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Watches and cars - Watch brands rev up with auto inspired watches at Baselworld

Watches and cars Watch brands rev up with auto inspired watches at Baselworld

These newest watches inspired by the world of fast-paced cars will make you want to get your vroom on.

The super speedy, precision world of automobile racing is also about high-tech mechanics, top performance and luxury –traits shared by the finest watch brands in the world. In fact, cars and wristwatches have been inextricably linked almost since their inceptions.  Both fields were born at the turn of the 20th century and both have progressed immensely. Today, they share the same unrivaled passion for extremes and excellence, as well as for high-tech materials and bold expressive designs.

This may well be why we saw such a plethora of auto-inspired watches throughout Baselworld 2017. Many of these watches take years to develop and sometimes carry price tags as hefty as one of the finest automobiles. However, unlike the cars they are fashioned after, these watches can be worn on the wrist wherever one goes instead of being parked in the garage. While we would love to bring you a look at dozens of them, space is somewhat limited, so we take a look at three outstanding performance watches.

TAG Heuer has long been involved in the world of auto racing. In the 1950’s, Heuer (today TAG Heuer) was timing races around the world and unveiled watches such as the Monaco (worn by Steve McQueen in the 1970 movie Le Mans), the Carrera and the beloved Autavia. This year, while there are several new Carrera watches being unveiled, the big news from TAG Heuer is the Autavia. First unveiled to the world in 1933 as a dashboard timer, the Autavia chronograph was named for Automobile and Aviation (it was used in cars and planes). It was produced for at least another three decades. Now, TAG releases a reinterpretation of the watch.

Watches and cars

Autavia 2017 © TAG Heuer

The new 2017 Autavia, takes great inspiration from its predecessor in looks. The case, though, is 42mm rather than 39 mm of the older one, and the bezel is a bit wider, as well. The watch, offered in steel with a vintage-style leather strap, is water resistant to100 meters. The hands and markers are painted with beige luminescence, reminiscent of the vintage pieces.  Finally, the vintage Heuer logo is used on the dial, along with the Autavia name, and it houses an all-new movement. Best news of all is that the re-edition of this historical icon for TAG Heuer is out in stores already.
Price: CHF 4,800 - 5,500

Chopard also has a long involvement with motor sports and has been a close partner with the vintage rally, Mille Miglia. In fact, the brand regularly creates special pieces in honor of each year’s race. This year, the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph has been unveiled in two versions: one for women at 39mm; one for men at 42mm. Both have vintage inspirations in the design and both have COSC-certified high-precision movements.

Like all Mille Miglia watches, these are inspired by cars that took part in the Mille Miglia races between 1927 and 1940. As such the slim fonts of the numerals have vintage appeal, as does the arrow-shaped red Millie Miglia logo on the dials. The watches are finished with a rubber strap embossed with the 1960’s Dunlop Racing tire tread motif. The women’s model is crafted in steel with a white mother-of-pearl dial and gemset bezel, while the men’s watch is also crafted in steel but with a striking black dial.
Price: Men’s chronograph CHF 4,900, women’s chronograph with diamonds CHF 11,900.

Montres « automobiles » vues à Baselworld

Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph © Chopard


This year Bell & Ross surprises us with its new Renault Sport BR03-94 RS17 Tourbillon Chronograph  – built in honor of the high-performance world of Formula 1 racing in general and of the Renault Sport Formula One Team in particular, for which the brand is the official partner.  Inspired by the steering wheel of the new Renault RS17 F1 car, the BR-X1 Tourbillon Chronograph is a hand-wound piece that is immediately recognizable thanks to its color coding for reading of the time, chronograph, date, seconds and power reserve indicator.  The rocker-like pushbuttons add great design flair. The watch is made of lightweight Carbone Forge®, titanium and ceramic—the same materials used in the cars.
Price: CHF 170,000

Watches and cars

BR X1 Tourbillon RS17 © Bell & Ross

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

14 May 2017
John Picarella


For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.

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Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition,...

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Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...

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