Rolex, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Breitling, Zenith and more: When watches meet cars

Cars and motorsports have inspired many luxury watch brands to club the dynamics of fast machines on four wheels and robust timepieces

richard mille chronograph mcLaren Richard Mille RM 50-03 Manual Winding Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph McLaren F1

Some machines are simply created to be admired. While for some the design steals the show, it is the engine under the hood for others which matters. Fans of cars have grown to become watch fanatics and vice-versa, and history is the witness. In the early 1920s, Swiss watch brand Mido designed a special watch for the legendary carmaker Bugatti, one of the first automotive-inspired watches.

Through the decades, several watch brands have had coalitions with motorsports. Fast cars and wristwatches have forged a sincere bond, and this romance has resulted in some extraordinary examples of engineering excellence — the machines illustrating precision and exhaustive craftsmanship. From Richard Mille's RM 50-03 Manual Winding Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph McLaren F1 to Rolex's Cosmograph Daytona, here are some timepieces to make your hearts rev up and up.

Richard Mille RM 50-03 Manual Winding Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph McLaren F1

Price: Rs7.32 crore (approximately)

A collaboration between Richard Mille and renowned Formula 1 team McLaren offers a technical knockout, the RM 50-03. Even if you include its strap, the watch weighs just 38 grams. While Titanium and Carbon Thin Ply Technology (TPT) materials are used to give the RM 50-03 its open design, a material new to watchmaking called Graph TPT is used for its case. The Graph TPT contains graphene —  a nanomaterial which is six times lighter than steel and 200 times stronger.

The RM 50-03 Manual Winding Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph McLaren F1 houses Calibre RM 50-03 which weighs just seven grams, delivering a power reserve of around 70 hours. Looking similar to the gearbox of a car, the function indicator allows you to see the winding, neutral, and hand-setting positions as the crown is pulled out. 

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rolex cosmograph daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Price: Rs8,60,700 (approximately)

Accurate and sporty, this chronograph is a trusted ally of endurance racing drivers. Even after 50 years of its creation, the Cosmograph Daytona is not only relevant but a go-to tool for many racecar drivers. The watch pays tribute to a place in the United States — Daytona, Florida, where racing thrived in the 20th century. The Cosmograph Daytona Oyster 40 mm in Oystersteel is a contemporary model which pays sincere respect to the original. The model in white dial and an Oyster bracelet features a black Cerachrom bezel with a tachymetric scale. Its tachymeter is what makes it a racer's favourite, measuring 400 units per hour, expressed in kilometres, miles, or any other unit of measure. The watch is driven by Calibre 4130 which delivers a power reserve of approximately 72 hours, and the watch is water resistant up to 100 metres.

breitling premier chronograph

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition

Price: Rs6.48 lakh (approximately)

To celebrate its partnership with Bentley Motors, Breitling made a special watch, the Breitling Premier Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition. The watch is inspired by the design of Bentley's Continental GT Mulliner Convertible. Limited to 1,000 pieces, the watch is driven by Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 which delivers a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. Its movement is housed in a stainless-steel case.

The silver dial of the Premier Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition brings to mind the Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Convertible's dashboard clock. A plate, on the left side of the case, has a 'Bentley' engraving, and around the watch's transparent sapphire caseback is 'Mulliner Edition — Breitling — One of 1000' engraved.

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chronotimer flyback

Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback

Price: Rs5 lakh (approximately)

The 1919 Chronotimer Flyback is indeed a head-turner. It takes its design inspiration from the legendary 911 — the car which has given Porsche its identity since 1963. Porsche has laid emphasis on its functionality with a minimalist construction of the black dial with white accents which is all things essential. The famed 911 is very proud of its lightweight construction, and the same has been passed on to the 1919 Chronotimer Flyback as well with its titanium built.

Driven by Porsche Design calibre WERK 01.200, this uncomplicated device delivers a power reserve of up to 48 hours and is water resistant up to 100 metres. The watch is offered with a genuine Porsche car leather black strap with tonal stitching and titanium folding clasp with pusher.

zenith defy land rover edition image

Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition

Price: Rs12 lakh (approximately)

Rugged and smashing, the Defy 21 Land Rover Edition showcases the engineering excellence of Swiss watch brand Zenith and British car manufacturer Land Rover. Zenith and Land Rover, both passionate about their trade, came together to deliver this stunning timepiece limited to only 250 pieces. The case is made of microblasted titanium which soaks up light from all corners underlining its faceted surfaces. Its matte grey dial features a special power reserve indicator.

This stunner is powered by El Primero 9004 automatic movement generating a power reserve of around 50 hours. The dial has been incredibly complemented by a grey rubber strap. The Defy 21 Land Rover Edition beautifully expresses the hardy forces that have inspired the new Land Rover Defender which is all things robust and comfy. 

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roger dubuis excalibur essenza

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Essenza SCV12

Price: Starts from Rs1.5 crore

A partnership between Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini has given birth to a stunning timepiece which looks like a sports car on your wrist. The futuristic 'hyperwatch' Excalibur Essenza SCV12 shares its design codes with the Lamborghini speed monster Essenza SCV12 — a track-only 'hypercar' limited to 40 units, flaunting a very powerful V12 engine.

A look at the face of the watch and you can trace the wheel-rim of the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12. Roger Dubuis, as if the formidable timepiece wasn't enough, also offers an exclusive 'Rarities' programme to customise and personalise the Excalibur Essenza SCV12. Customise a dial, case, strap, your watch's functional components, colours — a bespoke experience which makes your Excalibur Essenza SCV12 truly unique.

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