Time machine: DeLorean returns on your wrist


"Are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean!?" REC's latest limited edition timepiece is inspired by John DeLorean's iconic car, and made with metal from his very own DMC-12

REC watch and DeLorean DMC-12


Sponsored by REC Watches

Fans of the hit movie Back to the Future won’t need reminding of the importance of the DeLorean motor car which, had it not been for its starring role as Doc Brown’s four-wheeled time machine, might merely have entered the history books as one of the great automotive failures of the late 20th century.

Produced only from 1981 to 1983, the DMC-12 was the brainchild of former Chevrolet general manager John Z. Delorean whose aim was to build “the ethical sports car for the bachelor who’s made it”.

DeLorean REC watch on wrist

He set about doing so in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, using $175 million of (mostly) other people’s money and produced 9,200 of the stainless-steel, gullwing sports cars before going bust in late 1982 after being caught in an FBI sting agreeing to bankroll a somewhat unethical $1.8 million cocaine smuggling operation – although he was subsequently found not guilty.

Despite the car’s lack of commercial success in period, it was undeniably good-looking and, 40 years after production officially ceased, its quirky appearance and extraordinary backstory has led to it developing a cult following

Which is partly why Denmark’s REC Watches – which makes limited editions incorporating metal from interesting vehicles – has chosen to honour the DMC-12 with one of its own exceptional ‘time machines.’

Rear of REC DeLorean watch and car lights

The material was supplied by ‘Classic DMC’, the modern-day, American-owned version of the DeLorean Motor Company which works to preserve and promote all things DeLorean.

Classic DMC, which operates a 40,000 square foot warehouse crammed with more than 3.5 million items, worked closely with REC to create a watch that is heavily evocative of the car.

RES DeLorean watch face and car wheel

Most significantly, the REC SPX DeLorean features a dial surround made from stainless steel salvaged from the divide between the gullwing doors of John DeLorean’s actual ‘company car’.

The lines engraved on the surround serve both as minute markers and as a reminder of the DMC-12’s distinctive wheel design and, seen from above, the SPX mimics the silhouette of the car as it looks with its gullwing doors outstretched.

Strap of DeLorean REC watch and car louvres

The straps, meanwhile, carry indents based on the louvres of the windshield and the caseback recalls the distinctive, square-patterned rear lights.

Powered by a modified, Swiss-made Sellita automatic movement, the SPX DeLorean evokes the DMC-12’s futuristic style and is set to be a ‘must’ both for owners of the car and its millions of aspirational fans.

The limited amount of original material available from the John DeLorean car means, however, that just 456 examples of the watch will be made.

Side of DMC DeLorean watch and car

“The SPX DeLorean is intended to remind owners of the incredible story of John DeLorean, which we think is 100 times more crazy than Back to the Future, the film that made his car famous,”says REC Watches co-founder, Jonathan Kamstrup.

“We know that time travel happens at 88mph – but with this watch, all it takes is a conversation….”

Copenhagen-based REC Watches was founded in 2011 by Jonathan Kamstrup and Christian Mygh with a remit to make collectable timepieces infused with the ‘DNA’ of historically significant vehicles. The name REC refers to the brand’s mantra of ‘recover, recycle and reclaim’ .