With most automaker-branded non-automotive products, the carmaker tie-in is broadcast “loud and proud.” The logos, names and colors are on display front-and-center, no doubt to get the most out of the license for which they paid serious dough-rey-mi. The folks who buy these goods think they’re cool, but most outside observers like us find them cheesy, douchey, or some other unflattering adjective.
Bulgari, to its credit, has taken a different approach with its new Octo Maserati watch. For starters, you can’t really tell right off the bat that it’s Maserati-branded item. Only when you turn the watch itself over do you see the Italian manufacturer’s trident logo. But the subtle co-branding isn’t the only noteworthy feature of this timepiece.
All of the high-end automakers with racing aspirations have watchmaking partners. Cars and watches just seem to go together, plain and simple. But some brands are harder to extend to the world of watches and Ferrari found this out the hard way with their collaboration with Officine Panerai. Initially, the company’s clean aesthetic and stellar craftsmanship seemed like a perfect match. But in practice, the merging of the two always seemed a bit off. Slapping the prancing horse on the crown and at 12 o’ clock and using black, red and yellow dials and markers never seem to do the trick. And so, the two parted ways.
Now, it appears that Ferrari has found a partner that exudes the flair and exclusivity that was so lacking the last go-round. Swiss watchmaking atelier Cabestan has been selected as their new partner and highly regarded designer Jean-Francois Ruchonnet has just introduced the pre-production rendering seen here. The Scuderia Ferrari One by Cabestan offers vertical tourbillon movement with plenty of aluminum and exotic carbon fiber thrown in the mix as an ode to its racing heritage.
Amazingly, it has been 25 years since Porsche Design produced a diving watch. Company founder Prof. F. A. Porsche penned the first one back in 1983, the Ocean 2000. As such, the company wanted to make a big splash by doing what they do best – innovate and stylize Porsche branded accessories. The watch blends a silver-colored stainless steel container with an anthracite-grey titanium bridge structure for striking contrast.
Not only does the watch look uber-cool but it has the performance chops to hang with the best. Capable of handling dives up to 1000 meters and offering a luminous dial with excellent readability in the dark abyss of the ocean, the P'6780 also provides mechanical ETA 2892-A2 caliber automatic movement for precision and reliability.
French watchmaker BRM is not a newcomer to the world of motorsports. Many people may associate this name with the legendary British Racing Motors. However, BRM actually stands for Bernard Richards Manufacturer, after the man who has been making mechanical watches inspired by racing and automotive themes for over 25 years. The company’s latest endeavor, done on behalf of Abarth, has been dubbed the BRM V12-T-44 Chronograph.
Sporting a 44mm black titanium case, this limited edition timepiece takes many accents from the Italian car company including a black Nomex strap featuring red stitching to resemble the Abarth fascia along with their scorpion logo placed on the watch-face and chrome hands. BRM will only be producing 49 examples, keeping in line with their small production runs of about 2,000 watches total per year. Each BRM V12-T-44 Chronograph will be individually numbered and is available on the BRM website for €4,900 or roughly $7,333.
Back in 2004, TAG Heuer unveiled the Monaco V4 Concept Watch to widespread exaltation. But at that time, insider speculation indicated that a commercial version would never be forthcoming. The watch was the world’s first featuring a belt driven transmission instead of the classic pinion and wheel movement. It also pioneered the use of linear mass (mounted on the smallest ball bearings ever made) instead of normal oscillating mass. Five long years later, on the eve of the company’s 150th anniversary, TAG Heuer has unveiled the production version of the Monaco V4 Limited Edition.