TRACK TIME

The best of auto-in­spired and rac­ing watches hits the open road with speed and style.

Los Angeles Confidential - - Contents - BY ALDOUS TUCK

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

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