The closest you'll get to a Breguet driving watch

Breguet’s ties with motoring might be slim but if you bought a Lamborghini with an optional extra clock, make yourself known

Breguet’s new Type XXI 3815

Breguet’s new Type XXI 3815

Horological historians will know that Abraham-Louis Breguet is best associated with the development of the tourbillon – and since he died in 1823, they will also know that the great man knew nothing of horseless carriages. But at the London Concours in June, Breguet pulled the wraps off a largely forgotten timepiece recalling a brief dalliance with the automotive world that took place 32 years ago.

It takes the form of a dashboard clock commissioned by Lamborghini and offered to buyers of the new Diablo as an optional extra costing a not inconsiderable £6000. Available only for the 100 limited edition cars built from 1990–91, the 57mm square automotive edge counter featured a gold bezel, a pusher at the five o’clock position that triggered a chronograph and another at seven o’clock for setting and rewinding the eight-day movement.

The dial was marked with Roman numerals for hours and Arabic numerals for minutes and adorned with the Lamborghini logo at 12. Just 60 of the optional clocks were made, with a believed five being adapted as desk models fitted into leather-covered wooden boxes.

Breguet dashboard clock

Breguet’s rare 1990 dashboard clock

Breguet has been the headline sponsor of the London Concours since its inception in 2015 and, although it doesn’t offer a specific driver’s watch in its line-up, the recently launched Type XXI 3815 looks as right behind the wheel as any chronograph we’ve seen.

An evolution of the pilot chronographs produced by Breguet Aviation (the aircraft manufacturer set up by AL Breguet’s great-great-grandson Louis Charles Breguet during the early 1900s), the Type XXI 3815 has a 42mm case made from lightweight titanium.

Inside lies Breguet’s own self-winding chronograph movement featuring a flyback mechanism that enables the chronograph hand to be stopped and reset with a single push of the button – thus enabling more accurate recording of multiple elapsed times.

Despite the vintage look of the watch, it’s cutting edge, being equipped with a silicone escape wheel and balance spring which, along with the rest of the decorated mechanism, are visible through the transparent case back.
Available in either a green or orange finish (there are 250 of each), the dials are highly luminescent and easy to read in even the murkiest of conditions. To finish it off, the watch is fitted with a slightly gnarled leather strap to enhance that vintage vibe.

By the way, if you know of the whereabouts of one of the Diablos that was fitted with a Breguet clock, the brand would love to know. So far archivists have tracked down only that loose example of the clock that was shown at the London Concours – and which is now safely back in the Breguet museum, alongside Ettore Bugatti’s personal Breguet tachymeter watch.

Breguet Type XXI 3815 Titanium, £14,500


Tag Heuer Indy 500 watch

TAG Heuer has been the official timing partner of IndyCar for 18 years and has made several special editions in celebration of the Indy 500. Shortly before the 2022 race, Andretti Autosport star Alexander Rossi pulled the wraps of TAG’s latest version, which features Indy 500 script on the ceramic bezel, an image of the race’s pagoda symbol on the sub dial and the case back is engraved with the ‘winged wheel’ trademark and ‘106th Indy 500’. There are only around 100 examples available in the UK.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Indy 500, £2000


Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute watch

A Breitling Navitimer chronograph became the first Swiss watch in space when US astronaut Scott Carpenter wore one for the 1962 Aurora 7 mission. His watch was a Cosmonaute with a 24-hour dial to enable him to easily keep track of whether it was day or night. Prior to Bentley’s 1-2 at Le Mans in 2003, Breitling reprised the Cosmonaute, presenting a watch to Bentley’s drivers. Now, to mark its 60th anniversary, there is a limited run of 362 that look just like Carpenter’s.

Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute, £8400 (strap), £8700 (bracelet)