carbon effect to top off the sporty design. Westime Beverly Hills, 216 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-888-8880; girard-perregaux.com
Rolex debuted the first Cosmograph Daytona in 1963 to satisfy the demands of professional drivers.
This Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 18-carat white gold ($28,800), introduced this year at Baselworld, continues that tradition with its self-winding mechanical chronograph movement powered by a 4130 Manufacture Rolex calibre. The watch has a 72-hour power reserve and is waterproof to 100 meters. Geary’s at Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., LA, 310-887-4100; rolex.com
The RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph by Richard Mille
($115,000) is inspired by materials used to build Formula One cars. The grade 5 titanium crown borrows the design of competition wheel rims and tire treads, while the grooved pushers, coated in NTPT carbon, recall racing pedals. The watch features a new RMAC3 automatic calibre with a flyback chronograph movement. The watch provides a power reserve of 55 hours. 222 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-2859898; richardmille.com
Created to celebrate the new Continental Supersports, the fastest Bentleys ever built, the Breitling for
Bentley Supersports B55 ($7,785) made its debut at this spring’s Baselworld in a limited edition of 500 pieces. The sporty chronograph features an ultralight titanium case and carbon fiber dial, as well as a connected movement with myriad motorsport functions that links up with the user’s smartphone. Westime at Sunset Plaza, 8569 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-289-0808; breitling.com