Watches associated with motor racing, especially those from around the 1970s, have led to some of the most colorful and offbeat watches. The vintage but vibrant style is more popular now than ever, and modern brands are tapping into that sporty mojo. Few of them, however, get as far-out as the designers of the 1970s did, and vintage watches from the era can be a truly unique wrist-statement today. Whether generally racing-themed or made for a specific motorsport team, the three watches below offer some great examples of automotive charm, each in a different way.
Caravelle Day-Date “Wynn’s Racing”
What We Like: Not all racing-themed watches have to be chronographs, and as a simpler three-hand model this one remains relatively affordable. Caravelle was a sub-brand of American watch company Bulova, now owned by Japanese Citizen Watch, but this one has a Swiss AS 1916 automatic movement inside. Also notable here is its dual-branded dial, adorned with the Wynn’s racing team logo. Orange highlights set against a blue dial with contrasting day and date displays at 3 o’clock add color and interest, and the addition of a Rolex-style fluted bezel adds up to a bold look for an otherwise simple watch.
From the Seller: Very nice original condition overall with minor wear consistent with age and use; sharp solid stainless steel case appears to be unpolished.
What We Like: Mervos? Mervos. Like Wakmann, this brand has also sometimes been associated with Breitling, but the connection is not clear in the case of this particular model. You might not have heard the Mervos name much before, but the terms “Swiss Made” and “Valjoux” might be more familiar, and those will be enough quality assurance for many who are attracted to this truly funky gradient turquoise racing-style dial. At 40mm wide with a manually wound Valjoux 7733 chronograph movement, this is a truly distinctive style statement.
From the Seller: Working well and keeping good time, all chronograph functions are working properly and returning to zero.
Tanis “Racing Team” Chronograph
What We Like: Tanis?? Yes, another totally obscure brand, but once again it features the Swiss Made designation and a Valjoux 7734 manually wound chronograph movement. It also has a 40mm cushion-shaped case, a steering wheel motif on the dial, and a race car at 12 o’clock with “racing team” text. Does it get any more funky, fun and automotive-inspired than this? The further addition of a red bezel and highlights help it stand out even more.
From the Seller: Watch is in unworn, new-old-stock condition.