REC 901 GW Chelsea/Exoskeleton

Precision, Winter 2021

Copenhagen-based REC this year marked its first decade in the watch business, during which time it has established itself at the forefront of an increasingly popular horological niche – that dedicated to making timepieces that incorporate bits and pieces salvaged from interesting old vehicles.

Founders Jonathan Kamstrup and Christian Mygh chose the name REC in order to emphasise the fact that their aim was to ‘recover, recycle and reclaim’ – that REC also alludes to the ‘wrecks’ that often inspire such activities is just happy coincidence.

REC 901 GW Chelsea

REC’s new range uses parts of Gunther Werks- restored 911s. This is the 901 GW Chelsea

Over the years, we have followed REC’s creations with interest in the Precision pages of Motor Sport, with the April ’21 issue bringing news of models called Little Red and Green Hornet which contained bits salvaged from a pair of important Shelby Mustangs and, last year, highlighting the brand’s RNR collection with dials made from original metal taken from a pair of classic Land Rovers.

One of the REC models that has most impressed us, however, is the 901 RS that incorporates a dial made from metal taken from a 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS that originally belonged to German European and World GT champion Clemens Schickentanz, who subsequently passed the car on to rally driver Peter Rumpfkeil. During his three-year ownership, the car participated in several major rallies, including the 1976 and 1977 editions of the Monte Carlo and the 1976 Lombard RAC.

It was acquired by a Danish enthusiast, Jürgen Schultz, six years later – and he spent the next three decades restoring it, setting aside some unusable components that were subsequently incorporated into the 901 RS watches.

Now, REC has revisited the 911 theme in a collaboration with Californian 993 backdate specialist Gunther Werks, which re-models examples of the last air-cooled 911 to make them as quick and fine handling as current production models.

The two REC watches born of the partnership are the 901 GW Exoskeleton and the 901 GW Chelsea. The former is the only Gunther Werks car to feature unpainted carbon fibre bodywork, while the latter was the first car GW delivered to a customer.

REC 901 GW Exoskeleton

REC 901 GW Exoskeleton

Both watch models have case centres made from repurposed carbon fibre preciously used in Gunther Werks projects, and both feature bezels in the shape of the cars’ headlamp surrounds, dials based on their dashboard instruments and case backs engraved with the trademark GW cross brace and mesh insert found on the cars’ ducktail spoilers. Even the straps are designed with the same characteristics as the cars’ upholstery.

Just 118 examples of the 901 GW Exoskeleton will be made, and 232 of the 901 GW Chelsea. Each watch is priced at £1558 – and there are also some 901 RS models left at £1466.