Danish watchmaking brand REC Watches has regularly been featured on MONOCHROME, as there’s often just something different and cool about its watches. Whether it is a pilot’s watch inspired by the Spitfire, a tool-like watch taking cues from a Land Rover or even watches dedicated to the Ford Mustang, there’s a red line running through all collections. REC Watches uses actual components of cars that inspire each collection, fulfilling its ambition of RECycle, RECover, REClaim in the process. The latest creation, inspired by a pair of restomod Porsche 993s by Gunther Werks, is a robust and race-ready chronograph. We’ve gone hands-on with a late-stage prototype of the REC Watches 901 GW Chelsea Grey.
In automotive-related watches, brands tend to take inspiration from iconic cars, race tracks, or even events like the Mille Miglia. Instead, REC Watches uses actual components to be incorporated into every watch made, something we’ve explained when first covering the new 901 GW collection. So in every single watch built, there is material sourced from the actual thing that led to the creation of said watch. This can be an element of a Spitfire, a Land Rover Defender or even a Porsche 911 for instance. And in this 901 GW Chelsea Grey, it’s a rather special Porsche 911!
The car in question is a restomod (restored-modified) 993-generation Porsche 911 built by Gunther Werks, a California-based auto shop. What Gunther Werks does, in a similar vein to Singer and Emory, is take a base car and turn it into a highly-refined precision instrument. Each car built is taken apart completely and fitted with new and improved components, and dressed in a finely cut carbon fibre suit. The result is a very desirable and very capable sports car, to say the least!
REC Watches teamed up with Gunther Werks and has turned excess material from a pair of Porsche 993’s into parts of the case of this 901 GW collection. Two models are available, one with a black and blue colour combination, the 901 GW Exoskeleton, and the 901 GW Chelsea Grey we had for the review. Both feature the same case, with the differences being limited to colour and finishing only. The design and finishing of the pair of 901 GW’s use a lot of elements from the actual cars like the headlight casing carried over to the bezel or elements of the dial and chronograph subdials.
The modern case is made out of 6 parts and uses a combination of brushed, polished and blasted finishing. The middle part of the case is made of forged carbon fibre, coming from the Gunther Werks cars. The sloped bezel has a distinct, industrial profile and holds a flat sapphire crystal. At 44mm wide and 14.35mm tall, it’s a rather large watch but the short, partly hooded lugs keep it quite wearable. The large chronograph pushers, flanking the rubber-clad crown, feel sturdy when used. The solid caseback, extending down from the middle case a little, is decorated with an engraving mimicking the engine cover of the Gunther Werks Porsche 993’s.
The dial of the 901 GW is partially open-worked and reveals a great deal of depth. You can see small parts of the movement, adding to the industrial look of the watch in general. The X-like “bridges” spanning the dial are reminiscent of strut braces to stiffen a car’s chassis. The outer tachymeter scale is a must-have in any automotive-inspired chronograph watch. The central hour and minute hands are done in black, with white luminous inserts. The central chronograph seconds hand is white with a red tip. The running seconds is displayed on the left, with the 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters at 3 and 6 o’clock completing the dial. There’s no date, which considering the fact there’s already a lot to see, is a wise choice by REC Watches.
The REC Watches 901 GW watches use a Sellita SW 510 B calibre. This automatic chronograph movement is based on the architecture of the Valjoux 7750. The cam-operated movement runs at a frequency of 4Hz and packs 62 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Sellita has recently upgraded this calibre in terms of power reserve, which is very welcome indeed! In the 901 GW’s it is hidden from view by the engraved, solid caseback.
Note: As mentioned in the intro, the watch we had was a late-stage prototype which will be slightly updated for final production. The watch normally comes on a padded black leather strap with Alcantara insert and red stitching, but instead, you can see here the rubber strap with carbon fibre insert REC sells as an alternative. Another thing to change slightly is the caseback, which will be improved in terms of finishing. It also mentions “Limited to 188”, which goes for the 901 GW Exoskeleton, and not the 901 GW Chelsea Grey you see here.
The REC Watches 901 GW Chelsea Grey is limited to 232 pieces and is now available for pre-order at a price of EUR 1,836, which will bump to EUR 2,141 on November 1st. Delivery is expected to commence in November 2021.
The REC Watches 901 GW Chelsea Grey looks rather technical and robust, which it is. All feels very solid and there’s just something very appealing to proper car-related watches. And honestly, you cannot get any more car-related than using actual components of a car. My only complaint with this watch is the size, and therefore the legibility, of the subdials. I feel they are a tad too small against the rather busy dial. Other than that, it looks and feels impressive and comfortable and will not disappoint in terms of wrist presence.
For more information, please visit RECwatches.com.