The connection between cars and watches runs deep, and it is a relationship we’ve seen many watch brands leverage over the years. None do so quite like the folks at REC, however. Last year, they released their RNR collection, which utilized materials straight from the Land Rovers they were designed for. This year, they are taking a similar approach with their P-51 collection, which taps into classic American muscle car lore in two distinct flavors.
There are two P-51 watches being introduced, based on two prototype vehicles from Ford that laid the groundwork for Shelby Mustangs as we know them today. They were specifically Carrol Shelby’s experimental GT500 cars built in the midst of running the successful GT40 program that resulted in 4 Le Mans victories from 1966 to 1969. The first experimental car ordered by Carroll in 1967 would serve as a testbed to marry the performance tech derived from the GT40 to a production spec Mustang. The bright red car was called “little red” and after moving the Shelby program forward, the car was thought lost to history or scrapped by Ford. In 2018 the car was located by Craig Jackson, of Barrett-Jackson auction house, who proceeded to restore the car to its former glory, showing it for the first time this month.
Excess sheet metal left over from the restoration process was sent to REC to be used in the production of these watches. For the P-51 “Little-Red” there were enough to produce 318 examples, which feature the metal as the base of the dial. For the P-51 “Green Hornet” the metal was used to produce 282 examples.
The watches themselves get green and red accents that recall the color of the cars, along with sub dials designed to mimic the gauge clusters you’d find in each car. On the watches they serve as power reserve displays for the STP automatic movements inside. The steel cases are cushioned shape and measure in at 42mm in diameter and 13.3mm in thickness. Additional details can be found along the case walls that will recall design features of the cars, from the taillight designs to the fuel cap.