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Start your engines — A buyers’ guide to the best watches for car lovers

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From gentleman racing to Formula 1, and everything in-between, watches and car are a match made in mechanical heaven. Tracey Llewellyn takes her favorites for a spin.

A quick look through the line-ups of most watch brands will affirm that the car-watch crossover runs much deeper than a clever marketing gimmick.

Although engineering at vastly different scales, and products with completely dissimilar purposes, the mechanics, design, workmanship and finishing that goes into the best of both of these worlds is definitely comparable.

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Add to this, the appreciation of a fine watch or a classic car, whether in terms of aesthetic beauty or technical complication, and the arenas of timekeeping and motoring suddenly become a lot closer.

A lover of both cars and watches, horological and automotive journalist Simon de Burton tries to explain the links. “To paraphrase George Daniels, ‘it is all a question of propulsion’,” he says. “There is definitely a shared mechanical aspect, and watches allow people to stay connected to this when they are not driving.

“Like cars, watch design has gone through specific shifts from the 1960s through to the 1970s and 1980s – the changes in both categories are distinctive. And, of course, there are the watches that link to specific events or people – Jo Siffert’s Autavia, Paul Newman’s Daytona, and Steve McQueen’s Monaco. Iconic men and iconic timepieces.”

Whatever the reason – whether romantic and historical or innovative and ground-breaking – the link between what we drive and what we wear on our wrists (or at least what we aspire to) is one that is set to last until the end of time.

THE OGs

Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection, 42mm steel, $5,500, breitling.com

Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition (1,000 pieces), 44mm steel, $7,770, chopard.com

Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto Blue, 41.5mm titanium, approx. £42,000, $49,500 + taxes, laurentferrier.ch

Porsche Design Chronograph 911 GT3 RS (exclusively available to buyers of the 911 GT3 RS car), 42mm titanium, from $9,700, porsche-design.com

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Huracán Monobalancier, 45mm mineral composite fibre, and titanium, POA, rogerdubuis.com

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, 40mm Oystersteel, $14,550, rolex.com

Vacheron Constantin Historique American 1921, 40mm white gold, $36,800, vacheron-constantin.com

Zenith Defy Extreme E ‘Island X Prix’ Special Edition, 45mm carbon fibre and titanium, $27,100, zenith-watches.com

MODERN CLASSICS

Brooklands Watch Company Triple-Four Racing Chronograph designed by Sir Terence Conran, 43mm steel, $6,775, brooklandswatches.com

Farer Carnegie Chronograph Sport, 41mm steel, $1,955.00, farer.com

Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey, 40mm steel, $1,880, frederiqueconstant.com

Giuliano Mazzuoli Manometro, 45mm steel, $3500, giulianomazzuoli.com

Hanhart Racemaster GTM monopusher chronograph, 45mm steel, $3,020

Junghans Meister Driver Chronoscope, 40.8mm steel, $2,500, junghans.de

Reservoir Kanister, 43mm titanium, $4,530, reservoir-watch.com

Turismo Tertre Rouge Chronograph, 42.5mm steel, £645, approx. $760, turismo-watches.com

POLE POSITION

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 A522, 42mm ceramic, $4,500, bellross.com

Bremont WR-22 with Alcantara strap, 43mm steel, £5,995, $6,995, bremont.com

Casio Edifice Scuderia AlphaTauri Limited Edition ECB-10AT-1A, 48.5mm steel, approx. $317, casio.com

Cyrus Klepcys Dice Double Independent Chronograph Evolution, 42mm titanium with black-DLC coating, $37,700, cyrus-watches.ch

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition, 44mm titanium and carbon fibre, $27,800, girard-perregaux.com

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition ‘Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’, 41mm titanium, $7,850, iwc.com

Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari, titanium 51 x 39 x 1.75mm, CHF1.7m + taxes, approx. £1.5m, approx. $1.8m, richardmille.com

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Special Edition on bracelet, 43mm steel, $2,150, tagheuer.com

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