Time is our greatest luxury. Since the dawn of mankind, people have strived to measure it, contain it, prolong it, and preserve it in perpetuity. The automobile increased the individual’s time so exponentially that the past century has seen unprecedented growth. The automobile provided the speed and mobility of movement, which allowed us to maximize the precious commodity of time. It is only natural that the highest art forms of timekeeping would desire to partner with the grandest names in the automotive industry. These timepieces reflect that emotional bond that unites our love affair with the automobile and the time it has afforded us.
The Bentley Barnato Racing by Breitling
In 2002 Bentley Motors released the Bentley Continental GT, a revolutionary luxury sports car that instantly reinvigorated the Bentley brand globally. Breitling was commissioned to create the technical instruments and the on-board clock for the car, marking the first time Bentley had ever turned to a watchmaker for such technical expertise. The partnership was a massive success, adding yet another form of luxury to the car along with the technical expertise that comes with one of the finest Swiss timekeepers. Named after the most distinguished racer of the Bentley brothers, Woolf Barnato, the watch features a 38-jewel certified chronometer movement housed in a massive 49mm case. Among its unique and distinguishing features are sub-dials shaped like historical Le Mans racing steering wheels. The watch comes in either steel or a limited-edition red gold model.
Westime, West Hollywood
The Contagiri Alfa Romeo 8C by Giuliano Mazzuoli
A new partnership based on the strong Italian roots of both companies has created a limited edition timepiece that will be provided to the special owners of the new Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Contagiri means tachometer in Italian, and the dial of the watch is modeled after the RPM gauge on the new Alfa, albeit with additional creative touches. The green four-leaf clover, a hallmark of the legendary car brand, sits in the traditional six o’clock position of the watch face, but since the watch is a retrograde model, the clover represents the “0” on the dial. The small black hand with a red accent represents the hour, with the silver hand referencing the 15-minute increments between hours. Instead of a traditional winding crown, the watch has a lever that resembles the gear shift in a car and extends out to allow you to set the time and wind the watch.
Westime, Beverly Hills
The Big Bang Ferrari All Black by Hublot
The Hublot brand prides itself on combining cutting-edge designs with the creative use of new technical materials. This made its partnership with Ferrari, announced November 2011, a fitting and logical one sure to produce not only visually stunning watches, but technically impassioned ones. Take for instance the new Ferrari All Black. Part of the Hublot “Big Bang” series of timepieces, the All Black’s case is crafted out of ceramic, with a polished matte black appearance. The strap is fashioned from Schedoni leather with red stitching just like the seats found in the cars with the Prancing Horse. A skeletal dial reveals the inner workings of the new Hublot self-winding chronograph flyback movement allowing for accurate timing of multiple laps on the track.
Hublot, Beverly Hills
The AMVOX2 Transponder by Jaeger Le-Coultre
The partnership between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin began in 2006 with the invention of the AMVOX chronograph. The chronograph functions on this piece were not activated by push buttons on the side of the case; rather, a sliding lever on the side of the case activated a series of ball bearings which allowed the wearer to start and stop the chronograph using simple upward and downward rotations of their wrist. This allows a driver to activate the watch while driving, but it also allows a stationary timer to activate the feature with no distractions. The second version of the watch contains an embedded radio transmitter and battery which allows any new Aston Martin owner to utilize his watch to unlock the car and turn on the lights from a distance. The dial also contains an indicator for whether the doors are unlocked, and the watch logo rotates near the six o’clock position, indicating the watch’s engine is running. By combining a one-of-a-kind chronograph timepiece with a standard auto remote locking mechanism, JLC has heightened the direct partnership between one’s watch and one’s car.
Polachek’s Jewelers, Calabasas
The Bugatti Revelation by Parmigiani Fleurier
Early in 2001, Bugatti was looking for a watch company with a complementary reputation for bold design and technical artistry. By 2004 a formal agreement was struck between the Parmigiani timepiece company and the historic racing brand. Over the past 10 years, much like Bugatti’s Veyron, Parmigiani has created some of the most visually stunning and intriguing pieces favored by the flamboyant and fabulously wealthy. To mark the 10-year anniversary, Parmigiani has released three special editions, but the one titled Revelation is an absolute show-stopper. Using the tubular movement unveiled by Parmigiani to represent a watch movement positioned like an automotive engine, the Revelation uses the honeycomb design of the Veyron grille in three formats. A beautiful, diamond-cut cage of gold encloses the movement and can be opened to reveal it like a car engine. The leather band is adorned with the honeycombed diamonds using a technique called debossing, which imprints it into the leather, while the watch’s dial is designed with the same diamond cut grille, providing a stunning contrast for the solid gold hands.
/ $ 345,000
David Orgell, Beverly Hills
The B-Rocket by Bell & Ross
Known for converting flight-instrument designs straight from the cockpit and interpreting them as large-scale timepieces, watchmaker Bell & Ross has come out of the air and championed a tour de force on the ground. Teaming up with the engineers and designers of Shaw Harley Davidson, B&R has created a retro-styled motorcycle that incorporates many features of a 1960s-era jet plane. Known as the B-Rocket, this bike is turning heads and breaking records for both performance and design. In addition, they have released two B-Rocket-inspired timepieces.
- Limited editions of 500 pieces
- Two model sizes, 46 and 42mm
- Quilted black leather straps with red accents
- Cutting-edge design with color scheme corresponding to the jet bike
Bhindi Jewelers, Glendale