Friday, March 7, 2008

The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & Spyker

World’s first steampunk car/watch collaboration?
by Alex Doak for The Watchismo Times

I suspect Chronoswiss and Spyker’s partnership has soured of late, as the only official sign of their brief dalliance during 2003/4 is buried in the gallery section of the Dutch carmaker’s website… However, as one of the more interesting (ie, less cynical) car/watch brand tie-ins, a proper tribute from the Watchismo Times has been long overdue – especially since Chronoswiss’s signature knurled onion crown forms such a key motif in Spyker’s Steampunk (yes, Steampunk interior design).

Check out how that lush leather cushioning combines with the metallic burred dashplates and exposed gear lever shaft. It could easily be mistaken for the cockpit of an HG Wells contraption, rather than a 500bhp V8 supercar that’ll hit 100kmh in under 4 seconds.

Spyker and Chronoswiss first joined forces in 2003. Cantankerous horolo-guru Gerd-Rudiger Lang, who celebrates the 25th anniversary of his watch brand this year, designed the ice-cool dashboard himself, as well as the Chronoswiss-Spyker ‘Double12’ 24-hour pilot’s watch, which paid tribute to (deep breath): Spyker’s aviation heritage (it merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory in 1914 to make fighter planes); the C8 Double12 R car (top speed in excess of 199 mph, originally priced at a whopping €300,000); and the famous speed races which, in the past, were held in two 12-hour laps.

More gratuitous car porn: this time, the drool-inducing Spyker C12 Spyder, unveiled in Dec 2004. The first Spyker powered by the all-aluminium 6-litre W12 Audi engine, it had an all-platinum Double12 watch to go with it, only 48 of which were made, yours for €34,700 back then.

And while we’re at it, you may as well drool over this too: Zagato’s interpretation of the C12. Yes, it’s for real. Yes, I want one. No, I doubt very much that Chronoswiss will have the balls to do a watch version. Perhaps Urwerk or Hautlence fancy a try…?

Stay tuned to more stories by UK watch journalist Alex Doak for The Watchismo Times.

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