Autodromo is a lifestyle brand founded by industrial designer Bradley Price. Based in New York City, the company draws inspiration from a golden age of motoring, infusing contemporary and minimalist sensibility with mid-century vintage personalities. Besides racing-themed watches, they also make sunglasses, driving scarves and driving gloves. Here are some of the items from Autodromo that we think would make ideal Christmas gifts this year.
Prototipo Chronograph – Brian Redman Edition
The legendary British driver Brian Redman began his racing career in 1968, going on to participate in 15 World Championship Grands Prix. He drove to victory in many of the greatest cars of the period, from the Ford GT40 to the Porsche 908 and 917, as well as the Ferrari 312 PB and Alfa Tipo 33, just to name a few. He then joined the Porsche factory racing team, where he had a choice between being a Number 1 driver in his own car, or sharing his car as Number 2 with Swiss driver Jo ‘Seppi’ Siffert. Redman chose the latter and they won 5 out of 10 championship races from 1969 to 1970, including the Nürburgring 1000 km in 1969. In this particular race, Siffert crashed the new Porsche 908 Flunder during practice, meaning that they would have to run the race in a spare car entered by Porsche Salzburg, which was the Porsche 908/02. Although the Porsche 908/02 did not have the latest requirements, Redman still managed to outrun Pedro Rodriguez in the race.
The Brian Redman Prototipo uses the same red and white colour scheme as the Porsche Salzburg, with a green centre stop second hand referencing the bright green accents of the race car that helped to differentiate it from a distance. The caseback features a map of the tortuous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, which has over 170 corners winding through the Eifel mountains. Equipped with a Seiko VK63 Chronograph Hybrid Meca-Quartz Movement, the Brian Redman Prototipo is limited to 500 pieces, with the first 100 pieces made in 18K Gold plate. Each watch comes with a Brian Redman hand-signed booklet.
Autodromo Stradale Automatic
The Autodromo Stradale is inspired by the dashboard instruments from Italian sports berlinettas from the 1950s to the early 1960s. Stradale is the Italian word for ‘road going’, which recalls the memories of that special time when the gentlemen driver blurred the distinction between a road car and a race car.
The watch features a multi-layered dial; the hour indexes are applied to a transparent glass ring, which floats over the coloured dial below for a 3D effect. Besides, the custom-designed leather strap makes reference to the luxurious and colourful interiors of the time.
It is powered by a 24 jewel Japan-made automatic movement, finished and displayed behind a sapphire exhibition caseback.
Group B EVOLUZIONE
Inspired by the exhilarating FIA Group B rally cars of the ’80s, the Group B Evoluzione watch is dedicated to those good old days. The short-lived Group B rally specification began in 1982 and is regarded as the golden era of rallying. The category allowed car manufacturers to create some of the fastest, most powerful and sophisticated rally cars in the sport’s history, including such iconic cars as the Audi Quattro, Lancia Delta S4 and Peugeot 205 T16. However, due to a series of tragic accidents during the events, notably the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto in the 1986 Tour de Corse, the FIA was eventually forced to cancel Group B after the 1986 season.
Assembled in their New York studio, the commemorative ‘Group B watch’ features a lightweight titanium and aerospace aluminium bimetallic case for comfort, and is powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic mechanical movement. Just as Group B required manufacturers to build 200 road-going examples to homologate a car for racing, Autodromo decided to produce just 200 Group B watches as a tribute to the legendary rally specification. Also included with the limited edition timepiece are four nylon racing wrist straps in the team colours of the Group B era’s four most prominent liveries.
To celebrate its 5th anniversary, Autodromo has released the Monoposto Chronograph which is inspired by the Grand Prix era. The Monoposto, which means ‘single seat’, was created to conjure a simpler era of Grand Prix racing, when the only information the driver had was contained in a few oversized dials and the seat of his pants.
The Monoposto was first introduced in 2012 as a limited edition release and was the very first automatic watch of Autodromo. The re-release features the same 43mm case as the original watch, but with an additional 3 mm of thickness to accommodate the column wheel automatic chronograph movement that beats within. Also the signature ‘redline’ crystal has returned in this new edition. The Monoposto Chronograph is produced in 500 pieces only; each piece is individually numbered and lavishly presented in a numbered collector’s box.
Check out the Autodromo official website for more details.