The dial of the Group B is clean but bold, utilizing high contrast and sometimes surprising colors. As with some of the other Autodromo watches, the dial draws from dash gauges, this time specifically from tachometer of the Lancia 037 Group B rally car (which is the car pictured on their site). Though drawing from that source, it’s not very literal, so it doesn’t immediately read as automotive. At a glance, the dial might appear flat, but in person it’s anything but. There is actually a surprising amount of detail considering what seems like a simple design. Currently, it’s available in 4 colors: white, blue, yellow and red. I’ll get into each, but first I’ll look at the general design.
The dial features a stark black surface with a raised central area, creating a lower elevation between that and the chapter ring. The primary index sits in here, and consists of bold lines in one’s color of choice, getting wider at the hour. The hour markers are actually raised as well, perhaps applied, creating some depth and texture and further making them stand out. The chapter ring, which is steeply angled, has color matching numerals at intervals of 5, adding a needed reference for legibility. A cool detail I didn’t even notice until looking at the chapter ring with a loupe is that it’s textured with circular graining. This gives the ring a slightly different and more metallic sheen.
Looking at the center area now, as mentioned it raised up and features a beveled edge. This area too has a slightly different sheen, more of a satin with a slight sun-ray, giving it increased materiality. On this surface you have the Autodromo logo below twelve, automatic and the Group B logo above six. These elements are kept very restrained, including the fairly bold and dramatic Group B logo. On either side, left or right, about the center of the dial are Autodromo’s signature screw heads. Here they are recessed and in gloss black, only noticeable when the light hits them just right.
The last dial detail is in the center and is actually floating above the dial itself. On the back of the crystal there is a screened black circle. This covers the central axis of the hands, speaking to the gauge influences, while also adding some interesting depth to the dial. The hands of the Group B fit the watch’s theme well and are fairly unique. The minute hand is a long tapering stick that passes straight through the center of the dial. The black disc on the glass hides where it connects to the center, giving it a sense of a continuous taper. The hour hand is then a smaller skeletonized shape with a similar tapering design. It doesn’t pass through the center, and is overall a much more subdued design, letting the minute hand take center stage. The seconds hand is then a straight stick with and orange tip, which is the only dial detail that does not change per colorway. I found the hands very easy to read at a glance as the size and weighting of the hour and minute are distinctly different, and they both end at logical places on the dial.
As noted, the Group B comes in white, blue, yellow and red, giving four distinct options. The white is clearly the most neutral and subtle. It’s high contrast and easy to read, but the lack of a bold color makes it more calm. The white itself is actually a touch green to my eyes vis-a-vis the lume that is present. The slight cool tone is enjoyable. The blue dial is then a more bold option, but still a bit tame. Blue naturally recedes a bit, so this doesn’t jump out quite as much as the red and yellow options. It’s a good choice for those who want color, but nothing loud… or people who simply like blue.