The connection between cars and luxury men's watches is a strong bond which has inspired the creation of numerous iconic pieces. Watch brands such as TAG Heuer, Panerai and Richard Mille, to name but a few have released car-themed collections to enthusiasts eager to own a timepiece whose name and design inspiration is taken from luxury car marques, motorsport teams, drivers or even world famous race tracks.
High precision chronographs are essential timing devices within the world of motorsport. An industry-savvy Jack W. Heuer recognised this and had the vision to connect his watch company with that of motor racing. The release of the Carrera collection, named after the extreme Carrera Pan Americana road race was just the start of a lineage of themed pieces unveiled by Heuer and later TAG Heuer which include the Monza and the Monaco, worn by Steve McQueen in the cult "Le Mans" film in 1970.
Girard-Perregaux formed a relationship with Ferrari which lasted from 1994 to 2004 and during this time released a collection of impressive limited edition pieces including the remarkable Worldtimer Ferrari F1 Edition and the magnificent Girard-Perregaux Richeville pour Ferrari Complication. Recently Ferrari have become connected with the Panerai watch brand jual jam tangan fortuner. A range of Ferrari timepieces have been unveiled taking inspiration from the distinctive sports car design detailing created at Maranello but with the heartbeat of a Panerai movement contained in their beautifully convex shaped watchcase.
Commercial success is not the only reason for collaboration between watch brands and motorsport. Take Chopard, for example, it is no secret that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Vice-President of Chopard, sponsors of the Mille Miglia rally is himself a classic rally entrant and a keen car collector and enthusiast. The brand also sponsor the Monaco Grand Prix Historique and have released outstanding sporty watches with true motorsport heritage such as the Mille Miglia Gran Turismo XL and the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronograph. Another race fan Giuliano Mazzuoli has designed the Mazzuoli Contagiri (Italian for tachometer). This amazing watch looks more like the rev counter of a sports car than a wristwatch and is produced for buyers of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione concept sports car.
The world of Formula 1 continues to mix with that of luxury watches. Brand ambassadors include the brilliant Brazilian driver Felipe Massa for Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet have released tribute pieces of the fabulous Royal Oak Offshore for both Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barrichello. Oris are also sponsors of the Williams F1 team.
Motorsport and luxury watches share unique passions, technical prowess and in some cases even certain construction materials. If a sporty timepiece is your thing, then these models are more than just a way to own the brand if you cannot afford the car, they are undeniably cool wristwatches, often a shrewd investment and are always a conversation-starter.