Singer Reimagined Track 1 Chronograph
The world of engines as re-written by Singer Vehicle Design
Singer Vehicle Design is a name that has become a legend in just a few years and it is an American brand that has given Porsche more prestige and exposure than any advertising campaign could have ever done. Defining it as a ‘customizer’ would be somehow reductive; the intervention of Singer Vehicle Design is not limited to a customization of an existing car, but it rather aims at creating a deep re-engineering process of the 911s from the 60s and the 70s, while aesthetically preserving everything that we are familiar with in this sports car and its cantilevered engine. ‘Almost everything’ has been re-engineered to be more precise, because the car body has been modified to respond to the increase in performance and the whole hardware side of the car has been overhauled; the electrical system, the suspensions, the engine and the carbon-made hood that represents the state of the art of modern technology. The same goes for the interiors that have been entirely redesigned and it seems as if they have been reshaped by the best craftsman in the world. Rob Dickinson, a well-known British guitarist, is the founding father of Singer Vehicle Design.
You can enter a Porsche dealership and buy a modern full-optional 911 featuring the best of comfort and infotainment available today or even a 911 from the 70s remastered by Singer with its naturally aspirated engine developed by Cosworth, equipped with Öhlins suspensions, a reinforced frame and much more. It is an analogue versus digital battle and it also some sort of an experience - the first - that no other customizer or engineering company (especially the German ones) has ever come up with before and that makes Singer the only representative of a new niche market; the Neo-Vintage market of the 911.
The Singer Reimagined Track 1 Chronograph
Rob Dickinson joined the world of watch-making in a very ambitious manner, by making the best out of the experience and knowledge acquired at Singer Vehicle Design’s (it was originally founded as an atelier, but, today, it is a full-fledged engineering company) and by creating a company in the Silicon Valley of watch-making; Switzerland. Singer Reimagined is a concrete idea established in Geneva, whose main focus is conceiving and crafting high-end watches.
I think it's not a coincidence that the second adjective used to define Singer Vehicle Design - the term "Reimagined" - has been associated with the name of the newborn brand. Rob's passion for the chronograph - the pilot's watch par excellence - is fully expressed in the Track 1 project, although, in my opinion, there is an obvious difference between this new adventure and the first one; with Singer Reimagined we started anew. The culture of the 911 can be emphasized but its style and aesthetic message are left intact, the creation of a watch from scratch, on the other hand, allows for greater freedom of stylistic expression.
The only constraint is given by the consistency with the vision of Singer Vehicle Design; a chronograph that reminds us of a dashboard counter, with an impeccable functionality like the time measurement in the center and hours and minutes measurement on the outer periphery. The Track 1 is the equivalent of a big stopwatch that can usually be found next to running tracks (the two chrono buttons at 10 o’clock and 14 o’clock are a clear reference to that) inserted within a 70s tonneau case similar to that of the Heuer chronographs that Dickinson asked Marco Borraccino to take inspiration from. Marco comes from the world of watch-making.
Today he runs his own design studio in Geneva but his past is in Panerai and that is where he acquired a deep knowledge of the industry. The ambition of this project is clear enough if you consider that it led to the creation of the Singer Reimagined company, which is, incidentally, based in Geneva. For this project, Dickinson could have easily entered a partnership with a watch-making brand and use his trademark as a co-branding with some other name from the world of watch-making, but instead he chose the most impervious route, entrusting the creation of the mechanical calibre to the third pillar of this new business venture; his name is Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and he is the founder of Agenhor - an independent laboratory of haute-horlogerie. Jean-Marc developed a calibre that is capable of guaranteeing the functioning of this lay-out thanks to the crafting of chrono counters for the hours and for the minutes with a jumping function; all of this on a 60 basis. All the measurements are coaxial and easy to read; the hours and the minutes are arranged on two outer rings made of PVD-treated aluminium, while the indexes are coated with SuperLuminova.
The caliber is automatic and is made up of 477 components (quite a lot, if we consider that this is a chronograph) with the switching of the chrono function through a column wheel and a new clutch engagement that, according to Singer Reimagined, guarantees an even softer activation if compared to one with a vertical clutch mechanism. The rotor is located on the dial side, thus leaving in full view all the cams of the movement that appears to be, at first glance, an evolution of a Minerva caliber. The jumping functions are guaranteed by the accumulation of energy that moves the minutes counters (60 seconds) and the hours counter (60 minutes of accumulated energy). This masterpiece by Dickinson, Borraccino and Wiederrecht retails at a price close to €40,000, but it is certainly only the beginning of a collection that will soon grow exponentially.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Autodromo)
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