The Matchmaker: 6 Pairs of Cars and Watch Makers

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This Sunday, we decided to play Matchmaker to 6 “single” watch maisons to 6 “single” car makers. So without further ado, ladies and gentleman, start your engine!

The Matchmaker: 6 Pairs of Cars and Watch Makers

As we have covered in our previous articles “Cars & Watches: 6 Watch and Car Tie up” and “Throwback Sunday: Six Watch Recommendations for the Upcoming Singapore F1 Grand Prix, from Our Archives“, the world of Automotive and Horology cannot stop having this love affair with each other. Take Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini for example, their tie up is so strong that in recent years, if one mentions Roger Dubuis, Lamborghini comes to mind… It’s as if it’s a marriage!

Therefore, we feel that it is our job to matchmake the single ones in hope of a flourishing relationship between them. We define “Single” to mean that as of 9th June 2024 the respective car maker and watch maison does not have any long term tie-ups. And here is the list…

Ba111od X Morgan

First up, Ba111od! Ba111od’s founder, Thomas Baillod is a good friend, and even played the role of being a guest reporter. He mentioned to us about his love affair with Morgan where his watch brand resonates with the automaker very well. “The car is low key, alot of power and is very classy. That’s exactly what we stand for in our brand” said Thomas.

Thomas and his Morgan.

Thomas’ admiration for the car brand didn’t stop just verbally, he went on to order a Morgan Plus Six in British Racing Green. He customised the Morgan by adding Ba111od’s name and logo (coincidentally, it is also his family crest) on the car’s front quarter panel and the headrest.

Following the delivery of the car, Thomas and his team released the limited edition CHAPTER 4.6 GMT TOURBILLON 1920 it is directly inspired by the curves and colours of Thomas’ Morgan. Looking at both the watch and the car, there are so many similarities. One of the biggest similarities is how both brands drive the heart of their respective machines. Ba111od’s movement for the Chapter 4.6 GMT Tourbillon 1920 is the BA.01. It is a hand-wound mechanical movement that is based of Olivier Mory’s BCP Tourbillon movement. On the other hand, the Morgan Plus Six’s engine is BMW’s B58 TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine. Despite having an externally sourced “power-plant” for them both, the design language are uniquely their own.

Moving on from their product, both brands are still owned by their founder/founding family. (Noted that the majority shareholder of Morgan Motor Company is European private equity group, Investindustrial. The Morgan family still retains a minority shareholding.)

The Morgan Motor Company Limited was founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan. The brand currently offers 3 model lines, namely the Super 3, Plus Four and Plus Six. They also have a coach building line which is called “Midsummer”. Morgan still retains building their cars with an ash wood frame while sourcing their powerplant from BMW (Plus Four and Plus Six) and Ford (Super 3). And Thomas Baillod founded Ba111od in 2019.

Thomas explaining the relationship between Ba111od and Morgan.

Piaget X Rolls Royce

Moving on from our first ideal couple, we move to what we call “门当户对” (well-matched in the same social class) couple. Piaget X Rolls Royce. Both brands are basically the epitome of “Old Money” where our old money folks will likely have in their possession. Remember the good old days when we are kids? Remember that rich uncle who would usually rock a gold Piaget that has a unique stone dial during dinners and then get whisk off in their Silver Shadow or Silver Spirit? Yes, that’s class!

Piaget, it is a brand that is founded by Georges-Édouard Piaget in the 1870s as a manufacturer of watch movements. They began to craft and design their own line of watches in the early 20th century. They are the one of the early champions for ultra-thin movements from way back in the late 1950s.

While they are creating the ultra-thin movements, they were also busy courting the rich and famous in the socialite scene with their glamorous and daring designs. Persons such as Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor were drown to the bold and bejewelled design of Piaget.

Photo courtesy of New York Post

Rolls Royce is perhaps the ultimate symbol in Automotive Luxury. It is the car that graced the garage of the ultra rich and famous. Rolls-Royce Limited was formed on 15 March 1906, founded by Charles Rolls (an owner of a car dealership) and Henry Royce (a British engineer). They got together to build luxury cars and aeroplane engines. The current Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is owned by German car manufacturer BMW. Since 1906 till today, Rolls Royce motorcars continues to build cars for the rich and famous. They even have custom coach built cars for their top clients who want cars customised for them.

The launch of a bespoke Rolls Royce.

Many may ask, didn’t they just tie up with Bovet or Vacheron Constantin? Well truth to be told, there were all one off that is specifically commissioned by their respective owners. Therefore, we still deemed Rolls Royce “single”.

