Car and watch collabs that are the definition of cutting edge 2
Photograph from the Official Website of Blancpain

Car and watch collabs that are the definition of cutting edge

These sports watches and cars share more than just mechanical precision, but a common design language as well.
| Jan 01 2019

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BALL FOR BMW. When summoned to testify on a collision between trains at Kipton, Ohio in 1891, Webb C. Ball sought to establish strict guidelines for manufacturing timepieces with resistance to magnetism and reliable timekeeping. His efforts would eventually lead to an American idiom. When a train arrived precisely on time, trainmasters would say, “That guy's on the Ball.” In designing watches for BMW, Ball sought to incorporate the lightness typical of BMW dynamism along with various technical and revolutionary feats. On the face, these watches feature the famous spinning propeller logo either on the right hand side, or much larger on the lower left. Unique features in Ball for BMW watches are Ball H3 technology, which integrates micro gas lights in the dial, inspired by BMW's trademark Angel Eyes, that grant perfect dial visibility even in the dark. 

HUBLOT X FERRARI. In 2011, Hublot created Ferrari-inspired watches with the marque's choice materials and spirit. Though there are many Ferrari-inspired models in Hublot's Big Bang and King Power lines, the epitome of the pairing lies perhaps in the haute horology model, the MP-o5 LaFerrari. Modeled after the engine bay of a Ferrari, the MP features a manual-winding, suspended vertical tourbillon that imitates the two-cylinder banks of the eponymous go-degree V8 engine. Hours, minutes, and dates are indicated by anodized aluminum cylinders, all of which are encased in a titanium case, with rubber straps and emblazoned with the characteristic Ferrari font. 

BREITLING FOR BENTLEY. Both symbolized by a winged B, there could be no more perfect collaboration than that of Breitling for Bentley. The partnership began in 2002, when Bentley launched the Continental GT. Breitling lent its personal touch to this car by participating in the design of the technical instruments and creating the onboard clock. The partnership is best exemplified by the Breitling Barnato, named after one the most famous of the Bentley Boys, a group of wealthy British motorists who drove Bentley sports cars to victory in the 1920s. Woolf Barnato was a multimillionaire South African Diamond merchant. 

BLANCPAIN LAMBORGHINI. Though the two brands move in different circles, Blancpain and Lamborghini came together in 2009 when the watch brand became the title sponsor of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo racing series. Blancpain is better known for its Fifty Fathoms watch, which was featured prominently in Jacques Cousteau's award-winning film The World of Silence. Yet, it celebrates its most dynamic and avant-garde facets in the L-evolution R collection which is inspired by Lamborghini. The collection brings together innovative movements, combining cutting-edge technologies such as the Carrousel Saphir Volant Une Minute and the tourbillon featuring a power-reserve display directly on the oscillating weight. 

IWC AMG. Conceived as a specialist watch for engineers that often worked in areas subject to magnetic fields produced by technical equipment and instruments, the IWC Ingenieur was designed to protect the accuracy of the wristwatch from such magnetic phenomena. The Ingenieur was created by Gerald Genta (who also designed the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak), who made it with visible screws and functional bores on the bezel. The most famous model was the Ingenieur 1/4.0 SL, unveiled in1955, with the first bidirectional automatic movement that winds the movement in either direction. 

CHOPARD MILLE MIGLIA. The storied Mille Miglia event owes much of its enduring legacy to Chopard. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of the company, is himself a collector of historical cars and a competitor in classic car rallies. His company has supported the event as main sponsor and official timekeeper since 1988. In 2000, Chopard celebrated 13 consecutive years of support by dedicating a special line of watches to the legendary motor race. Chopard's Mille Miglia is inspired by the classic cars that participate in the endurance race, boasting a vintage dial subtly accented by the colors of the Italian flag and perfectly complemented by a brown Barenia leather strap. The caseback is engraved with the Mille Miglia logo, while inside the chronometer-certified movement pushes time forward. 

PARMIGIANI FLEURIER AND BUGATTI. Founded in 1976 in Fleurier, Switzerland by Michel Parmigiani, the brand makes its watches entirely in house. Its most famous creation is the Bugatti Type 370, inspired by the 1,001-horsepower Bugatti Veyron hypercar. Unlike many of the auto-themed watches, the 370 is a manually wound showcase of haute horologie. It features a vertically oriented face, designed to look like a transversely mounted engine, encased in 18-carat gold. Winding is done with a battery-powered metal pen, inserted in the bottom. Only 150 examples of the Type 370 will be made in 50 of each of the three dial colors available. 

JAEGER-LECOULTRE AND ASTON MARTIN. The pioneer of the automotive and watch collaboration, Jaeger specialized in automotive dashboard instruments by first equipping the 1.5-liter Aston Martin LM in the 1930s. On its latest models, JLC and AM looked to the past to create a classically designed watch in titanium or platinum with big, readable numbers and a distinctive gunmetal-gray face, like the DB9's gauges. The Aston model has a "memovox" mechanical alarm, while the AMVOX 2 can even start the vehicle thanks to a built-in transponder. JLG's Aston Martin collection bears the proud winged logo on the bottom with high-contrast dials that mimic the automobile's own. 


This story first appeared on Vault Magazine Issue 17 2018.