Autodromo Enters a New Class with the Group C

Automotive inspired watches are never easy to pull off, but if there’s one brand that’s consistently done just that, it’s undoubtedly Autodromo. Their watches, from the Vallelunga to the Group B, all convey a deep knowledge and passion of the underlying inspiration in ways that aren’t always immediately apparent. Whether it’s the shape of the curvature of the case, or a specific colorway used, these watches go above and beyond what you’d expect. Today, Autodromo opens a new chapter in this story with the release of the Group C, a watch that will sit alongside the Group B, all while imparting a very different impression of the racing classes for which they are named. 

Group C as a category of racing was introduced by the FIA in 1982, and would produce some of the most iconic endurance racing cars of all time before its shuttering in 1993. Certainly defining cars of their era, which included the likes of the Jaguar XJR-8, the Sauber C9, the Porsche 956, and of course, the screaming Mazda 787B. These cars all came in something of a transition period for racing cars, with a slew of new rules and regulations meant to bring the sport more inline with Formula 1 quickly ushering in the class’ demise just prior to the 1993 championship race was due to be run at Magny Cours (though the cars were allowed entry to the 1994 running of the 24 Hours of LeMans, and would take the top 4 spots overall, with the Porsche 962 car 36 taking the win).


This is the deep pool from which the Autodromo Group C draws inspiration from. Perhaps appropriately, the Group C gets a fully digital display, set under a flat sapphire crystal, within a sleek steel case. The watch is labeled the Group C Sport Chrono under the screen with a graphic that looks like something you’d find along the door sill of a late ‘80s racing car. The Autodromo logo is placed at the left and the accent colors are meant to deliver maximum impact. Inspired by the colorful wing mirrors of Group C cars (which helped differentiate them at a distance), the pushers and dial accents are rendered in bright hues of green, red, and yellow. 

The case itself I’d describe as boxy chic, providing squarish angles and gentle slopes. The shape is meant to recall the aerodynamic forms of cars like the 962C and C9, a shape which is itself represented on the caseback as something of an amalgam of these cars. The case measures 36mm across and tapers to a square end that welcomes a 20mm rubber strap. Measuring 10mm in thickness and 72 grams in weight, it’s an easy watch to wear while providing more heft than you might expect. 

Overall the aesthetic of this watch is unexpected and striking, and like the Group B, its inspiration may not be immediately clear, and that’s part of the beauty of these watches. The use of a digital module may come as a surprise, but it falls in line with the general architecture and theme of the watch. Functionality of the buttons is listed on the caseback, with the usual slew of complications (stopwatch, alarm, calendar, etc.), so it’s obviously useful. 

The Group C is available from Autodromo as of today for the price of $475 across 4 different colorways: bare stainless steel brushed with yellow accents; gray plated stainless steel brushed with green accents; DLC black plated stainless steel brushed with red and yellow accents; and yellow cerakote with black and yellow accents. Keep an eye out for our hands-on impressions of these watches coming soon. Autodromo

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.