The Growing Partnership Between Supercar Brands And The Luxury Watch Segment
Supercar brands have been making the luxury watch segment a lot more visible, and vice-versa. Read on to get a look into the closely linked relationship of the automotive and watchmaking industry.
Tracing back the historical records, cars and watches have always maintained a close relationship. In fact, we can even say that in the past a lot of watches can attribute their existence to car racing being a contributing factor to their construction!
Automotive inspired chronographs have long been used to keep track of lap times and over the years, these chronographs have evolved immensely, gradually paved their way towards the luxury segment of the industry.
This strategic partnerships between the two industries has long served to expand their markets.
Take a look at our top 5 favourite horological collaborations that combine timeless precision along with exclusive luxury.
Breitling x Bentley:
The longest standing partnership of an automotive and a watchmaking company, the Breitling and Bentley partnership dates all the way back to 2002. Bentley first commissioned Breitling to create an on-board clock for it’s first ever Continental GT, to add a layer of ultra-premium luxury to the dock.
Since this milestone, both brands have been creating exquisite timepieces & special edition cars - from the “Breitling for Bentley” range to the limited edition GTs inspired by the Breitling Jet Team.
The Mulliner Tourbillon is one of the finest pieces to be worked on for the Bentley Bentayga by Breitling. With an amalgamation of only the best and valued materials, the dashboard clock is the embodiment of luxe design, performance & precision.
Additionally, The Bentley Mulliner team reached mile high with the launch of their Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series. Limited to just seven cars, each one is inspired by one of the seven Breitling Jets.
Lamborghini x Roger Dubuis:
The partnership so far has released two collections, The Excalibur Aventador S & The Excalibur Huracán. The Aventador’s outstanding engine is the Duotor; an exclusive Roger Dubuis movement. Most of the collection’s pieces are limited edition, some to a total of 88, while others are limited to 28 or even just 1 piece!
Exclusivity and rarity are two sets of common denominators that allow these two collaborators to sync well in this high speed, roaring partnership.
Roger Dubuis’ Caliber RD630, the second development by the company in cooperation with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, made its debut in the latest version of the Excalibur Huracán, with a 45-mm titanium case.
Heavily skeletonized like most modern Roger Dubuis Calibers, it has a 12º tilted balance wheel, an innovation first used by the brand in its eye-popping Quatuor timepiece. A honeycomb structure reminiscent of Lamborghini grilles is built into the mainplate and a hexagonal date window can be seen at the 6 o’clock mark with distinctive speedometer-style numerals.
Ferrari x Hublot:
Right after Panerai’s contract with Ferrari ended in 2010, Ferrari & Hublot joined forces in 2011 to create a line of watches that masterfully speak the design language of both brands.
One of the most successful timepieces that came out of the collaboration is the Hublot LaFerrari.
The watch was released in 2013 to celebrate the launch of the LaFerrari and at first look can be categorised under a subset of 'hyper watches'.
It is designed such that it resembles the form of the car, all the while exposing the inner workings of the watch through a uniquely shaped crystal. These visible mechanics are inspired by the car's engine. The centre of the watch consists of 11 coupled barrels that give the watch its insane 50 days power reserve.
A power reserve indicator can be found on the left hand side of the power reserve barrel on two rotating cylinders. The enormous powers reserve requires so much torque, that it needs a power tool to be wound and set.
The LaFerrari also has a vertical tourbillion on display through the front of the case at the 6 o'clock mark. Located in the same position, viewable through the regular display, is the second wheel. The hours and minutes are found on cylinders on the right hand side of the barrels. The complexity, technical merit and precision of the watch is certainly beyond comprehension.
Jacob & Co. x Bugatti:
This partnership begins with the limited edition Jacob and Co. masterpiece, the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti Edition.
Keeping the Bugatti Chiron in mind, the watch features turquoise colour around the dial to pay homage to Bugatti’s 110 year anniversary Chiron. The Bugatti logo is proudly and prominently placed in the centre of the dial and the power reserve indicator is renamed "Fuel". The timepiece also features the colours of the French flag on the gauge.
There are only 39 individually numbered pieces made; 18 in carbon fibre, 18 in rose gold and three with diamonds.
The partnership between the two companies also sees the release of a special version of the sporty "Bugatti Chrono Edition Limitée 110 Ans” in a limited edition release of 110 pieces to mark each year since the founding of Bugatti in 1909. The defining technical element of the Epic X Chrono is the Jacob & Co. JCAA05 skeletonized self winding chronograph movement.
The Bugatti version features a newly invented special forged carbon case and incorporates the colours of the French flag into its bold dial design underlining luxury automobile manufacturer's heritage.
The timepiece comes on a special rubber strap inspired by the iconic red bonnet of the Bugatti Chiron and features the iconic "EB" logo on the buckle to commemorate the partnership.
IWC x Mercedes:
With the first collaboration for Mercedes on it’s 50th anniversary in 2017; manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen dedicated two limited-edition Pilot’s watches - a Perpetual Calendar and a Chronograph to join IWC’s line-up of aviator models in 2019.
Kitted out with black and turquoise the colour way resonates with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
The Perpetual Calendar is a sizeable timepiece. The dark theme of the watch compared to the Petronas Emerald Green details, give a contrasting effect with the textured dial, portraying a more contemporary and furtive feel.
The layout and display are based on the perpetual calendar module developed by Kurt Klaus during the mid-1980s.
The case is crafted in matte black zirconium oxide (a scratch resistant virtually unbreakable ceramic, that IWC started using in 1986), and houses the sophisticated perpetual calendar module that automatically detects the different number of days in a month and won’t need adjusting until the year 2100!
The Chronograph edition is equipped with a flyback chronograph to measure elapsed times. It displays a racy carbon fiber dial, like the Perpetual Calendar edition in it’s black ceramic case. The elapsed hours and minutes are displayed in white on the sub-dial at the 12 o’clock mark while the small seconds appear in a sub-dial at the 6 o’clock mark, this time with Petronas emerald green markings.
A date window at the 3 o’clock mark and large white numerals and hour markers complete the picture.
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