Book Review: Drive Time, Watches Inspired By Automobiles, Motorcycles, And Racing

The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M ETNZ, To Commemorate The 35th America's Cup

Drive Time looks at the subject of motorsports-related timepieces from various different perspectives, which implies it offers a lot something other than a chronology of car watches. Author Aaron Sigmond is both a watch enthusiast and a long-lasting car enthusiast (with no guarantees, obviously, Jay Leno) and is prepared to take a gander at both the watch and the car side of things from an educated perspective. An overall historical outline is offered in which Sigmond takes a pretty profound plunge into the roots of automotive instrumentation, and the cause of the driver’s watch as a specific type at Gruen, and the blast of that type with watches by Movado, Cartier, Vacheron, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, among others.

Sigmond devotes a great arrangement of time to a portion of the more obviously spectacularly relevant instances of watches with car and motorsports tie-ins, including those from Rolex and Heuer. There is a discussion of the absolute most iconic and irregular models – which cover a reach from the Daytona and Heuer Monaco to genuine inside-baseball models like Parmigiani’s Bugatti Type 370 and the MB&F Horological Machine No. 5. There’s A-Z breakdown of auto-themed watchmakers by brand, which includes both widely referred to producers just as some whose most notable feature is their obscurity; also, there’s a section on motorbike-themed watches, just as those propelled by specific races and motorsports events; here, for instance, you’ll discover mention of watches made by Lange & Söhne specifically for the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and Richard Mille.

Although this isn’t a scholarly work as such, it is very thoroughly researched. The history of Ferrari watches, for instance, notes that “Ferrari Watch” can mean either watches personally commissioned by Enzo Ferrari as gifts; “accessible luxury” private name pieces; and watches produced through one of four of Ferrari’s relationships with luxury Swiss watch brands (Girard-Perregaux, Panerai, Cabestan, and Hublot). The book is additionally a bit of an interesting snapshot of watchmaking culture; over the quite a long while it took to produce, there have been significant changes in the watchmaking industry, with a few of the brands profiled having left business in the interim.

Unsurprisingly, the companies that have continued to prosper whose watches are profiled in Drive Time are often those whose plans stand on their own most effectively, and it’s interesting to reflect that the most famous watches with a relationship to motorsports are frequently those that are the most effective as watches, with or without the tie-in to the automotive world. To glance through Drive Time is to see countless different ways in which watchmakers have risen (or tried to ascend) to the challenge of making watches with pretty much overt plan cues connecting them to the automotive world when all is said in done, or specific producers, drivers, or events in particular. The coverage in Drive Time obviously strives for completeness rather than selectiveness, but the approach works, and on the off chance that you want a well-informed, entertaining, and surprisingly complete gander at the subject, Drive Time is a great addition to your horological library.

Aaron Sigmond has been a contributing editor for Autoweek and Playboy, and is the author of Playboy: The Book Of Cigars , and has written extensively about watches also, both in print and on the web. Drive Time is distributed by Rizzoli and accessible from Amazon.