► The manufacturers that brand watches
► Although prices are very steep
► Watches aimed at brand finatics
I’ve always been puzzled by the car-watch tie-ups that feature the car marque prominently on the dial. I can understand you buying a Breitling for Bentley to match your Bentley, but wouldn’t you feel like a bit of a fraud if you have the watch but not the car? Plainly not for some: Breitling sells way more of these things than Bentley sells cars. Maybe new Bentley owners buy a handful of Breitlings to celebrate. Here’s the latest crop: but do you need the car to match?
TAG Heuer Carrera NISMO, £4000
Not a Nissan fan? Look away now... You’ll need to be quite the Nismo fanboy to fork out four grand for a TAG Heuer which features the Nissan and Nismo logos four times in a 44mm watch. Made to celebrate Nissan’s crazy 1000bhp hybrid front-wheel drive entry in this year’s Le Mans, the watch is equally innovative. Its black titanium case is given a unique finish by being blasted with titanium carbide, and the bezel is ultra-hard ceramic. A sapphire crystal and alligator strap complete the mad collection of materials.
Breitling for Bentley B06 S, £7830
Clever movement, and less is more subtle These Breitling for Bentleys have always been too big, bling and expensive for many. This one might answer a few of the criticisms. At 44mm, this new ‘S’ version of the B06 feels a lot smaller to wear than the huge 49mm original, and both feel like better value for having an original Breitling in-house movement. Based on a clever Breitling patent from 1926, the chronograph’s second hand laps the dial in 30 seconds, rather than 60, allowing timing to an eighth of a second.
Bulgari Octo Maserati, £8050
Brash looks, swanky detailing Bulgari isn’t a brand you’d expect to find in CAR, but it has a high-end Swiss watchmaking division which produces this striking watch with Maserati. The looks might not be to everyone’s taste but the case and dial show real craftsmanship, and the movement is a version of the Zenith El Primero, which is pretty much the Ferrari V8 of the watch world. So Bulgari and Maserati both borrow a Ferrari engine: they’re a perfect match. The Bulgari might be a smidge more reliable though!