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The Ultimate Microbrand Guide – Driving Watches

Whether you prefer romantic drives along the coast or the adrenaline of racing a cutting-edge hypercar, these watches borrow from both ends of the automotive spectrum. This is the ultimate guide to microbrand driving watches.

Roue TPS Chronograph, £250

Roue TPS

The Roue TPS is an homage to the Porsche 910, a fairly overlooked chapter in the car maker’s history, eclipsed by the 911 we all know so well. It was one of Porsche’s dedicated race cars and had that iconic soft and flowing body shape that’s closer to the Jetsons than it is to the hard-line racers of today. Nostalgic and beautiful. It has a 40mm diameter case, finding the ideal balance between vintage proportions and modern utility. Under the hood it sports a Seiko meca-quartz movement.

Available at Roue.

Omologato Panamericana, £395

Omologato Panamericana Can-Am® Driving Watch

The Panamericana from Omologato is one of the most visually striking microbrand driving watches around. It has a 41mm diameter cushion case made from stainless steel and features a tricompax chronograph display. There are several colourways available but the Rojo de Carreras is the raciest with its contrasting red and black design. The watch is a celebration of the Pan-American highway, a road that stretches over 30,000 km.

Available at Omologato.

Atelier Jalaper AJ001-S, €800 EUR

Atelier Jalaper AJ001-S

Atelier Jalaper take a different approach to making driving watches, while they’re built for use in cars they’re also built from recycled cars. The AJ001-S has a dial made from material taken from the bonnet of the legendary Aston Martin DB5. It’s also decorated with a faux-DB5 grille guilloché and typography inspired by the car’s speedometer. Under the hood (literally in this case) is the automatic calibre Miyota 821A with 42-hour power reserve.

Available at Atelier Jalaper.

Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph Vic Elford 969, £825

Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph Vic Elford 969 edition Driving Watch

Autodromo take the heritage of driving as seriously as they take their commitment to producing quality timepieces. Take the Prototipo Chronograph Vic Elford 969 edition for example. Not only was it produced in collaboration with one of the foremost drivers of the 1960s, Vic Elford, who saw Porsche to many victories, but the dial of the watch reflects the paint job of one of his most iconic cars.

Available at Autodromo.

De Rijke & Co Amalfi 1S, €1,896 EUR

De Rijke & Co Amalfi 1S Limited Edition

Forget all the carbon fibre and testosterone that normally comes with driving or automotive watches; if they are Formula 1 this is the equivalent of a romantic getaway along the Riviera. And yet this Dutch timepiece is more innovative than most of those performance-oriented monsters. The case can be rotated 90 degrees, which means that, when worn under the wrist, it can be easily read with both hands on the wheel. The fuss-free design of the dial and thin, 38mm add to the relaxed, assured feel – the perfect co-pilot for a real Grand Tour.

Available at De Rijke & Co.

REC 901 GW Exoskeleton, £2,095

REC 901 GW Exoskeleton Driving Watch

REC specialise in integrating components taken from iconic cars into their wristwatches. The 901 GW Exoskeleton features parts from the Gunther Werks 993 GT3RS, a hypothetical Porsche designed by the custom car specialists. The watch’s engine is the Sellita SW510 B, an automatic chronograph movement with a 62-hour power reserve. It’s a solid movement, covered by an equally solid caseback, laser-engraved with an X shape to match the dial.

Available at REC.

Allemano Man, €3,790 EUR

Allemano Man

Allemano started life as a brand producing precision pressure instruments for the Italian military and Fiat before transitioning into the production of watches. The Man is a watch that draws on this heritage with a regulator style display, separating the hours, minutes and seconds onto separate indicators and creating a very technical appearance balanced by the vintage aesthetic of the cream dial.

Available at Allemano.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.

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