One of the greatest things about car culture is the creativity and craftsmanship of hot rodding. The ethos is simple- taking something, ideally something worn out and readily available, and customizing it into something faster, more stylish, and just as importantly more personal than it ever was before. It’s been a cornerstone of the hobby in one form or another for as long as cars have been around, really, but for all its prevalence it’s something that rarely rears its head in the watch world.
Very few collectors show that personal touch, and manufacturers virtually never do. Until now, that is. REC Watches has taken that custom ideal to watchmaking with their newest Kickstarter launched offering, the P-51. It’s immediately apparent what REC were shooting for right at first glance. With the P-51, they’ve taken on one of the greatest icons in the automotive pantheon- the original 1965-66 Ford Mustang, and broken it down with a customizer’s sensibilities. There are Mustang touches everywhere. The inner sides of the multi-part case have indentations reminiscent of the ’65’s “corral” grille and famous triple taillights. The multi- window dial takes its look right from the Mustang dashboard playbook, from a fuel gauge power reserve to an odometer-style date window. The 44mm cushion shaped case, in a subtler move, is reminiscent of the Heuer Camaro, named after the Mustang’s Chevrolet rival.
The party piece, however, is undoubtedly the main dial surface. In-between the dial apertures is a reclaimed piece of sheet metal from a classic Mustang, along with a VIN tag corresponding to the exact car that watch’s dial is from. It’s true hot rod move, but it’s also a source of some anxiety. After all, there will never be any more new 1965-66 Mustangs, so the idea of cutting one up shouldn’t be taken lightly. Luckily, REC assures us that all Mustangs involved in the project were beyond saving and willingly donated. More than that, in a very classy move, REC promises a special edition P-51 to all those who sacrificed Mustangs to the project, with a VIN tag and dial corresponding to their own car.
On top of that, it’s undoubtedly an interesting design, and the inclusion of a power reserve makes it even more unique. It’s a complication that doesn’t show up often, but it shows front and center here thanks to the P-51’s automatic Miyota 9130 movement. The 9130, for all of its stablemate 9015’s popularity, has really only a handful of times, but given Miyota’s track record in the industry it should prove to be a reliable powerplant.
The P-51 is currently funding on Kickstarter, and is available at a limited price of $747, half off the expected retail price of $1495. We can’t wait to see more of this one, and we’ll be bringing you a full review in the coming weeks.