Hit List: Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colors

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its partnership with the Mille Miglia, Italy’s famed open-road endurance race, Chopard has introduced a collection of five Mille Miglia Racing Colours watches inspired by cars that competed in the historic race between 1927 and 1940. Each 42 mm chronograph bears a different dial color, a nod to the race’s leading nationalities (Italian, British, German, Belgian and French).

Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colors – The fiery Rosso Corso red.

$6,080, each sold separately; chopard.com

Hit List: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S

Proud of its newly minted partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse—the Italian automaker’s motorsports division, responsible for competitions such as the Super Trofeo—Roger Dubuis is touting a new 45 mm Excalibur Aventador S edition in blue that boasts a degree of complexity familiar to fans of supercars. Powered by the Geneva watchmaker’s Duotor (double balance wheels) concept, the model features a completely revamped 312-part RD103SQ movement sheathed in a skeletonized Excalibur Spider case.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S

$194,500; rogerdubuis.com

Hit List: TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition

Nostalgia for the golden age of motorsport is alive and well at TAG Heuer, which is revisiting Gulf Oil’s victory in the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition. Encased in steel, the 43 mm quartz chronograph features a notched steel bezel and an aluminum ring with a tachymeter scale. The blue-and-orange color scheme on the dial as well as a caseback engraved with the Gulf logo are subtly elegant reminders of the model’s historic origins.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition

$1,600; tagheuer.com

High Roller

 

Exploring three continents in Rolls-Royce’s first off-roader.

By Max Prince

Photographs by Cory Richards

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is not an SUV.

It seats five adults and has an expansive tailgate. It rides on air suspension, towering more than six feet tall, and weighing more than three tons. It has a torque-y twin-turbo engine and full-time four-wheel drive, with a dedicated low gear for off-road use. On paper, it is an archetypal sport utility vehicle.

But no.

According to Rolls-Royce, the Cullinan, which represents the British automaker’s first foray outside the traditional coupe, sedan, and convertible body styles, is “a high-sided, all-terrain motor car.” Acronyms, apparently, are tacky. Crass. Maybe even vulgar. And a Rolls-Royce is nothing if not entirely devoid of vulgarity.

Consider the automotive landscape in 1906, when the company entered the market. Motoring was an event unto itself; drivers could expect frequent mechanical failure, tools and lubricants, ruined clothing, and long walks searching for fuel or assistance. Rolls-Royce positioned itself as the ultimate in personal luxury: all the opulence of autonomy and speed without the inconvenience and ignominy of a breakdown. Early marketing efforts were famously theatrical, with salespeople chucking their tool kits, locking their hoods shut, and driving hundreds of miles through mountains and deserts. Royals and socialites swooned. The brand became an institution.

In a neat historical symmetry, the Cullinan’s final testing phase involved a theatrical endurance trial. Wearing camouflage livery, the all-new Rolls-Royce traversed the Scottish highlands, smashed over Mideast sand dunes, ascended the 14,000-foot Pikes Peak in Colorado, then ripped off top speed runs across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Cory Richards, the award-winning photojournalist and mountain climber, was along for the ride. He captured some exclusive behind-the-scenes images for Watch Journal, which appear on the following pages, along with his notes from the journey.

The visual grandeur of Richards’s work fits the Rolls-Royce’s personality. After all, the name Cullinan comes from the world’s largest rough diamond, discovered in 1905, and later cut into nine stones. Two of them were set into the Queen’s crown. Her Majesty does not dress provocatively, express political views, nor speak in clipped, crude abbreviations.

S-U-V? Please.

SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

“Every time I step out the door, I don’t really know what to expect. That uncertainty is the soul of adventure. Being isolated is always unnerving. But it’s always underscored by a sense of curiosity. I’ve been all over the world, and I’ve never seen a landscape that is at once so similar and so complex.… God, it’s stunning.”

– Cory Richards

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

“A place is more than its people, its cultures, its languages, or its landscapes. They’re simply components of the texture. Finding the moment that celebrates all of these things simultaneously—that’s the alchemy of photography. Finding a moment that says everything without having to say anything at all. Like the quiet stranger, walking through the desert, alone.”

-C.R.

AMERICAN WEST

“Finality is always bittersweet. Oftentimes journeys seem to end abruptly, like crossing a finish line that you know is there, but that you couldn’t see until it was behind you. I’d imagine it’s kind of like going 300 miles per hour [on the Salt Flats.] It happens before you can make sense of it, only to be trapped trying to remember the experience long after the world has slowed. What was lived can only be revisited in images along the way. Postcards from the past, that we use to make sense of how it’s changed us, as we look to the future.”

-C.R.

Hit List: Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian – Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition

Speed freaks will appreciate the story behind Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Club Indian model, which pays tribute to Burt Munro, the New Zealander who set—and still holds—the record for the fastest speed reached on an Indian motorcycle, a feat he accomplished in 1967, at age 68, riding across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Fifty years later, the watchmaker honors Munro’s daring spirit with this limited-edition automatic chronograph.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian – Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition

$3,900; baume-et-mercier.com

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