Seven of the best luxury car and watch collaborations

Cars and watches: both are marvels of mechanical achievement, enthralling men of all ages.

Whether new, or vintage, they are desired and sought-after, inspiring the kind of obsessions that last a lifetime, and serious fans of either tend to favour manual operation.  

A decent example of either counts among the biggest investments a man will make after a home (and some can cost just as much, if not more). But, unlike property, a luxury watch or car is the kind of purchase made more from the heart than the head.

Given the synergies, it's little wonder watchmakers and automotive brands regularly hitch a ride with one another.

Here are seven of our favourite car/watch collaborations. 

1. Hublot x Ferrari

As a brand known for being at the technological forefront (those engines!), Ferrari found affinity with Hublot. Like a Ferrari, the Swiss watchmaker moves fast: established in 1980, it today carries as much prestige as brands possessing an extra century or so of heritage.

Launching with its innovative 'fusion' concept and a natural rubber strap (an industry first), the brand found itself speeding ahead of the pack… again, much like a Ferrari. The collaboration starts, as all major things do, with the Big Bang (in ceramic or carbon, from $32,500).

The launch of the $3 million hybrid LaFerrari supercar necessitated something equally advanced and exclusive. The transparent, $678K MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire, with its engine-inspired design, is as collectible and futuristic as the car itself.

2. Baume et Mercier x Shelby Cobra

A legend enhanced by rarity (just 1000 AC Cobras were produced in the sixties), Carroll Shelby Inc. heads full throttle into a partnership with Baume et Mercier. The two Capeland Shelby Cobra Limited Editions are appropriately scarce (1963 units per model) and, upon organising Europe's first Shelby car meet, the watchmaker marked the occasion with four watches, making 15 apiece.

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The Capeland Shelby Cobra CSX2000 edition pays homage to the first roadster built by Carroll Shelby, which fetched US$13.75 million at auction in August, a record for an American car. If you must ask the price of the one-of-a-kind, 18ct red gold chronograph, you can't afford it.

3. Christopher Ward x Jaguar

Being British, watch company Christopher Ward keeps it in the family. On three successive occasions (1955-1957), a 3.4-litre straight six propelled the Jaguar D-Type to victory at Le Mans.

Visible through a transparent caseback, the C9 D-Type timepiece features metal detailing mirroring the car's tri-pronged wheel spinner.

It's laser cut from the piston of one of only 18 racers produced. The dial apes the vehicle's speedometer, finished with a power reserve in the form of a fuel gauge.

4. Breitling x Bentley

A collaboration between two brands with a winged 'B' emblem was pretty much inevitable. If you happen to have bought a Bentley recently, a Breitling analogue clock likely already takes pride of place atop the dashboard.

The marque's newest model, the Bentayga SUV, offers a diamond-encrusted, mechanical Mulliner Tourbillon in solid gold and mother-of-pearl, a $300,000 option – you could get that or a Porsche 911 GT3. For considerably less, the Breitling for Bentley collection offers a dozen beautifully crafted chronographs, each designed in some way to reference the automaker's signature crosshatch grille.

5. Rolex x Daytona

Other watchmakers look to motorsport, rather than iconic marques for inspiration. The heritage of the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph is one of pure functionality. Named after Daytona Beach, Florida – home of the famed international speedway and numerous land speed record attempts since 1904 – this chronograph with tachymetric scale was first created in 1963 for use in motorsport, allowing drivers to measure average speeds up to 400km/h.

Vintage pieces have become highly collectible and a contemporary version remains part of the Rolex lineup today.

6. Tag Heuer Carrera

The same year Rolex released the Daytona, Tag Heuer launched its perennial Carrera. Initially, the pair shared minor stylistic details, the result of having a common dial manufacturer at the time.

Carrera came about after Jack Heuer took the reigns of the family business from his uncle and set about creating a timepiece with a simple design that would be legible while racing.

Unlike the Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico (1950-54) from which it takes its name, the Carrera watch endures today, albeit with a more complex aesthetic.

7. IWC x Goodwood

Earlier this year, as owners and admirers of classic racing and touring cars gathered for the 74th Goodwood Members Meeting in England, IWC Schaffhausen commemorated the event with three special editions of its Ingenieur Chronograph.

In contrast to the old-school mechanics underpinning the cars on the track, the watches are powered by IWC's new in-house 69370 calibre. The quilted leather band evokes the interiors of those vintage rides.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the creative collaborations.