REIMAGINATION

After creating some of the most sought-after Porsche 911’s on the planet, Singer looks at recreating fine watches. Here’s a look at their first offering.

There are some pairings in life that just naturally go together – like fine wine and cheese, for instance. Now, on the automotive front, two things have always gone together that well – fine cars and watches. Perhaps it stems from the fact that both cars and fine watches are highly mechanical objects with hundreds or thousands of moving parts, or perhaps the fact that both these objects tend to focus on design first, and most other aspects later. But, the reality is that the group of people who are attracted to fine cars are usually also attracted to fine watches – such as the Rolex Daytona that we wrote about last month, which was immortalised by actor and race car driver Paul Newman.

The Singer brand has been ‘reimagining’ the ubiquitous Porsche 911 for a while now. With an amazing eye for detail, and the patience to build something that’s highly collectible and sought after, their 911’s are very popular amongst collectors all over the world. What the brand essentially does is take 964-generation 911’s from the early 90’s and slowly, but surely, tweak the cars to a point where the finished product looks and feels less like a normal car and more like a piece of mechanical jewellery – crafted to perfection, with even the minutest detail having been tweaked to meet the expectations of the brand’s founder, Rob Dickinson.

Having established itself in the automotive world, it was only natural for the brand to delve into the world of fine Swiss watches. So, Dickinson tied up with watch designer Marco Borraccino, and watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. The design of their first watch, the Track1, harks back to the 70’s – much like the 911’s the brand builds – with a tonneau-shaped case. Built out of Titanium, the case is 43mm in diameter and features a brushed satin finish with beveled edges. Interestingly, keeping in mind the brand’s automotive heritage, the leather strap features metal eyelets – similar to the eyelets that are fitted to the seats of Singer’s 911s. A clever detail to link the design of the watches to the brand’s cars.

However, what’s more interesting is the design of the dial. Powered by the new AgenGraphe caliber, the main priority of the watch is reversed when compared to a traditional chronograph. In the Track1’s case, the central display is used for the chronograph function, while the time is displayed via two peripheral discs. The rationale behind this is the fact that the focus should be on the chronograph – as it would be if you were timing laps on a racetrack. There are two dials on the outer circumference of the dial that are used to tell time. The discs rotate clockwise, and time is indicated via a marker located at six o’clock.

Turn the watch over, and it gives you a glimpse of the phenomenal movement that powers the watch. Built after a decade of R&D, this automatic movement by Wiederrecht has a power reserve of 60 hours. The finishing of the movement also appears sublime, and it’s sure to appeal to collectors – of both cars and watches.

All told, the watch does deserve some serious kudos. It has an interesting design, and with its focus on the chronograph function, it stands out from most automotive-based or inspired watches. However, given the attention to detail and meticulousness that Singer has created with its cars – which are completely unparalleled – the watch does feel like it falls just that little bit short. At least in pictures, it doesn’t appear to have the instant wow factor that separates the Singer 911’s from everything else on the planet.

That being said, with a price tag of over $40,000 dollars, the watch will remain as exclusive as the cars with which it shares its name. And I suppose if you’ve spent a half-a-million dollars on the 911 of your dreams, what’s another 40-large on a beautiful timepiece to go with it – especially since it’ll be limited to just 50 pieces. For the rest of us mere mortals, I suppose we’ll just have to continue to look – and drool!

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