Timing in the Fast Lane
By Roberta Naas
FROM RIGHT: Pierce Brosnan sports a gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo watch (much like the one shown here) in the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair, where he also drives a vintage Mustang; The Jaeger-LeCoultre Amvox 5 World Chronograph is the fi fth watch in the partnership between Jaeger-LeCoutlre and Aston Martin; Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo
Watchmakers have done more than sponsor and time racing events; they’ve also formed partnerships with fast cars (and opulent ones) by making watches that recall interior and exterior features of a prized set of wheels. Some even have the capacity to interact with it.
Breitling, a brand requiring serious swagger to carry off, partnered with the storied Bentley Motors in 2003, making exclusive Bentley for Breitling timepieces and designing dashboard clocks for the brand ever since. Breitling also released a limited-edition watch that Bentley owners could order with veneer dials and leather straps that echoed the car’s interior, and it sold out. These Breitling for Bentley pieces bear the Bentley winged insignia.
Similarly, Jaeger-LeCoultre (Pierce Brosnan sports its Reverso Duo in The Thomas Crown Affair) struck up a collaboration a few years back with Aston Martin that resulted in the cutting-edge Amvox watch collection. One model, the Amvox2 DBS Transponder (the watch that unleashes the DBS), is fitted with a transmitter that—in response to pressure on the sapphire crystal—remotely unlocks the doors of its wearer’s Aston Martin DBS. The Amvox2 Rapide Transponder has a similar relationship with its namesake Aston Martin, except that the special function—again, activated through pressure on the crystal—consists of briefly turning on the Rapide’s headlights to help you identify it in the dark. Brilliant! A healthy dose of self-confidence lies behind the 2001 marriage of Parmigiani Fleurier and Bugatti: Each wanted, simply, to be first in the world. Parmigiani aimed to be the first watch with traverse movement, while Bugatti sought the title of “fastest car on earth.” After four years of intense research, Parmigiani Fleurier came up with a prototype for the Bugatti watch, with positioning of its five main plates on a horizontal axis offering an unhindered view of the bridges and train wheels. At about the same time, Bugatti launched the Veyron 16B, which was indeed-—for a while-—the fastest car on record. The collaboration continues today with a just-revealed Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport watch, which was on the wrist of test-driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel when he broke the world speed record, making the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport the fastest auto in the world.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Oris is an official partner of the AT&T Williams team in Formula 1 racing; Bugatti Super Sport watch by Parmigiani Fleurier; Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport car
Professor F.A. Porsche—grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who founded the Porsche automobile company of Germany—started Porsche Design Studios several decades ago and continues to create Porsche timepieces, among other lifestyle items. Newcomers include the Devon Tread 1 with its patented system of interwoven time belts in the watch mechanism that are partially inspired by drive belts on motorcycles. An engineering masterpiece, the Tread 1 uniquely employs a series of fiber-reinforced glass nylon belts that display the hours and minutes. Also just unveiled is the Spyker collection, named for the high-powered Dutch car reintroduced a decade ago following a 75-year absence. Made in Geneva, the watches take their design cues from the car’s intake valves, wheels, logo and more. While the leather for the straps is produced by the company responsible for the car’s interior, color customization is available for Spyker owners.
Many of these watches take years to develop and often carry price tags just as hefty as those of their luxury-car counterparts. But then, perfection doesn’t come cheap. Especially if you seek a watch that emulates—or even to an extent controls—a car that quickens your pulse and reflects your lifestyle.
FROM TOP: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona; Blancpain Super Trofeo Flyback Chronograph
Blancpain is a title sponsor and offi cial timer of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and is the exclusive offi cial timekeeper of the FIA GT1 World Championship
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.