Thursday, November 27, 2008

Time for a Drive - When Automakers and Watchmakers Unite

For the most part, men that are car guys have similar interests outside of rare autos. Some like collecting wines from around the world. Some like to smoke the finest cigars that have ever left Havana. And some, love to tell time with watches that rival the prices of their precious cars. Fine cars and watches have always shared similar bonds. They feature precision components, perfectly tuned power plants, functional bodywork, and a very enthusiastic group of followers. Is it really any wonder that there are so many watch/auto brand cross overs? From Tag Heuer to IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre. It seems there are more and more every year.

Panerai and it's relationship with Ferrari is, in my opinion, the premiere example of such a partnership. The two just seem to click with one another. Maybe its the "Italian Heritage" of both brands that makes them feel like long lost cousins. There are reasons the two have such simpatico.

From the start, Panerai did not want to just make a watch and have Ferrari slap its logo on it.
The watches were thus designed with The Italian automaker's engine and body in mind, creating something reminiscent of the car at large. The timepieces from the Ferrari collection are based on the blend of unique characteristics of both Italian brands that share the same core values - Italian tradition, quality, and one-of-a-kind design.

They designed new watches from scratch. Angelo Bonati, CEO of Panerai worked with Jean Todt, chairman of Ferrari, and the Ferrari team asking them to approve their work or share their ideas as for what could be improved. The watches keep the lines of classic Panerai watches while carrying styling cues straight from the Ferrari car line. Creating "one brand" was the goal.

That being said, the Ferrari watch collection, like their cars, have a soul. You should get the same feeling of strapping one of these watches on as you would turning the key and pushing the 'Start' button on a brand new 430 Scuderia.

Forza Italia!


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