Cars and Watches
It all happened on this day, 22 years ago, that I turned 18 and my biggest wish was to drive a car. I had already (on private roads I mean), but, on that day, my father made me a surprise and let me drive his Maserati Biturbo for the very first time. A wide, isolated road, early afternoon and such an amazing experience I could never forget: first gear in, throttle, second gear and that “boost” you get when the V6 turbo revs up.
On the right hand side of the steering wheel, just in the middle of that unmistakable leather and alcantara dashboard, was located an analog art-deco like oval time display, the hallmark of all the super cars made in Modena. I had read a lot about cars during those years and I was already aware of the link between cars and watches, but as a teenager I was attracted to cars more than watches. All Maseratis featured, as do now, an analog time display on the dashboard: first was a Jaeger, then a Veglia Borletti, just to mention two.
I really don't know if Maserati was the very first to introduce a stylish timepiece in cars but I'm quite sure that in the past cars and watches met up only during a Mille Miglia race for instance, when drivers were used to equip their cars' dashboard with a chronometer and a timepiece. Most probably, anyway, Maserati has led the way in today's premium car-making.
If you're among the very few lucky people rich enough to afford a car with the “Spirit of Ecstasy” on its hood, you might be interested to know that your limited edition Phantom Coupè Aviator is equipped with a Thommen timepiece, a tool-watch you could easily find on a jet.
If you're just as lucky but you're leaning towards cars made in Crewe (Bentley), you will notice at a glance that a Mulsanne's time display is branded by Breitling, as over the last years the English car maker and the Swiss watchmaker have signed an agreement, widely known to watch enthusiasts for Breitling for Bentley timepieces, which includes a desk clock that features a bezel in the shape of a Bentley front grille.
Things are changing anyway and mechanical watches are about to replace quartz ones again. The proof is in what happened, in England, when Bremont (we have written about it just a a few days ago here) released two mechanical timepieces to equip two different concept cars Jaguar has designed to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Its latest creation, the Parmigiani Fleurier Galibier Tourbillon, is dedicated to the 16C Galibier, the latest concept car unveiled by Bugatti and it might be regarded as the ultimate timepiece and a step into the future of watchmaking: a wrist, pocket and dashboard-timepiece.
(Photo credit: Google)