Precision: September 2018

BAUME & MERCIER

Think ‘great American motorcycle’ and the name Harley-Davidson springs to mind. But it now has a serious competitor: the revitalised Indian marque that has been owned by snowmobile and ATV manufacturer Polaris since 2011.

Until recently, Polaris also produced motorcycles under the Victory name – but the Minnesota firm has now put Victory into hibernation to focus on Indian, founded in 1901 and America’s oldest manufacturer.

Indian’s pre-war vee-twin machines were famed for their success in board-track racing and as the official bikes of many a US police department. The firm began to return to wider recognition in 2005, with the release of the movie The World’s Fastest Indian. Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, it is the remarkable story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who tuned a 1919 Indian Scout before heading to America’s Bonneville Salt Flats – where, in 1967, he set a motorcycle land speed record of 183.58 mph at the advanced age of 68.

The David and Goliath tale has been picked-up by Swiss watch brand Baume & Mercier, which recently announced a partnership with Indian.

Baume & Mercier had no link to the automotive world prior to 2005, when it struck a similar deal with Las Vegas tuning house Shelby American – creator of the famous Shelby Cobra – leading to a series of sell-out limited-edition watches. The new collaboration with Indian kicks off with this Burt Munro tribute watch based on the Clifton Club chronograph. It features a dial customised with a yellow ‘35’ roundel (Munro’s lucky number), a sandblasted finish inspired by the surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats and a seconds hand with a counterbalance in the shape of the stylised Indian ‘I’.

The calfskin strap is dyed a shade of red typically found on vintage Indian machines, while the case back carries the marque’s head-dress logo and the individual edition number from the 1967 to be made – a quantity chosen to commemorate Munro’s record year.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute, £3250. www.baume-et-mercier.co.uk

FREDERIQUE CONSTANT

Frederique Constant has backed the European Healey Club since 2004. It recently launched this limited-edition chronograph to mark the fifth European gathering of club members, which took place in Germany in June. The 42mm watch features a racing green dial, a perforated ‘rally’ strap and a transparent case back. Just 2888 are available and each will be delivered with a model of NOJ 393, the famous Le Mans Healey that sold for a record £843,000 in 2011.

£2595 (steel) £2895 (gold pvd). www.frederiqueconstant.com

CHRISTOPHER WARD

UK-based brand Christopher Ward has added to its driver-inspired range with this new C3 Grand Tourer chronograph, which attempts to combine dress watch elegance with sporty functionality. Two dial designs are available – silvered white or vintage blue with silvered white sub-dials – and each is complemented by a choice of weathered leather straps in camel, tan or black. Nice automotive details include the piston-shaped chronograph pushers.

£395. www.christopherward.co.uk