Aston Martin named Girard-Perregaux, the legendary watchmaker, the official watch of the British carmaker. The two luxury brands plan to collaborate on limited-edition timepieces.
“We are celebrating an astonishing 230 years of watchmaking, whilst Aston Martin celebrates its return to Formula One as a works team for the first time in over 60 years,” said Patrick Pruniaux, Girard-Perregaux’s chief executive officer. “We have much to celebrate so uniting our worlds to create something special is the perfect way to acknowledge and appreciate these milestones.”
Girard-Perregaux is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world, responsible for more than 100 patents. Established in 1791, the company is most renowned for the 1867 Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, which deliberately made three functional components visible for the first time rather than hiding them, making it a precursor to modern-day skeleton watches, where the mechanics are not hidden from view.
Partners not revealing what’s coming yet
Neither the watchmaker nor the automaker revealed any further details about their new timepiece, although you will see Girard-Perregaux branding featured on the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One team cars at the start of the 2021 F1 season in Bahrain.
In contrast, the first timepiece collaboration between Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux will not be revealed until later this year.
Previously, Aston Martin collaborated with Tag Hauer to produce the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01.
Auto companies and watchmakers have histories
But Aston Martin is far from the only automaker with new watches on the market.
Swiss watchmaker Zenith teamed with Land Rover to produce the DEFY 21 Land Rover Edition, coinciding with the launch of the new Land Rover Defender and limited to 250 pieces.
“We wanted a timepiece that captured the essence of the new Land Rover Defender: modern, durable and highly desirable,” said Gerry McGovern, chief creative officer for Jaguar Land Rover.
Land Rover also produces watches with premium English watchmaker Elliot Brown, whose timepieces are used by the mountain rescue and specialist units of the U.K. Armed Forces. Not to be outdone, Jaguar collaborated with Bremont, resulting in a watch with a black dial that’s based on the E-type’s RPM gauge.
Last year, Bugatti and watchmaker Jacob & Co. produced the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, a watch with a tiny 16-cylinder engine inside comprising 578 pieces that turn at the touch of a button. The replica of Bugatti’s turbocharged 8.0-liter mill took nearly a year to design. The watch also features a Bugatti fuel gauge, grille and blue shock absorbers. It’s price tag? $280,000.
Porsche is also famous for its watches, partnering with Porsche Design and prestigious watch company Eterna SA since the mid-1990s. Bentley is also well-known for its collaboration with Breitling, a collection launched after Bentley won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003.
Similarly, Audi offers watches in collaboration with Citizen at the lower end of the market, and Oris at the upper end. Ferrari’s fine timepieces are made by Hublot, along with a moderately priced line made by American watchmaker Movado. BMW produces a line of watches with Fossil Group, while Mercedes-Benz’s sells its own timepieces, but doesn’t identify who makes them.
Automakers and watchmakers have collaborated throughout the history of the industry. Consider this to be merely the latest point in time.