There’s nothing new about watch and car pairings, but the truth is that most watches matched to vehicles are dizzyingly expensive, and perhaps the result of corporate brands looking to unite in search of deeper profits, rather than what I would consider a good fit for the personality of each.
But what if enthusiasts like us got to decide which cars and watches work best in tandem? In the spirit of fun, here are a few of my fantasy pairings …
The Uncle Monty
If you’ve seen the cult classic film Withnail and I, you’ll know who Uncle Monty is and why he’s the inspiration for this pairing, which might appeal to someone who: lives off investments; likes to drive around with cats in the back seat listening to Brahms or Tangerine Dream; has figs, cheese and Champagne for dinner; and is terrified by the idea of a supermarket. If this is someone you aspire to be, then all you need is $30,000 for a beautifully restored/maintained vintage Rolls or Bentley from eBay or Bring a Trailer and $1,095 for the limited-edition Breton watch from Bulova, which features an open caseback showcasing the Swiss-made 26-jewel automatic movement, the Joseph Bulova signature and a custom-designed rotor. A brown leather lizard-grain strap and curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating complete the look.
The Peter Pan
This is the perfect combo for someone in their late forties who is newly divorced with adult children and who has come to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth growing up. The only thing to do now is play out their childhood dreams with the help of a Casio watch and a 1988 limited-edition Chevrolet Corvette Callaway with only 14,000 miles on the clock. (This black diamond recently sold for $26,600 on eBay.)
There can be no other watch for this person than Casio’s highly underrated stainless-steel G-Shock DW5000C with the laser-engraved grid pattern, which retails for a staggering $800.
The King of Suburbia
This pairing is for the man who lives in the suburbs of a big city because he wants a garage, pool, pool house, patio, terrace, garden and a dog he doesn’t have to walk. This person has a serious wad of disposable income and a sense of style, but lacks the time for research or creative pursuits, and so is forced to rely on brands that almost always deliver the goods. The watch, a 39mm Rolex Cellini Moonphase (featuring a real sliver of meteorite), is a solid choice over the now over-subscribed dive and tool watches and comes in at $26,750.
The vehicle in this pairing is BMW’s 430i X-Drive Coupe in Portimao Blue Metallic at $51,950, which needs no introduction and looks way more expensive that it is.
The Progressive Modernist
You hug trees, love tech, own Bernie mittens and spend weekends in Montauk. Therefore you want a vehicle that boasts the quickest 0-60 mph time and quarter-mile acceleration of any production car ever, for which you’ll have to fork out $139,990 for a Tesla Model S Plaid with the tri-motor AWD that goes from 0-60 in less than 2 seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph, for when you have to make it to Whole Foods before it closes.
Your matching timepiece, for only $1,300, is the Hermès Apple watch. It connects to all your devices and features the latest Apple tech in a stainless-steel case polished to a mirror-like finish so you can actually see yourself at the wheel. Your Achilles heel, however, is the ‘Attelage Single Tour’ strap made from handcrafted leather which may raise some ethical concerns about the treatment of French cows.
The Die-Hard Adventurer
You could have been in the Winter Olympics, but during your tryout you stopped your luge to rescue a disoriented migrating bird sliding around on the track. You live now only for weekend adventures, for which you are accompanied by your trusty $99.00 Casio G-Shock GA700-7A, which uses resin molding technology that makes it possible to form analog hands and a multi-dimensional dial. On the coldest winter days, you are that one person skimming along the freeway in your $33,000 white Jeep with the doors off, wearing some kind of World War II Arctic onesie that you bought from an army surplus store in Utica.
You moisturize. Your sheets are silk. You make the perfect cocktail, and always smell amazing. If you had been in your prime decades ago, Blondie may have written a song about you. Whether in Southampton or Palm Beach, you always lunch at Sant Ambroeus, then hit the gym still wearing your classic quartz Cartier Tank Solo, which was ‘a gift’ from a mysterious older acquaintance and which currently retails for $2,610 (and will soon be replaced by the newer Tank Must), not that you would have looked up the price or anything.
The Mercedes W113 SL (a two-seater roadster manufactured from 1963 to 1971) you keep garaged in Greenpoint was your grandmother’s “fun” car, but today is worth somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000, as it’s in good enough condition to be your daily driver.
You’ve done well for yourself, but it’s early days, you want a cool car and can’t afford the Lambo on your calendar. While the Dodge Challenger GT AWD may only be around $35,000, something tells me it’s going to age nicely in your future four-car garage, especially if you get a color to match your watch.
Your watch pairing is the Swatch Futuristic Green, which retails for $115, and shows your style, your sense of fun and your financial wisdom for investing any spare money in your IRA.
For anyone who works on the front lines of anything, this jet-black Ford Ranger STX Special Edition Package is the business — especially when it comes in around $29,000, which is just a little more expensive than one of the watches in this guide.
Match it with the 40mm, PVD-coated Hamilton Khaki Field King, which for $695 is one of the best all-around automatic watches currently available for anyone who considers himself a bit of a badass.
The Noble Father
The new Land Rover Defender needs no introduction, chances are you either love or hate what has become automotive pornography for dads worldwide.
The timepiece Land Rover recently chose to promote is an interesting one, as it the watchmaker behind it has created pieces for the British Armed Forces, as well as the team at Mountain Rescue England and Wales. The Land Rover x Elliot Brown Holton Professional Watch is a bit of a mouthful, but I decided to include it because it does actually go with the Defender, plus it’s only approximately $575, and fairly decent in terms of looks and function. Like its automotive companion, this watch is a bit of a civilized tank. It can survive the impact of a 3kg stainless steel mallet imparting a force of around 5000G, while also being capable of a deep dive on account of the bolted-down compressor caseback system and triple-sealed crown. The sapphire crystal is attractive and virtually scratch-resistant, and while the Swiss quartz movement is almost certainly precise — one wonders if it wouldn’t have been better to upgrade the movement. This watch is so good-looking and on-brand with Land Rover that anyone paying $70,000 for a new Defender 110 would probably fork out another 500 bucks for an automatic.
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