Watches & cars Hypercar, hyperwatch
Any superb piece of four-wheeled engineering deserves its four-lugged counterpart. Car-watch partnerships are ramping up, with high-octane timepieces to match high-performance vehicles.
Partnerships between watch brands and car manufacturers vary as much in quality and intensity as their rides. They go from the simple addition of a logo, to a complete fusion of the spirits of both brands and the objects they create. In the case of supercars, and particularly hypercars, the bar has been set very high, as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Bugatti demonstrate. Watchmakers have risen to the challenge, coming up with some truly exceptional watches.
The Aventador S is a yellow and grey rocket, developing 740 horsepower for a weight of a little over one and a half tonnes. Roger Dubuis, Lamborghini’s freshly anointed partner, drew inspiration from the car maker’s pioneering use of carbon fibre. The Excalibur Aventador S limited series, with its lateral struts, also reflects the external appearance of the 6.5 litre V12 engine.
Excalibur Aventador S. © Roger Dubuis
McLaren doesn’t do ordinary. By transposing its half-century of racing expertise to the road, the British brand has created a stir over the last six years. Richard Mille saw how much they had in common, and launched the RM 50-03 McLaren F1. Collaboration between the two companies led to the development of a lighter and slimmer movement. The TPT carbon case includes graphene, an ultra-light and ultra-rigid material that McLaren uses for its cars’ chassis.
RM 50-03 McLaren © Richard Mille
Taking over from the Veyron and its many iterations, Bugatti continues to improve performance with the Chiron. The 1500 hp W16 engine is as extravagant as the interior is luxurious, powering this beast from 0 to 400 km/h in 32 seconds. Parmigiani, a partner of the Molsheim-based car builder for 13 years, is celebrating the birth of the Chiron with the Type 390. Its coaxial triangular barrel coupling system, articulated case angled at 12° and unconventional design make the Chiron watch every bit as extraordinary as its vehicular namesake.
Bugatti Type 390 © Parmigiani
Ferrari spent a long time looking for exactly the right partner. By launching the Masterpiece MP-05 at the same time as the LaFerrari, Hublot showed it was quite capable of keeping up with the mechanical mayhem. Both brands have switched it up a gear. The Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph, designed by Ferrari’s own in-house design studio, has a case built on a lattice structure, and red accents that bring to mind the steering wheel of a Ferrari road car – which is a very nice machine indeed.
Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph © Hublot
As we see, fantastically engineered watches, like cars, are capable of transporting enthusiasts into a parallel dimension. All it takes is sufficient technical and financial resources, designers who have been given free rein, and total immersion in the supercar spirit. Cars may remain the epitome of male fantasy, but watches aren’t far behind.
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