There is a good reason why we run the Petrolhead Corner column every Saturday on MONOCHROME. Petrolheads are very often attracted to watches… and watch aficionados usually have a thing for cars too. This is simply the result of a fascination for all things mechanical. In this respect, it comes as no surprise that automotive-inspired watches are legion. Since we are almost closing in on the first half of the year, it is an appropriate time to recap 5 cool car-themed watches of 2022. And without surprise, all are chronographs – because that’s what you need to time a race or calculate an average speed.
TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition Calibre Heuer 02
The Monaco is one of the most iconic models in the history of TAG Heuer. Graced with the Gulf livery, it is a watch with a smell of fuel and adrenaline… Legendary names such as Le Mans, the Porsche 917, or Steve Mc Queen inevitably come to mind. The 2022 TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition is a slightly more refined, less blatant take on the Gulf colours than the previous version. And it is now powered by a new engine. Instead of an outsourced movement, the watch is now driven by the in-house Calibre Heuer 02, a modern integrated chronograph with a column wheel and a vertical clutch.
Quick facts: steel case – 39mm x 39mm – sapphire crystal – water-resistant to 100m – automatic calibre Heuer 02 (in-house) – hours, minute, small seconds, date and chronograph – 80-hour power reserve – calfskin perforated strap with folding buckle – EUR 6,700
Porsche Design Chronograph 1 1972 limited edition
Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche was a visionary and a talented designer of all things. As the founder of the Porsche Design Studio, the first product created under this umbrella was a wristwatch. This timepiece, the Chronograph 1, was released in 1972 and thus celebrates its 50th anniversary this year… And as you’ve guessed, Porsche Design pays tribute to this model by releasing a special model, the new Chronograph 1 1972 Limited Edition. Being a tribute to the first black-coated watch ever commercialized, the model comes in titanium with a carbide coating. Its 40.8mm case is modelled after the original Orfina-made watch, with its signature integrated shape with raised, circular bezel. Under the hood, the watch is powered by the Porsche Design calibre WERK 01.140, a proprietary movement based on the 7750 architecture with specific decoration and a certified chronometer by the COSC.
Quick facts: titanium case with carbide coating – 40.8mm – sapphire crystal – water-resistant to 100m – automatic Porsche Design calibre WERK 01.140, proprietary movement – hours, minute, small seconds, day-date and chronograph – 48-hour power reserve – titanium bracelet with folding buckle – EUR 6,972 – limited edition of 500 pieces
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
IWC has long been the partner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team. The latest model to emerge from this partnership is the first “team watch” that will be worn by the staff, including designers, aerodynamicists, race engineers, strategists and mechanics of the team. Featuring the signature colours of the F1 team, the 41mm watch comes in greyish sandblasted titanium. Its dial has been transformed by the use of the signature so-called Petronas Green, a bright, aquamarine tone. Under the sapphire caseback, with discreet printings on its periphery, is the manufacture calibre 69385.
Quick facts: sandblasted titanium case – 41mm – sapphire crystal – water-resistant to 100m – automatic IWC calibre 69385 (manufacture) – hours, minute, small seconds, day-date and chronograph – 46-hour power reserve – black embossed calfskin strap with green stitching and green rubber strap with titanium pin buckle – EUR 8,350 – exclusively available on iwc.com
Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition
Since 1988, Chopard has sponsored the glamorous Mille Miglia and was once again on the starting line for the 40th edition of the Mille Miglia on 15 June 2022. The yearly edition Chopard’s watch dedicated to motorsports enthusiasts is a new iteration of the chronograph model we’ve seen in 2021 and 2019. We’re looking at a typical watch from the Mille Miglia GTS collection, with an oversized and motorsport-inspired 44mm diameter with oversized pump pushers, a large screw-lock crown and, of course, a tachymeter scale on the bezel. Under the solid steel back engraved with the race logo is a tried-and-tested automatic, cam-lever integrated chronograph whose architecture is based on the Valjoux 7750.
Quick facts: steel case bezel with ceramic inlay – 44mm – sapphire crystal – water-resistant to 100m – automatic chronometer movement based on the 7750 – hours, minute, small seconds, date and chronograph – 48-hour power reserve – brown perforated calfskin strap with triple folding buckle – EUR 7,730 – limited to 1,000 pieces
Tissot PRS 516 automatic Chronograph
The PRS 516 is an enduring collection at Tissot, having been introduced first in 1965, following the need for racing drivers to have a reliable and legible watch. This year, the PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph is going under a serious update, with fresh new looks. The steel case is on the large side at 45mm in diameter. It is topped by a ceramic bezel with a tachymeter scale filled with white lacquer. The oversized pushers have been redesigned, and are now cleaner. But what changes most for the new PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph is the dial. We now have a clear railroad minute track on the periphery and large stylized Arabic numerals. It is sunray-brushed and offers great contrast. The display is a classic bi-compax layout with small seconds at 9 o’clock and 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. A date is placed at 6 o’clock and is relatively well integrated. Under the see-through caseback is a well-known movement, the calibre ETA Valjoux A05.H31. In this evolution of the 7753, its power reserve is of 60 hours when fully wound. It is decorated with perlage and a grey-coated openworked rotor. As often with Tissot, the price/quality ratio is impressive.
Quick facts: steel case bezel with ceramic inlay – 45mm – sapphire crystal – water-resistant to 100m – automatic Valjoux A05-H31 (7753-based) movement – hours, minute, small seconds, date and chronograph – 48-hour power reserve – black perforated calfskin strap with folding buckle – EUR 1,560