Gavox founder Michael Happé is the grandson of a Flying Tiger. I’m no war or aviation buff, but even I knew this one. Who could forget the shark’s mouth painted on their P-40 War Hawks or legends of the Hell’s Angels squadron angling in on Japan just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
Happé is obviously no stranger to the power of combining visually striking machines with compelling adventure narratives, but he goes beyond the tired military combinations with Gavox and innovates playfully. He makes neologisms from parts of other words (e.g. Avidiver from aviation and diver; Gavox from galaxy and vox), and offers watches with genuinely novel complication combos (e.g. a flyback with perpetual calendar on the Gavox Aurora). Gavox watches are unabashedly complicated machines, and the more I learn about them, the more I grasp their endearingly geeky logic.
Gavox’s latest offering is a driving-oriented trio of limited edition chronographs called Roads. While most car watches either look like a speedometer or are geared to time high-speed laps à la Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, the Roads is specifically oriented toward long distance road trips. Along with the individual serial numbers (100 of each model are available), the case backs of the three editions include an engraving of a specific road: The Pacific Coast Highway in California, The Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway, and The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada—all roads so incredibly beautiful that the last thing you’d want to do there is speed. Each edition of the Gavox Roads comes with a Road Book that lists all the places to see along the route, suggesting these watches as wonderful gifts or mementos for anyone involved in such a trip.Editor’s note: the watches featured here are prototypes. The white-dialed Roads has mismatched pushers.