Why would we think that Piaget and Rolls Royce will be a likely couple? It is because both started out as companies who are at the very epicentre of the art of building beautiful machines. Both beginning as independents and ending up as a subsidiary of large conglomerate (Richemont for Piaget and BMW for Rolls Royce). Both the brands cater to the rich and the famous, who enjoy the finer things in life. And both continue to shine within their respective groups as brightly as ever.

Parmigiani X Bentley

From one old money brand to another. This time round, we bring you Parmigiani X Bentley. What really marries the two brands together is basically King Charles. King Charles is always worn with his Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph. He wore it on his son Prince Harry’s wedding and as well as his own coronation. Word from Parmigiani is that King Charles even sent his watch back to the manufacture for a full service just prior to his coronation. Parmigiani have just released a new iteration of the Toric this year’s Watches and Wonders. We also hosted some collectors to view the novelties recently.

Close Up of Prince Charles chronograph. (C) Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

King Charles’ daily chauffeur driven vehicle is the Bentley state limousine. The car was initially built for his late Mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The car is now the limousine that he is using for his official visits for his state functions.

Photo Courtesy of The Sun

Bentley Motors is a British manufacturer and marketer of luxury cars. Headquartered in Crewe, England, the company was founded by W. O. Bentley. Currently, Bentley is fully owned by Volkswagen and is hosted under the luxury brand Audi.

Now, with this backstory of the royal patronage, won’t you agree that they are both a match-made in heaven? Aside from having the Royal as their unofficial spokes person. Both brands are used by old money folks. Where the high and ultra-high net-worth individuals can choose from a wide range of watches or cars. Perhaps, the Sandoz family who owns Parmigiani Fleurier, would have a Bentley or two in their garage?

Panerai X Alfa Romeo

Moving from old money and back down on to earth. We feature two sporty Italian brands. Panerai, an Italian casa founded in Italy and is now have their HQ and manufacture in Switzerland. Between the mid 1930s to the 1950s, the Italian company produced their now famous diving wrist watches. Watches and Wonders 2024 they continue with this DNA with more diving watches.

Panerai is no stranger to automotive tie-ups, prior to our matchmaking session. They used to have a tie up with Ferrari many years ago but since then, Ferrari have found a new partner, Richard Mille.

Alfa Romeo was founded on June 1910 in Milan, Italy. The brand is known for creating sporty cars and have been involved in automobiles racing since 1911. And counts among their storied alumni, luminaries like Enzo Ferrari, who later founded Ferrari.

Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 6th Series (1933), photographed at the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa D’Este 2012.

With both the companies that is hailing from the land of Sprezzatura (meaning “a kind of effortless grace, the art of making something difficult look easy, or maintaining a nonchalant demeanor while performing complex tasks.”) It is not surprising that both would get along well with a very sporty outlook for both brands while maintaining a very Italian heritage. That is why, both the brands will make good tie-ups together.

NOMOS X Volkswagen

Moving on from the Italian, we move on to Deutschland! NOMOS Glashütte is a German watchmaking company based in Glashütte, Saxony. Nomos have made relatively affordable but high quality watches, and are one of the fastest growing German marques in recent history. Their latest watches and wonders releases have also made their brand a playful one. This reminds us of the Volkswagen Beetle.

Volkswagen on the other hand, is a German automobile manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. The brand shares the relatively affordable badge as the name literally translates from German to English as “The People’s Car”. The quirky Volkswagen Beetle, perhaps sparked by the popular movie “The Love Bug” has many fans and admirers. We adore and love the Beetle. And just as playful and colourful like this year’s Tanggante Datum. Though VW has discontinued the playful Beetle, it will always be in our heart.

Both companies make their “engines” in-house and Volkswagen even supply engines to their sister brands within the group. With both creating quality products that are somewhat accessible for most who wants a watch and a car, there is no reason why this two shouldn’t get together.

Yema X Citroen

Finally, we have the French represented! Yema and Citroen, both share the same national heritage and pride. And both firms have so much history to complement each other!

Yema is a French watchmaking company that was founded and based in Morteau, France. They have designed watches specifically for motor racing like the Rallye. Since the revival of the brand, Yema has also been engaged in sporty watches which include the reviving of the Superman.

The car manufacture that we would matchmake Yema with is Citroën. Citroën is a French automobile brand founded in 4 June 1919. The French marque is actively engaged in the motorsport world where Rally was the main automotive sport that they have been taking part in with many WRC Championship to boot. And have always been avant garde and somewhat quirky.

Photo courtesy of Racecar Engineering

These two French brands would complement each other exceptionally well. The history that both could bring on the table is amazing, apart from automotive racing, both the firms have also contributed to the French military with both automobiles and watches.

Conclusion

There it is! Our choice couples for watch and car brands! Tell us what you think about our choice?

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