Every now and then a collaboration between a non-watch company or organisation and a watch manufacturer pops up, sometimes delivering a very interesting new product combining values from all involved. And if it also happens to be a logical joint effort between parties, it may tick all the right boxes. Renowned historic rally organisers HERO-ERA have joined forces with Swiss horologists Alatron to create a bespoke timepiece, for a good cause: introducing the HERO-ERA Wristwatch.
HERO-ERA is the abbreviation of Historic Endurance Rally Organisation in charge of organising classic rallying events. You know by now that team MONOCHROME also has a big interest in cars, illustrated with our weekly Petrolhead Corner columns. Naturally, any well-executed combination of watches and cars sparks our interest.
With historic rallying events, the emphasis is not always on just the fastest time from point A to point B, the fun and games can also be played out over several other challenges. Maintaining an average pace for instance, or competing in handling challenges, running a hill-climb. HERO-ERA offers a whole range of regularity rallying events throughout the year, with events catered to everyone, from novice drivers to experienced participants. Besides organising classic rally events, HERO-ERA recently started the HERO2HELP programme, a fundraiser to help combat the COVID-19 crisis. Besides all the other noble initiatives to raise funds for the HERO2HELP programme, GBP 100 of each sold watch will be donated to the cause.
The HERO-ERA watch is designed with travelling in mind, ideally when participating in a classic rally event spread out over multiple countries. One of the events HERO-ERA organises is the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. The watch is designed and built in partnership with Alatron, a clock and watch manufacturer (mostly private label) based in La Chaux-de-Fonds and most famous for its Réveil Eureka (a sliding travel clock). The cushion-shaped stainless steel case of the HERO-ERA, which is described as quadrangular, is 44mm wide not including the crown. The case has polished and satin-finished surfaces and features bevelled edges. Alternatively, there is also a black PVD-coated version coming for those who like their watches a little more stealthy.
Being designed as a timing instrument intended to be used by travellers and rally enthusiasts, the HERO-ERA watch is equipped with the automatic Soprod C125 GMT movement. This movement offers 42 hours of power when fully wound and ticks at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour). In terms of functionality, it offers hours, minutes and seconds indication as well as a date and GMT indication. The dial of the watch is black with a grainy texture resembling asphalt/tarmac. On the top half of the dial, the HERO and ERA logos are done in white. The date is displayed at 3 o’clock and the dial is finished with applied 6/9/12 numerals, baton markers in between and a white minutes track on the edge of the dial.
Time is indicated through centrally mounted hour, minute and seconds hands. A red hand with triangular tip (a green version is also available) indicates the second time zone, which can be quickly adjusted via the crown. The two-tone aluminium bezel acts as a day/night indicator with a 24-hour scale, finished with a red triangle and lume pip at midnight. The face of the watch is fitted with a sapphire crystal while the see-through caseback is a mineral crystal. Time is set through the crown, of course, which features a black, notched ring for extra grip and an engraving of the HERO-ERA logo.
Price and Availability
The HERO-ERA Wristwatch is available on either a black crocodile leather strap with contrasting white stitching or a perforated brown rally strap, both fitted with a specially designed pin buckle. The first 200 watches will be numbered on the caseback, come with a certificate of authenticity and a black leather watch pouch with space for a second watch. The watch is priced at GBP 1,300 (about EUR 1,450) and is available for pre-order on the HERO-ERA website with delivery set for November of this year.