When people discuss the great eras of watch making, the 80’s don’t often come up. It was a time when quartz had leveled the industry, inexpensive pieces flooded in and digital was emerging. Nor do the 80’s come up when people speak of great style and fashion, plagued by fluorescent colors, padded shoulders and oddly baggy shirts. But when people discuss Rally car racing, it’s a different story altogether.
With Autodromo’s new line of watches they drew upon the distinctly 80’s era of rally car racing known as Group B. As Sean pointed out when we first announced the watches, Group B was a notoriously brutal and dangerous. Cars were light and had monstrous amounts of power. It was an era that fostered a lot of technological innovation in the sport, but resulted in too many accidents as well as a few deaths, ending after 4 years. Many consider it the “golden age” of rally car racing.
As with previous lines of Autodromo watches, the design found its inspiration in those beastly machines, drawing on their blunt, faceted chassis and neon, high-contrast dashes, but also on their spirit of innovation, pursuing a lighter build, mix of materials (steel and titanium) and springbar-free concept. But the watch design itself is obviously not a literal translation of a rally car, instead speaking to sport watches of the surrounding period, as well as the aesthetics of 80’s… but, done with a careful eye, avoiding the tackiness that pervaded the era.
What they ended up with is their boldest design to date. A watch that hints at Genta, has shocks of color, is exceptionally light and balanced and is truly unique in the current market. The Autodromo Group B comes in at $925, is powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic, features two custom nylon pass-through straps and a handmade aluminum box.