The other night we invited our friends John and Louise for a meal at our house. As we haven’t seen them for several years there was a lot to discuss including design, architecture, art, horology etc. John is a senior doctor that works insane hours (including weekends) and therefore likes to indulge himself occasional. One of his passions in life is collecting vintage automobiles and in particular sports cars. That is why he was excited when I informed about a new timepiece called the Gran Turismo by Azimuth. This incredible watch is inspired by the curvaceous forms of 1960’s classic Porsches.
For several years I have been a massive admirer of Azimuth and they seem to be going from strength to strength. Over the years their timepieces have become a lot more sophisticated. Ultimately that is why expanded the business to include a third partner called Giuseppe Picchi (‘Directeur Technique’) and relocated their headquarters from Singapore to Neuchâtel, Switzerland. This strategic move seems to be paying dividends for the company. So many brands are restricted by the limitations of stock movements and having a technical watchmaking expert as part of the team allows much more creativity. These are skills that founders Alvin Lye and Chris Long display in abundance.
Originally I saw 3D renderings of the Gran Turismo a couple of years ago. Since then I have been anticipating its release and especially the distinctive camouflage version. Azimuth experimented with this type of aesthetic on it innovative Landship Battle Tank Collection. In contrast to these hand-painted timepieces, the Gran Turismo has a much more durable PVD coating. Therefore, it is designed to worn and enjoyed on a daily basis for most occasions (with the exception of extreme sports activities).
The proportions of this watch are similar to the Twin Turbo and measures 52mm x 44mm. However, apart from the side profile and bonnet, these timepieces are completely different. For example, the Gran Turismo only has one multi-layered architectural dial (powered by a single Swiss ETA 2671 movement) which is centrally positioned. This striking feature is angled and based on the oversized dashboards of the iconic Mini Cooper. Even though the design pays homage to vintage cars (1960’s/70’s) I also feel it has an ‘Art Deco’ aesthetic. This is more evident on the naked polished steel version rather than the more contemporary camouflage edition. Nevertheless, the eclectic nature of this piece was really enticing and is my personal favourite.
Each model in the Gran Turismo range is limited to a 100 pieces and has a premium genuine ribbed leather strap with matching 316L steel folding clasp. For a Swiss made watch of this caliber, the price of CHF 4,850 (approximately $4863) is also very competitive.
For more information about Azimuth follow this link